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A MOUTH GUARD FOR MIGRAINES

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by Alison Hogan

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    A new mouthpiece, worn at night over the two front teeth, may ease migraine pain in children.

 The Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition Tension Suppression System (NTI-tss) device, showed a 77 percent reduction in migraine events within the first eight weeks of use among 82 percent of sufferers in trials.

   The device works on the concept that nocturnal teeth clenching (TMJ and even grinding your teeth) is a significant trigger for a migraine headache. The plastic mouth guard fits over the two front teeth — effectively preventing the back teeth from clenching. When we clench our back teeth, it excites the muscles around your temples; it is these muscles (specifically the trigeminal nerve) that have been found to be a significant cause of migraine headaches.

   San Diego dentist and long-time migraine sufferer Dr. James Boyd, who developed the product, says, "Medication simply addresses the symptoms. I felt it was important to disrupt the activity that was causing the symptoms, which meant suppressing the clenching during sleep."

   The device must be fitted by a dentist and costs $500-$600. For a list of dentists who carry the device, go to: www.headacheprevention.com.


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