Headaches? Canít Sleep? Check your Bite
One in eight Americans suffer from
An average person swallows 2,000 times per day,
causing the upper and lower teeth to come together and push against the
skull.* People who
have a poorly aligned bite or missing teeth can have related health problems, such as frequent headaches or sleep disorders, because their
jaw muscles must work harder to bring the teeth together, straining the
surrounding jaw muscles.
This strain, know as
orofacial pain is
defined as any pain in or around the face.
Some people may experience pain in the ears, eyes, sinuses, cheeks
or side of the head, while others experience clicking when moving the
jaw. These symptoms may be your mouth's warning signs for more
serious health risks.
At the first sign of discomfort, see your dentist.
your mouth best and how you handle day-to-day stress.
Sometimes the pain may be difficult to diagnose if its origin is not localized in one area.
We will try to diagnose the pain source by conducting
test to rule out a cracked tooth, the need for
disease, clenching or tooth grinding.
These factors can cause discomfort in the facial region, but can
be easily addressed.
Orofacial pain that lasts longer than 10
days to two weeks or it not related to a specific stressful even, such
as a car accident, may signal a more serious problem requiring
(Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition - Tension Suppression
System) is a Lexan plastic matrix that is customized to
comfortably fit over your front teeth. The NTI is worn while you
Headache Impact Test-click
here to take
Headache Impact Test
Find the results
to this test at:
Does your mouth cause you pain?
Look for these signs:
behind the eyes|
or popping of joints|
painful to the touch|
shoulder or back pain|
toothaches left untreated can interfere with
eating, talking and swallowing.
Try This Exercise To
Understand How the NTI Works
|Place your fingers on your head where highlighted
in the illustration to the right. |
|Firmly clench your teeth. |
|You will feel the temporalis muscle bulging under
your fingertips. |
|These muscles trigger most migraine and
tension-type headache pain|
This simple experiment shows how the NTI works.
Remember how the temporalis muscles bulged when you
clenched your teeth?
Now, put a pencil between your upper and lower
front teeth and bite down. The temporalis muscles don't bulge.
This simple experiment demonstrates how an NTI (in
place of the pencil) prevents migraines and clenching related to head
This treatment involves NO drugs, surgery, medication,
shots or side effects. It reduces clenching intensity up to 66%.
Because the NTI eliminates clenching, it prevents or reduces:
Morning headaches, daytime headaches and nighttime
Jaw joint pain and clicking, face and sinus pain
Chronic sore neck
Tooth wear, teeth cracking, teeth breaking and some
types of tooth sensitivity
The NTI is
therefore also a great diagnostic tool. If no relief had been
gained or things got worse, then there is probably pathology in the
Tension Suppression Device
The NTI device is a pre-fabricated matrix that is
retro-fitted and customized to your front teeth.
The NTI device snaps into place and fits comfortably on
either the upper or lower front teeth. It is worn during sleep and
prevents the intensity of muscular parafunction. For migraine
sufferers, there is a more discreet version for daytime use, which is
usually required (in addition to the pictured nighttime device) for 6 to
8 weeks for best results.
Through using this treatment chronic, intense
nighttime muscular parafunction has been shown to be a considerable
influence on the triggering of migraine events. In clinical
trials, 82% of medically diagnosed migraine patients had a 77%
reduction in migraine episodes within the first eight weeks of use.
There is a 10-15% chance
it may not work
*Dentalnotes, pg 4, Spring 2002 AGD
do I know if my bite is incorrect?
human body is an amazing thing.
bodies try to tell us when something is wrong.
Sometimes the communication can be immediate and precise.
On other occasions the body tries to tell us that something is out
of balance but we canít understand the clues weíre being sent.
problems can fall into either category.
An unbalanced bite can cause hard-to-ignore problems like muscle
tension headaches. Some
bite problems cause problems that may be just as serious but are not as
easy to spot, such as
wear of your teeth
breakage of teeth or fillings.
a good analogy; you could
have a fine car with top-quality
tires. If the wheels are out
of alignment you might not be aware of the problem until your mechanic
shows you that the tires have severely uneven wear.
The problem is something you canít feel, but it affects your car
in a way that can be damaging or even dangerous.
can you tell if your bite is unbalanced if you may not be able to feel
that anything is wrong? A
dental exam can spot uneven tooth wear,
sore head and neck muscles,
teeth or cracked fillings before such problems become catastrophic.
is an unbalanced bite corrected? Severe
abnormalities may require orthodontic treatment with braces or, in extreme
cases, surgical repositioning of the jaws.
Fortunately, many bite-related problems can be corrected by
subtly reshaping the teeth so they mesh in a more balanced fashion.
This type of treatment is called an equilibration which may
result in reduction in tension headaches or in teeth clenching
you have an unbalanced bite it is important to correct the underlying problem
before the damage is severe.
enamel coating on your teeth is the hardest substance in the human body;
it is even harder than bone.
you wear through your tooth enamel, the underlying layer (called dentin) is
seven times less resistant to wear.
you habitually grind or clench your teeth you may wear them down so rapidly
that many crowns are required to replace the tooth structure youíve worn
away on your back teeth. A
complete equilibration is generally a completely painless procedure.
Here is an
interactive program on
At the heart of migraine disease is are two main
-an elevated sympathetic tone,
-a hyper-sensitive sensory ganglion of the V.
Either or both of those are either genetically programmed that way,
or are a result of environmental influence.
Chronic sub-clinical conditions (oh, like a hole in your heart)
serve to increase an already elevated sympathetic tone. That
elevated tone can increase the sensitivity of the V sensory
ganglion. One result of an increased sympathetic tone causes
excessive nocturnal jaw-clenching, which results in a
bombardment of the sensory ganglion of the V. (the
crushing PDLs for years is a noxious afferent stimulation).
When the noxious V stimulation hits a certain threshold, it in turn
causes a secretion of Calcitonin Gene Related Peptide (CGRP). It can
also be initiated following a wave of cortical depression... which
is an actual turing-off, and then turning-on of brain cells.
Nitric Oxide is released as a result, thereby causing the
intracranial surface arteries to enlarge. V1 neurons that wrap
around those arteries send noxious afferent messages back to the
sensory ganglion of V.
Now, if the sensory ganglion of the V weren't so hyper-sensitive,
the next part may not occur...Upon receiving the noxious
stimulation, the sensory ganglion triggers the V1 nerve endings that
wrap around the surface intracranial arteries to secret CGRP,
thereby causing a frank inflamation of those arteries.
Meanwhile, a parasympathetic response produces acetylcholine, which
causes nasal passage swelling, adds to the already inflamed cerebral
arteries, produces hyper-tensing of the intrafusal fibers
spindles of the temporalis (the tension-type part), and
through V3, causes inflammation of the extracranial temporal
artery. Migraine pain.
The Holy Grail of migraine prevention is to convince the V
sensoryganglion to not be so hyper-sensitive.
Dentistry is fantastic at reducing chronic noxious V sensory
Mild clenching may not be such a big deal, but mild clenching on an
interference every night is a considerable noxious stimulation.
Mild clenching on an interference:
Other times, following the perfecting of the occlusal scheme, the
intensity of the clenching can increase (due to an elevated
sympathetic tone). Now the noxious stimulation *increases*.
The goal is to considerably reduce the chronic noxious stimulation
of the V sensory ganglion:
IDF Jim Boyd Migraines and Wholes in Heart 2/05
Temporal Arteritis: Don't Let This
Disease Fool You
reoccurring headache be a sign of a much
more severe disease? Older
individuals who experience variable
signs, symptoms, and pain in the head
and jaw could be suffering from temporal
arteritis, a disease characterized
by inflammation in and damage to the
walls of various blood vessels.
Headaches typically are the
characteristic feature in 60 percent of
temporal arteritis cases.
Though the cause is
unknown, dentists who encounter
patients with puzzling complaints that
are not explained by oral and physical
findings may encourage their patients to
take additional steps in order to
properly diagnose this disease.
Patients with temporal arteritis should
be referred for medical evaluation and
treatment before serious complications
occur such as sudden blindness.Temporal
arteritis is a disease that usually
affects individuals older than 70 and
increases in frequency with age.Ē Women,
however, are three times more likely
than men to suffer from this disease.
Signs of Temporal
It is recommended
that if the clinical symptoms
suggest the possibility of temporal
arteritis, the patient should be
referred to a physician for
sedimentation or a C-reactive
protein (CRP) test. Both are
blood test designed to detect the
amount of CRP released in the blood
due to the inflammation of blood
issue of General Dentistry,
James Allen, MD,
A Pain in the Brain
Of the 46 percent of women and 38 percent of men who
regularly suffer from tension headaches, many may not realize the source
of head pain may be directly linked to the mouth. Rather than
reaching for a bottle of painkillers, people who suffer from tension
headaches should consider reaching for their phone and calling their
dentist. Tension headache sufferers often blame headaches on a stressful
day or a bad night's sleep but when the headaches consistently keep
coming back, dentists can help investigate the real source of the pain
to determine a diagnosis. A dentist can look in a patient's mouth and
tell by how the jaw is positioned or by how the teeth are aligned
whether or not the mouth may be the source of the pain. Nearly
two-thirds of tension headache sufferers clench or grind their teeth,
which is known to trigger a headache. The size, position and
movement of the jaw muscles also is a factor, which is why 70 percent of
Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) patients
complain of this problem. Although the medical community has a role in
helping patients identify and cure headache pain, the dentist's office
should be their first stop on the way to becoming headache-free.
NTI In The Media
Good Morning America
February 06, 2008
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