Posted: August 17, 2015
Migraines are commonly treated with a wide variety of medications, particularly the Triptan family. These drugs all work to change the neurotransmitter balance in the brain and to change blood flow to the brain.
The Neuromuscular Approach to treating and eliminating migraines is very similar but instead of flooding the body with dangerous medications that have frequent side effects it works its magic by changing the neuro input into the brain. The term Musculoskeletal normalization applies to dentistry but the same basic systems apply throughout the body. Musculoskeletal Approach to treating and eliminating migraines is an extension of the neuromuscular concepts.
The Trigeminal Nerve after amplification in the Reticular Activating System accounts for well over 50% of all input into the brain. If this input is nociceptive (painful) or it is merely the wrong input at the wrong time it creates of neural flood of neurotransmitters that can cause Chronic Daily Headache, Chronic Migraine, Tension Headaches and Autonomic Cephalgias.
Control of blood flow to the brain thru the meninges is primarily controlled by the Trigeminal Nerve as well. It is universally accepted that almost 100% of all headaches are mediated by the Trigemino-Vascular System which controls the blood flow to the anterior two thirds of the brain. Neurogenic spread is based on aberrant patterns of neurotransmiter release.
The only way to eliminate or treat migraines is to control input and output to and from the brain thru the Trigeminal nervous system.
One method that can be utilized is the use of the Neuro-toxin Botox to break the connection between the nervous system and the masticatory mucles. This approach carries dangers of acute reactions but far more troubling are reports of muscle and bone wasting associated with injecting neurotoxins.
The best method to prevent migraines and other headaches will always be to control the trigeminal nervous system input. It is crucial that all migraine patients know how the Trigeminal Nerves cause headaches and migraines. The trigeminal nerve is usually considered the dentist's nerve. It innervates the teeth, the gums, the periodontal ligaments, the lining of the sinuses, the anterior two thirds of the tounge, the hard and soft plate, the muscle that opens and closes the eustacian tube (Tensor veli Palitini Muscle) and the muscle that tightens the ear drum (Tensor veli Tympani muscle). It controls the lower eyelid and the tear ducts. The muscles that move the jaw are all innervated by the Trigeminal nerve thru the motor nucleus and it is here at the neuromuscular junction where BOTOX, a neurotoxin is injected. The jaw joint including the meniscus or disk as well as the joint capsule are all trigeminally innervated.
The Trigeminal Nervous System is the largest proprioceptive input into the brain and that system coordinates chewing, smiling, talking,breathing, swallowing and position of the jaw during all of these activities. Neuromuscular Dentistry excels in coordinating the proprioception of the teeth thru the periodontal ligament with TemporoMandibular Joint and masticatory muscle function.
A neuromuscular dentist can eliminate noxious input creating relaxed muscles and a calm nervous system. This is done by combining the use of Ultra Low Frequency Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation (ULF-TENS) that relaxes the jaw muscles and the use of a Diagnostic Neuromuscular Orthotic that is used to correct proprioceptive input and maintain relaxed muscle and nerve systems.
The basic premise of Neuromuscular Dentistry is to create a jaw closure path that does not introduce nociception into the trigeminal nervous system. The is initially achieved with the orthotic or orthopedic appliance. The muscles which are relaxed by the ULF-TENS are used to intelligently find the ideal closing point for the mandible that allows the muscles to return to their most relaxed position after function.
This eliminates the negative neurotransmitter storm (referred to as chemical imbalance) which known to trigger and maintain headaches of all types.
The musculoskeletal connection is that as our posture changes so does the relation of our lower to our upper jaw. The musculoskeletal dentist must adapt the diagnostic orthotic to match healing that occurs in the patient. The reason a diagnostic orthotic is utilized initially is to allow time for healing.
Substantial Pain relief, muscle and joint stabilization, and creating a healing environment for the masticatory muscles and trigeminal nervous system must precede more extensive treatment.
The use of Spenopalatine Ganglion Blocks allows more astute neuromuscular dentists to correct the problems in the autonomic nervous system as well. This system creates anxiety, worry and depression but also controls the automatic functions of the body like digestion, blood pressure and heart rate. The Fight or Flight response is invoked when we face immediate danger and our body ramps up to fight of a predator or danger or run like hell.
It stimulates our Sympathetic Nervous System that floods our muscls and brain with blood and shuts off our gut. It speeds up our heart and increases blood pressure. If we just came face to face with a Grizzly Bear we are prepared to take action.
If these same changes take place and we are at work, school, at home parenting this Sympathetic overflow becomes an enormous stressor. The adrenaline flowing thru our veins want us to act and act now but society oes not allow it.
This creates excess strains on the musculoskeletal system exposing underlying flaws which result in pain. It may creat anxiety or panic attacks in others.
The Spenopalatine Ganglion Block is a autonomic block that turns off this build up to explosive conditions. It would not be needed if we fought the bear and won or ran like hell and escaped but living life in todays society often means living with stresses that adversely alter out autonomic nervous system. The SPG Block allows us to restore balance to the sympathetic and parasympathetic parts of this autonomic system to create a healthy space for healing. Everyone living in chronic pain is also living with a out of balance autonomic nervous system. Pain and escape from pain are both strong sympathetic nervous system stimulants.
To best understand how Neuromuscular Dentistry works and the role of Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks I suggest you listen to these patients and understand what they say about their pain.
The first patient is Karen who has lived in costant pain for nine years and after spending a week at Mayo Clinic was told there was NO HOPE and she needed to accept that fact. Imagine how your Sympathetic System reacts when you are told learn to live like this, there is no hope. The second video is after she received a SPG Block but is already practically pain free on a daily basis.
The third video is a physician who had excellent dental work but until balance was achieved was still suffering. After one day he felt 85-90% relief.
Additional videos are found on my you tube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk9Bfz6pklC7_UluWFHzLrg
Neuromuscular Dentistry combined with SPG Blocks may be your answer to problems you deal with daily. Contact us for more information on Chronic Migraine Relief, SUNCT relief, Tension headache relief, chronic head and neck pain and of course TMJ Disorders a frequent underlying cause of all of these disorders.