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Headaches / Migraines

headacheQuite often, recurring headaches are caused by a dental condition. Although other factors may be involved, it's important to be screened for common dental causes of headaches, such as:

The field of migraine prevention therapy has been at somewhat of a standstill. Although numerous drugs are now on the market which are intended to subdue migraine pain after the attack has already begun, preventing migraine has been less than satisfactory.

However, research has found one common factor to all migraine and tension-type headache sufferers: tender and sore temple and scalp muscles caused by intense and prolonged jaw clenching during sleep. Not teeth grinding, but jaw clenching…and there is a world of difference.

Established research has shown:

  • Jaw clenching muscles of migraine suffers are 70% larger in volume and generate significantly higher bite forces than control subjects.
  • Migraine sufferers who experience headaches soon after or upon waking show significant evidence of nocturnal jaw clenching.
  • Tension-type headache patients contract their temporalis muscles (clench their jaw) during sleep, on average, 14 times more intensely that asymptomatic controls.

NTI deviceThe FDA has recently approved the first non-drug, no side-effect method for migraine pain prevention, the NTI-tss, a small and comfortable specialized mouthpiece which covers only your upper two front teeth while you sleep.

The NTI-tss must be custom fitted by a dentist. And why just the two front teeth? Because that prevents the back molars and canine teeth from coming into contact. Without those teeth contacting, jaw clenching intensity is reduced by two-thirds!

In clinical trials, 82% of migraine sufferers who used the NTI-tss for eight weeks had a 77% average reduction in migraine attacks, and were continuing to improve (details at the NTI-tss web site). There were no side-effects or adverse results. This is not to say the intense jaw clenching alone is the cause of migraine, but does put research back on track.

So for the best way to prevent migraine, instead of putting a pill in your stomach, you put a device on your teeth!

If you are experiencing frequent headaches you think may be linked to one of the causes above, contact us for an appointment.

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