Nose Plugging Update

In a previous post, I mentioned how I was experimenting with nose plugging as a possible solution to bruxism.

I wasn't able to get a perfect seal with the medical tape alone. My overnight video recordings appeared to show me breathing through my nose. Again, the video quality isn't that great, so it's hard to say for sure. I built a tripod extension arm to position the camera over my bed, rather than to the side. 

This gave me better coverage, but it's still hard to observe some of these minor movements on low resolution infrared video.

Since the tape wasn't working, I decided to try a swimming nose clip again. The clip was made of ridged plastic, so the tension couldn't be adjusted at all. I was only able to sleep with it on for about an hour. It was very uncomfortable. A wire nose clip may be more comfortable, but I'm still skeptical of any solution that pinches your nose.

Next, I tried some moldable silicone ear plugs. 

These really molded to my nostrils and provided an air-tight seal. They don't smell and they clean up nicely with soap and water. I put a piece of medical tape over my nose to hold them into place. I wore these for three or four nights. I'm confident that my nose was completely blocked, but after watching the video, I still some doubts that nose plugging is an effective solution for bruxism. The whole idea is based on the premise that you can't grind because you have to breathe through your mouth. Some of the videos I recorded seem to support this. My mouth is wide open most of the night. However, within a very short period of time, my brain seems to have figured out how to clench and grind in-between breaths. This isn't difficult to imagine. You can probably hold your breath for thirty seconds or so while you're awake, maybe longer while you're restfully sleeping. If you only have to sip air every thirty seconds, that leaves a lot of time for grinding. I think it's even possible to grind and clench while breathing. Having your teeth together doesn't close off your airway.

One night while I was wearing the silicone plugs, I woke up feeling a little disoriented, with my ears ringing loudly. I felt like maybe I hadn't been getting air for awhile. It wasn't a pleasant experience. I've decided to take a break from the experiment while I reevaluate things. 

I don't want to discourage anyone from trying this themselves. I just wanted to share my experience with it. I'm not sure that it's a solution for me personally, but there are other members of this group that have had luck with it. If any of you give it a try, I'd like to hear how it goes.


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