Weston Dentist Dr Pyle Offers Advice for Your Migraine Headache, migraine related tension headache and jaw disorders (TMJ):
Did you know that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved the NTI dental appliance, a type of mouthguard, which may help?Anecdotal evidence suggests that this device can actually reduce the amount of pain from migraines rather quickly—just a few weeks after starting treatment!
We have certainly seen improvement for all our patients with Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ jaw and/or ear pain), including the morning tension headaches that may include sore face, neck and shoulder muscles.
What does dentistry have to do with migraine headaches and other head pain?
Many people with migraines or morning tension headaches also clench and/or grind their teeth.Patients with severe grinding will even wear down, chip and/or eventually break their teeth.
Pain perception in the head is controlled and/or moderated by the Trigeminal Nerve System.It is thought that migraines result from the body’s misinterpretation of the sensory information it receives.Hence in patients with nighttime clenching or grinding (many of whom do not even know they are doing this), there is great deal of activity in the Trigeminal Nerve System.So the underlying principal in migraine and TMJ treatment is to limit as much negative input to the Trigeminal Sensory Nucleus as possible.Therefore teeth clenching and grinding must be controlled, and we use the NTI appliance to do this.
What is the NTI appliance and how does it work?
The NTI appliance is a type of mouthguard that must be specially fitted by your dentist.This fitting is done in our office in about 30 minutes and requires no impressions or molds of your teeth.At that point, we train each patient how to properly insert and remove their NTI appliance.It is designed to snap firmly into place so it does not come loose during sleep, though it is easily removed by hand in the morning.
It’s mechanism of action is really quite simple.Your front teeth have an automatic reflex that causes you to open your mouth right away if you accidentally bite down on something too hard.This protective reflex prevents us from breaking our front teeth.The NTI appliance is designed to take advantage of this reflex while you sleep. If you begin to clench your teeth, you bite down on the guard, activating the reflex which stops you from clenching your jaw.