Migraine headaches are a huge problem with 30,000,000+ people in the United States suffering from them. There are many causes for migraine headaches, but the three main categories are
Dietary causes relate to foods people eat that did not agree with them and can trigger a migraine.
The second is environmental. When people are around certain things that they may smell or come into contact with, it may have a toxic effect on their body that can trigger a migraine headache.
Third is physical. Brain vessel abnormalities or neoplasms are in the mix but are undoubtedly rare. Certain activities that we do or overdo may cause headaches. Also listed in this group of physical problems is stress. Very nebulous, how can stress cause headaches? People are subjected to stress more and more, it’s overwhelming, and it’s everywhere, but how does the stress cause a headache?
My Struggle with Migraine Headaches
I have been a practicing dentist for over 40 years. More than 30 years ago, I developed a problem with severe migraine headaches. They began to cluster and were occurring two or three days in a row. I had no idea what could be causing this problem and was worried. I went to the hospital and had an MRI done, and they could not find a reason for the problem. I was not aware that I might be clenching or grinding my teeth, and I had no pain in my jaws or teeth.
The Problem of Clenching and Grinding
How can clenching the muscles in the jaw cause pain in the neck or shoulders and headaches? I call this phenomenon musculoskeletal reflex balancing, and I have experienced this in other areas of my body. For example, I pulled some cartilage in my rib cage one morning, and by the end of the day, the pain had traveled 180° to my back, right in back of the injury.
Conversely, in another incident, I injured my back, and the next morning I had a muscle spasm, a counterbalancing spasm in my abdomen, and popped a muscle there. If you clench or grind your jaw muscles hard enough, you will get a reflex balancing, triggering shoulder and neck muscle contraction, and even headaches.
Looking For Relief
As a result of this experience, I became very interested in the subject and took numerous courses to study Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome pain and joint pathology. I began to investigate the various types of appliances and guards that were meant to help with problems related to joint pain and jaw pain.
The standard dentist-provided guard is a horseshoe device made for the upper or lower teeth covering back to the last tooth. I then began investigating a device called the Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition (NTI). This is a tiny device covering only the front two or three teeth. It can be fitted on the upper front teeth or the lower front teeth and has a bar or ramp which hits the mid-line of the opposite teeth.
I found that this is the only device that has FDA approval for the treatment of migraine headaches. In fact, one study they did showed 80+ percent of migraine headache sufferers had improvement when wearing their device. This device, however, has to be made by a dentist and can cost hundreds of dollars.
Designing a Solution to the Problem
After experiencing pain in my left TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint), I decided to design a mouth guard to prevent my teeth from clenching and grinding. Not only did it help with the pain in my jaw, but it also seemed to prevent the headaches and stopped the shoulder and neck pain I was experiencing.
Over the last several years, I have been working on a device called GrindReliefN. This device uses the mechanism of anterior mid-line focus to relax the muscles. However, instead of just hitting the upper or lower mid-line, it hits both at the same time. Therefore, it has double the mechanism of action. Also, this device is slightly larger than the NTI covering up to the bicuspid area.
It is sold online and now in some retail outlets at a fraction of the cost of the NTI. The patient can form it at home with the aid of online video instructions. We have numerous testimonies about how this device has saved people the pain and suffering of the shoulder, neck pain, and migraine headaches when nothing else has worked. If you’re sick of the pain and medications treating this pain, maybe it’s time to try the best mouth guard for clenching and grinding your teeth.