For people who suffer with migraines, the problem seems to impact many aspects of work, life at home, and interaction with friends and family. Like any chronic pain (pain that has a consistent presence), migraines are among the top 20 disabling illnesses, according to the World Health Organization.
June is Migraine Awareness Month. This is a good time to consider the causes and treatment for a health issue that affects about 12% of the population and costs more than $20 billion a year in medical expenses and lost productivity from work.
Let’s first look at the symptoms that make for a true migraine: pain that causes you to miss work or other activities; head pain that lasts longer than 4 hours; pain that seems unbearable; being sensitive to light, odors and/or noise; pain that causes nausea or vomiting; throbbing head pain that is often located on one side of the head; and, pain that seems to worsen with any movement or physical activity.
While there is no ‘cure’ for migraines, they can be resolved by finding their origin and making proper adjustments. Rather than throw drugs or unending therapy at the problem, migraine pain may be stopped in its tracks by a dentist trained in NeuroMuscular Dentistry.
A NeuroMuscular Dentist has extensive training in the complex integration of head and neck muscles, jaw joint alignment, facial structure and muscles, bite alignment and the harmonious function necessary for all components. Without unity in function, stress and strain, over time, can evolve into reactions such as frequent headaches and migraines.
This source of migraine pain actually makes perfect sense, although many sufferers never associate their problem with muscular strain or jaw joints. Yet, when you consider the imbalance that can result, it is a logical solution for many.
Think about it – if one leg is shorter than the other, you may not be aware of the stress this creates for the hip joints or back muscles. Eventually, lower back pain or pain in the hip joints or knees may seem to emerge out of nowhere. Although your body had altered your gait for many years, the wear and tear will make its presence known over time.
We often see migraine sufferers who’ve spent years, and thousands of dollars, going from doctor to doctor seeking relief. Yet, using sophisticated diagnostic equipment and a unique understanding of the culprits that contribute to migraines, we often pinpoint the cause of migraines in one visit.
Occasionally, the solution is as simple as minor tooth reshaping to adjust bite alignment. In some cases, adjusting crown height or replacing improperly positioned dental restorations can solve the problem. Some patients need orthodontic realignment to adequately correct the disparity in bite alignment, which leads to jaw joint disorders and muscle strain.
We had one patient who traveled from North Carolina to seek successful treatment after enduring a decade of debilitating migraines. A day of testing revealed the problem, which was fully resolved within two weeks. I’ll always remember her words after treatment, “I woke up the next day without a headache for the first time in ten years. “
As a dentist, creating a better life for every patient is the most satisfying part of each day. I am just as pleased as our patients, whether it’s replacing lost teeth so an elderly man can eat comfortably again, creating a beautiful smile that reflects a mother-of-the-bride’s inner beauty, or helping a long-time migraine sufferer overcome chronic pain attributable to NeuroMuscular components.
If you suffer from migraines, you may have been prescribed medications that are costly and leave you drowsy and foggy. Or, you may be spending hours each month having physical therapy that provides only temporary relief. However, the solution may be just a phone call away – to a NeuroMuscular dentist!
Begin with a free consultation. During this time, we’ll discuss your headache and migraine history. I’ll explain our diagnosis process and answer your questions thoroughly so you can decide how you wish to proceed. Although NeuroMuscular dentistry is not the solution for every migraine sufferer, it IS the final step for the majority of patients we’ve seen in overcoming frequent headaches and debilitating migraines – for good!
Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule your free consultation.