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Migraine Headaches

TMD, Bruxism, chronic tension headaches, migraine ... did you ever wonder what these symptoms have in common which all make your life miserable ? They all are controlled and/or moderated by the Trigeminal Nerve System.

migraine headache

The current understanding of the nature of the migraine, is that it results from a disorder of "sensory modulation", meaning that information received by the Sensory Nucleus of the Trigeminal Nerve of our nervous system is misinterpreted, thereby resulting in either a disproportionate response,or an inappropriate response altogether. For example, during a migraine attack, the simple pressure changes of the fluid that surrounds the brain (resulting from the beating of the heart), is perceived as "pounding". The therapeutic goal in migraine prevention is to limit the amount of noxious sensory input (that is, to limit your migraine "triggers") to the Trigeminal Sensory Nucleus, so that it is not perceived as nociception. Essentially, the goal is to limit as much negative input to the Trigeminal Sensory Nucleus as possible.

When considering an abnormal Trigeminal system where the Sensory Nucleus is hypersensitive, it is not unusual for the Motor Division to be also hyperactive. A hyperactive Trigeminal Motor Root results in excessive jaw muscle contraction, during certain stages of sleep, resulting in intense jaw clenching and/or vigorous teeth grinding. These two activities produce a significant bombardment of noxious input (nociception) to the Sensory Nucleus, while also being the known cause of "TMD" (temporomandibular disorders), thereby becoming a self-perpetuation of chronic headache and/or migraine.

The primary treatment methods for TMD are night guards which decrease the sensory input. The nightguards reduce muschle contraction intensity", prevent posterior tooth contact, and allow healing and adaptation of damaged joints. The most comon night guards are the NTI appliance and the “B-splint”