Dental mouthpiece could stop headaches


Monday, June 30, 2003

A SCOTTISH dentist believes he may have a cure for migraine and tension head-aches – a thumbnail-size mouthpiece that fits over the two upper front teeth.

The acrylic device helps reduce the intensity of jaw clenching and night-time grinding, which can put up to 1000lb per square inch of pressure on the back teeth and is a known cause of headaches.

The NTI-tss device, invented by Dr James Boyd, an American dentist and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, has been introduced to Scotland by Lloyd Jerome, head of a practice in Glasgow.

Mr Jerome’s initial interest in the device was a personal affair – his wife was the first patient he treated with it.

He said: “Laura has suffered from severe headaches from a very young age, but since she was fitted with an NTI they have all but disappeared.

“It is a simple device to fit and shape to an individual’s front teeth. No impressions are needed, no lab work is necessary and it can be fitted in one visit. It is a painless procedure lasting around 40 minutes.”

He added: “The appliance, worn every night for six weeks, breaks a person’s habit of jaw clenching and grinding teeth . . . the success rate at the moment is around 40%.”

Patient Claire Fowler, 29 from Stepps, near Glasgow, said: “I can’t believe the difference it’s made wearing it overnight. I knew I was grinding my teeth as I had trouble falling asleep and woke every other day with a headache.”

Studies in the US show that patients typically obtain relief from tension headaches in the first week, but with migraines it may take a few weeks. In one trial on patients who averaged two migraines a month, 82% reported a 77% average reduction in migraine frequency.

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