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Friday, January 8, 2010

Neuromuscular Dentistry Relieves Headaches

Neuromuscular Dentistry is a powerful resource for treating chronic headaches and TMJ disorders. It works by correcting abnormal balance in how the muscles of the head and neck function. It also has an enormous effect on the trigeminal nervous system. This is extremely important because the trigeminal nerve is responsible for the majority of migraines, Chronic daily headaches, Episodic Tension-Type Headaches as well as sinus headaches and facial pain.

There is often a classification of vascular headaches versus muscular headaches but this is actually not always appropriate. When there is a disturbance to the trigeminal nervous system it can lead to drastic vascular effects that leads to migraines and/or cluster headaches.

The importance of the Trigeminal Nerve is easily understood with a brief lesson in neuroanatomy. 20% of the input to the brain comes from the spinal cord. The other 80% of input to the brain comes from twelve sets of cranial nerves. These nerves include the occular nerve that is responsible for sight and the nerves responsible for eye movement, the olfactory nerve that is responsible for our sense of smell, the acoustic nerve that is responsible for hearing and balance and the Vagus nerve that controls our gut.

The fifth cranial nerve is the Trigeminal Nerve and it makes up almost 70% of the input frpm the 12 cranial nerves or more tham half the total input to the brain. The trigeminal nerve is the dentist's nerve and it can have enormous effects.

This single nerve goes to the jaw muscles, the jaw joints (TMJ), the teeth, the periodontal ligaments that connect the teeth to the jaw bone and to anterior 2/3 of the tongue. The trigeminal nerve also controls the blood flow to the anterior 2/3 of the brain, the tensor of the ear drum, the tensor of the soft palate that controls the eustacian tube, the lining of the sinuses and several connections to te autonomic nervous system. Again this is over half of the total input to the brain.

The control of blood flow to the brain by the trigeminal nerve explains why migraines and cluster headaches can be helped with neuromuscular dentistry.

The innervation to the sinus membranes explains why neuromuscular dentistry can help sinus headaches and chronic congestion often blamed on allergies.

The tensor of the ear drum explains why tinnitus is often relieved by neuromuscular dentistry.

The tensor palatine explains why swallowing disorders and eustacian tube dysfunction (including pressure in the ears, ear pain)

The symptoms related to the trigeminal nerve are outlined in two articles in Sleep and Health Journal:


NEUROMUSCULAR DENTISTRY (originally published in the American Equilibration Society magazine)

Dr Shapira treats patients with Headaches, Sleep Apnea and TMJ disorders from across Illinois and Southern Wiscnsin including Gurnee, Libertyville,Vernon Hills, Lake Forest, Highland Park, Deerfield, Antioch, Barrington, Schaumburg, Chicago, Arlington Heights, Lake Bluff and Kenosha.

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posted by Dr Shapira at 4:14 AM

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