Advertisers would have us believe that it only takes sunlight, singing birds and a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee to have a great morning.
It’s a pretty picture, but migraine suffers aren’t going to buy it – not while their heads feel as if they were pinned under a Greyhound bus.
It’s estimated that one in nine experience painful migraines. That’s a whopping 28 million Americans! Their prevalence makes it important for the medical and research communities to continue their efforts to find effective treatments for headaches and to provide clear lifestyle modification advice.
Unfortunately, many tension headaches and migraines make a full-on attack first thing in the morning, affecting moods, relationships and the ability to go to work and school. However, I am happy to report that I prescribe a nifty device called an “NTI-tss” that addresses some of this pain and suffering.
The FDA-approved NTI Mouthpiece reduces the intensity of nocturnal jaw clenching – a common denominator among headache sufferers. Worn at night, the dental splint prevents contact between top and bottom molars and canine teeth, minimizing pressure on muscle, bone, nerves, joints and connective tissue.
In clinical trials, 8 out of 10 headache sufferers experienced a 77 percent reduction in migraine attacks after using the NTI for only eight weeks. I think that’s a significant finding!
Custom fitting one of my patients with this small removable mouthpiece is easy. Wearing it is simple, too. It sits comfortably over the two front teeth and can be slipped on right before falling asleep. With consistent use, many of my patients have reported a reduction in tenderness around temple and scalp muscles – especially upon awakening.
Because migraine and tension headaches affect children as well as adults, the NTI is a particularly nice option for parents who would like to avoid doping their children with muscle relaxants, antidepressants and other strong medication with potential side effects. While these medications have their place, it’s nice to be able to offer a non-pharmaceutical approach.
Paired with lifestyle changes, the NTI device gives headache sufferers a fighting chance to get their lives – and mornings – back.
Lifestyle Tips to Help Minimize Migraines
- Nurture good sleep habits
- Practice stress control: exercise, yoga, meditation
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
- Keep a diary to track headache patterns
- Eliminate dietary triggers: caffeine, alcohol, food allergies
- Stretch regularly, especially upper body muscles
- Consider biofeedback therapy or acupuncture
- Wear earplugs to reduce noise overload
- Schedule massage or acupressure treatments
- Try different pillows to find the best support
- Schedule a physical to rule out underlying medical problems.
The NTI appliance is a multi-tasker, and I use it in my Encino dentistry practice to treat jaw joint disorders, too. The NTI seems to help the most people the most often and the most quickly.
If you are suffering from TMJ/TMD disorders or have symptoms such as headaches, neck pain, earaches, tenderness of the jaw, and/or facial pain, make an appointment and I’ll see what I can do. I’d love to help you out.
Tip of the Day: If you just found us on the Internet, our office is offering a New Patient Introductory Dental Checkup through October 15, 2010. For only $99, you will receive a cleaning with our dental hygienist, checkup x-rays, a fluoride treatment and a complete exam. These services normally cost $249, but you have two weeks to take advantage of our fall discount. Make an appointment by calling (818) 385-3681 or emailing our office.
Best regards, AM