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FAQ:  TMJ Neuromuscular Migraine Headaches


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Headache Pain Ask The Dentist Corinne Scalzitti
Question:
TMJ, Bruxism, Migraine Headaches: I have had TMD treatment for years.

Splints helped for a while but I was referred to a TMJ specialist who fit me with a night guard and a day guard. The night guard had a protrusion to stop bruxism. The day guard fit on my bottom teeth and increased jaw discomfort.

The night guard seemed to help the bruxism, but neither eased clenching. Over time, the top guard was damaged. I wear the original splint my dentist gave me.

I have migraines which have elevated to excrutiating pain waking me almost nightly. I have developed perio issues (bone loss) which have stumped my Periodontist. I am desperate for relief. ...Visitor from MO

Answer:
I would suggest that you look for a dentist who likes treating TMJ problems. Look for somebody who has had substantial training and experience.

I have had luck with an appliance called NTI appliance (google nti dental appliance). This is a device that does not allow the teeth to touch at night (there is also a daytime appliance), so clenching cannot occur.

I use this with a small dose of a muscle relaxant (Valium) at night for 2 weeks and it has helped many patients. Some patients have also used Botox injections to the muscles of occlusion; this is experimental.

Your periodontal disease is in direct relationship to the pressure you are putting on your teeth. It will continue to worsen until the pressure stops. You may also need several bite adjustments.

Corinne Scalzitti, DMD, MAGD

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