Tension headache and Migraine therapy

Tension headaches are incredibly common and most people will have experienced one at some point. However some people get headaches much more frequently and occasionally get migraines.

Migraines are much more complex and the label of “migraine” is often a diagnosis of exclusion. This is often given when no actual or obvious cause can be found. Much research has been done on migraines and as yet there is no single hypothesis of how migraines are caused that applies to even most sufferers.

The reality is neither headaches and migraines are a symptom and it is unlikely that any single cause will be found. This is because like many human conditions that present with a symptom they are likely to be caused by multiple factors. This means that it is unlikely there is  single cure or treatment for these conditions.

In the UK the most common treatments for both headaches and migraines are drugs. These are either prescribed or over the counter remedies. Some of the prescribed drugs have a significant muscle relaxant properties. For chronic headache and migraine sufferers these often work very well and provide significant symptomatic relief… for as long as the patient keeps taking the drugs.

At Hello Dental we have an alternative solution for headache and migraine sufferers that may be able to help.

We know a lot of headaches and migraine pain is caused by our chewing muscles being overworked and going into spasm. This then presents itself as a “tension headache”. It is a well known that some people when under stress (even “normal” levels of stress) or even just concentrating or mulling over tasks, will often clench or grid their teeth together. Often this is done at night and classically some people wake up with morning headaches or feeling groggy and tired, even if they have had more than adequate sleep.

A lot of these people will also damage and wear their teeth over time. This clenching and grinding is called bruxism.

Our solution is a simple plastic device called a splint. For pain symptoms in particular we use a splint called the NTI splint which has been licenced by the FDA in the US for the prevention of headache and migraines caused by clenching. In order to get this clearance the standard of research that has to be submitted and evaluated is very high.

While it is not a cure as such but it will significantly reduce the pain events and intensity. It will control the symptoms so you can function normally and wake up feeling a lot more refreshed. Each patient is different and the response varies and the device has to be adjusted and customised to your particular condition.

The NTI splint is not without its critics but in the hands of an experienced practitioner the splint can be life changing. Dr. Neel Sanghavi and has been fitting them for over 8 years now (and uses one himself!). His experience at fitting and adjusting the splints means he is able to diagnose the particular headaches and migraine that will respond well to the splint.

IF you are not sure please call us for a free consult and we will be able to tell you if the splint is likely to help reduce your headache or migraine intensity.