Did you know that the most effective FDA approved therapy to prevent the agony of migraine headaches is available only from specially trained dentists? Hard to believe isn’t it?
Please note that I did not say treating a migraine. Your physician can offer you several versions of swallowed or injected drugs to help stop that pain once it is already making your head explode and possibly your stomach wretch. Wouldn’t it be nice to prevent the headache from starting.
The dental treatment is FDA approved for preventing migraine headaches with great success. How much? In the FDA study, Dr James Boyd, the developer, proved that 82% of the migraine patients had improvement. How much? An average of 77% fewer migraines. Imagine that, 77% fewer migraines!
The treatment is NTI-tss occlusal splint therapy, called NTI. The full name is Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition Tension Suppression System. The NTI splint is a small device about the size of a popped piece of popcorn that is worn on the front teeth while sleeping.
How does it work? It works by preventing the extreme clenching that most migraine sufferers do while sleeping. If you wake up with a migraine or if they come on soon thereafter, the clenching is often a direct cause. In other people, the clenching often just predisposes them to headaches later in the day.
Studies have shown that the clenching forces generated in migraine patients are significantly higher than in average people, and their temporalis muscles, the main clenchers, are larger in size than average due to this vicious cycle.
People can clench voluntarily with less than 500 lbs of force when awake, but when asleep many generate almost 1000 lbs of force. It’s hard to imagine how long periods of such intense clenching wouldn’t cause a headache. In fact, another study showed that just clenching at 30% of maximum off and on for 30 minutes while awake would produce a migraine in the majority of migraine sufferers. And this is nowhere near the intensity or duration that they do at night.
There’s more good news. The NTI is also very effective in helping many tension headache sufferers. Also, tempero-mandibular dysfunction (TMD or TMJ) that does not respond to other treatments is often helped by NTI therapy.
NTI therapy is one my favorite aspects of my practice because it is life changing for many of my patients. While no treatment is 100% successful, this simple technique produces major improvement over 80% of the time. Imagine waking up and feeling fabulous! For more information stop by my office or visit NTI’s website at www.HeadachePrevention.com
Dr. David Ward is a general dentist in Big Spring who provides family, sedation, laser, and orthodontic care to his patients. See his website at www.DavidWardDDS.com