Dr. Shapira's Chicago Headache Blog

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Neuromuscular Dentistry (NMD) and the PPM Mouthguard help the New Orleans Saints win the Superbowl: Headache Treatment is where NMD really shines.

The same Neuromuscular Dentistry that was used to create Pure Power Mouthguards(PPM) to help the New Orleans Saints is what is put into neuromuscular orthotics to treat chronic pain, migraines and tension type headaches. There is a continuous spectrum from total health and ideal function to poor health and function. The PPM mouthguard is trying to improve highly functional athletes with neuromuscular dentistry. Cosmetic dentistry utilizes neuromuscular dentistry to determine ideal jaw position and fuction for ideal cosmetics.

Headache treatment with neuromuscular dentistry is taking patients with pathological input that causes changes to the central nervous system and reducing the nociceptive input. As the pathology is removed the system heals. In medicine the best a doctor can hope for is to remove the impediments to healing so the body can heal itself. This is found in every field of medicine in every culture. We want to allow healing.

The brain acts as a computer noxious stimuli provoke nociceptive input. The expression Garbage in - Garbage out can apply to our brains as well as computers. The trigeminal nerve (Dentist's Nerve) is the largest contributor of input into the brain. This input comes in from jaw muscles, jaw joints, teeth and periodontal membranes. The trigeminal nerve also goes to the ling of the sinuses, tensor of the ear drum (tensor veli tympani), the tensor of the eustacian tube (tensor veli palatini) and controls blood flow to the anterior 2/3 of the brain thru the meninges.

Input into the brain is not a simple single step (like a light switch) but rather a complex menageries of thousands and thousands of switches. Different combinations of these switches can cause different effects. They can change the neurotransmitters in the brain like Serotonin or norepinephrine. These are the same neurotransmitters affected by powerful drugs used to treat pain and depression. Neuromuscular Dentistry strives to bring a healthy homeostasis into this input to allow healing. Central sensitization results when excessive long term nociceptive input wreaks havoc causing conditions like allodynia and hyperalgesia or CRPS (complex Regional Pain Syndromes or RSD, reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome) The body basically becomes overly sensitive to catecholamines or other neurotransmitters. This is usually the result of an I/O or input output error of the nervous system. Neuromuscular Dentistry corrects pathological input allowing healing and correction of output.

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posted by Dr Shapira at 9:49 PM

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