Chronic Headaches (see also: TMJ Treatment)
This area of human suffering is as wide and diverse as the people who suffer from it. A headache in its most common form is a muscle contraction headache. Fortunately this is not life threatening, only hurtful. At the other end of the spectrum are those headaches that are life threatening or indicate a life threatening disease process is at hand. A migraine headache seems to be in a class of their own. There is no sure cause, multiple explanations abound, as do treatment remedies. Headache of serious medical condition will not be discussed here.
We provide a revolutionary treatment for the prevention and treatment of Migraine. By using the FDA approved Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition-Tension Suppression System (NTI-TSS) our office can render a service that claims, in national studies, a 70% reduction in migraine episodes. A dentist who was a migraineur himself developed the NTI system. Over years of trial and error and a great deal of research he came to the current iteration of this simple looking device. It takes approximately 30 minutes to fit this device for you.
The device was invented and perfected by Dr. James P. Boyd. He himself was a sufferer of debilitating migraines; he worked tirelessly for years searching for an answer to his pain. This he did with great success. The following is excerpted from a short article written by Dr. Boyd.
The International Headache Society lists several criteria for the diagnosis of migraine without aura:
- Headache pain lasting 4 to 72 hours
- Headache pain is aggravated by routine physical activity
- Headache pain is accompanied by nausea, photophobia, or phonophobia
- No objective evidence of related disease is observed after a complete physical medical workup
Most theories of migraine etiology now include a trigeminal neuromuscular pathway, which includes the common pericranial muscular tenderness observed in migraineurs. The lack of objective evidence of a causative element for migraine pain has kept the health-care industry from isolating an acceptable means of prevention.
The premise that nocturnal muscular hyperactivity may be a precursor to migraine, and that an intra-oral device may reduce the intensity of the hyperactivity, thereby reducing migraine frequency, has been researched. Lamey showed that, when compared to a placebo (palatal acrylic), a full-coverage splint reduces migraine frequency by 40%1. (However, incorporated into these results are those patients whose migraine frequency and intensity increased considerably). The common anterior deprogrammer device, which allows incisor contact only in a centered position, has been shown to reduce temporalis clenching intensity to one-third of maximum2. Due to the potential of excursive parafunctional canine contact on the deprogrammer, however, severe joint strain with clenching intensity can occur. It is, therefore, contraindicated for nocturnal use. Simple design changes in the deprogrammer, which can anticipate parafunctional movements, can prevent the necessary canine and posterior occluding, which allows for high-intensity clenching.
By preventing canine and posterior occluding in all parafunctional movements, the Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition tension suppression system (NTI-tss) device significantly and predictably reduces the intensity of nocturnal muscular hyperactivity common to all headache sufferers without adverse effects. Because it is impossible for a wearer to function (chew food) with the device in place, there is no opportunity for long – term use and inadvertent tooth movement.
In a controlled, 8 week study comparing the NTI-tss device to a cull-coverage splint, observers noted the effect on medically diagnosed migraine sufferers. Of migraineurs who used the NTI-tss device nightly, 82% showed a 77% average reduction of migraine episodes within the test period3. Although the full-coverage splint did help some migraineurs, nearly one third had a 46% average increase in migraine episodes. Neither group showed any adverse effects as far as tooth mobility or movement, joint strain, or compliance.
1) Lamey PJ, Steele JG, Aitchison T: migraine: the effect of acrylic appliance design on clinical response, Br Dent J. 180(4):137-140, 1996
2) Becker I, Tarantola G, Zambrano J, et.al: Effect of a prefabricated anterior bite stop on electromyographic activity of masticatory muscles. J Prosth Dent 82(1):22-26, 1999
3) Shankland W: A method of Preventing Migraine and Tension Headaches Compendium 22(12)1075-1082 2001