While migraines, tension headaches, teeth grinding/clenching and TMJ/TMD problems are all separate conditions, they can all bring misery to the people who suffer from them. Now, science is discovering that there is a common culprit for many cases of these and other conditions: the trigeminal nerve system.

The trigeminal nerve system is responsible for interpreting sensory input from your head, behind your eyes and your upper and lower jaw. All of these nerves feed into one central nerve cluster – the Sensory Nucleus. When this nerve center malfunctions, it can cause your brain to interpret sensory signals from these affected areas to be misinterpreted – causing your brain to respond inappropriately. For example, the simple change in blood pressure around your brain during a heartbeat can be interpreted as a “pounding” sensation, or the input of bright light can illicit a painful response.

While it is not currently known why or how the trigeminal nerve system malfunctions (and indeed it could be different among many cases), what is helpful for nearly everyone who suffers from any of these conditions is to minimize the sensory input to the Sensory Nucleus.

To do this, scientists have formed the NTI device. The NTI device is a dental mouthpiece that must be created and customized with the assistance of a dental professional. The mouthpiece attaches either to the top of bottom teeth, and is custom-designed to position your teeth in a perfect “rest” position – one where the trigeminal nerves are neither reporting signals from your teeth touching (which also leads to grinding/clenching), nor where your mouth is perceived as “open”, causing your temporomandibular nerves to report to the Sensory Nucleus (also a cause of TMD symptoms). This way, sensory input from the trigeminal nerve system is minimized, and the frequency and intensity of the associated conditions is minimized as well.

If you’d like to know more about the NTI device or whether it may help you with any conditions you may suffer from such as migraines, schedule a consultation with us.