Eight out of ten people in the UK are affected by bruxism – an involuntary grinding of the teeth and clenching of the jaw which leads to loss of tooth enamel, jaw pain and in the most severe cases painful migraines.
To date, there has been lack of research into treatment for the effects of bruxism with many relying on a concoction of pills which do little to ease sufferer’s pain.
Now, an Edinburgh based dentist and physiotherapist with a special interest in the relief of migraines have combine their expertise to offer a solution to the painful migraine and headache symptoms related to bruxism.
Recognising that over 75% of migraine sufferers notice a significant reduction in their symptoms following reduced stress in face and neck muscles, cosmetic dentist Dr Biju Krishnan and leading physiotherapist Kirsten Lord have created an innovative Migraine Relief Clinic.
The clinic promises pill free treatment, offering patients an affordable package of treatments which take the pressure off the ‘migraine’ nerve.
The programme involves physiotherapy treatments to release the muscles which may be involved in triggering a migraine attack, as well as fitting a specific and discrete dental splint (the ‘NTI’ Splint) which reduces teeth grinding – a major contributory factor in head pain.
This mix of treatments is proven to reduce migraine, headache and jaw pain.
“Not only can drugs have side effects, but it’s a real problem for sufferers when they are pregnant or taking other medications which migraine tablets may react with.
“Most people are surprised to discover that quite often the root of the pain is actually related to their teeth, neck and facial muscles.
“Treatments are given to address the specific combination of problems which each patient suffers from and the results can be amazing.”
Figures released by leading charity Migraine Action suggest that one in seven people in the UK suffer from migraines. However, a large number are unaware that stress, jaw clenching, anxiety and teeth grinding related to Bruxism can be the actual source of pain.
The jaw joint found in front of the ear – also known as the TMJ – can spark a migraine through the common nerve supply it shares with the head. Pain here can tighten muscles in the face which in turn, place pressure on the nerves passing through them. This pressure traps and irritates nerves which supply the head and face, leading to pain in these areas.
In addition, migraines can be caused by teeth grinding during sleep which may often be brought about by anxiety or stress- statistics show that up to 48% of migraines occur on waking, often as a result of bruxing whilst sleeping.
Dr Krishnan, dentist and owner of Lubiju, said his dental treatment – which includes fitting a splint on the teeth – works to reduce the forces of grinding and minimise tooth damage.
He added: “Studies have shown that the NTI splint which we use decreases stress in the jaw and can reduce migraine pain attacks by up to 75 per cent in 75 per cent of its users.
“Furthermore it’s the only appliance that has passed the rigorous testing of the Food and Drugs Agency (FDA) in the USA and has been approved for the prevention of medically diagnosed migraine pain.
“It’s a small dental mouthpiece worn at night that fits securely on either the upper or lower front teeth. Dental splints can improve the TMJ’s position and reduce stress in the jaw.
“Not only is the splint a successful treatment for migraines, it can also prevent tooth damage and in some patients has been shown to reduce problems associated with snoring.”
Dr Krishnan, who founded Lubiju in early 2009, has focused on adopting and developing emerging techniques in cosmetic dentistry. Lubiju offers two plush consultation rooms and three state of the art treatment suites in his Edinburgh clinic, as well as an exclusive practice in Harley Street, London.
Kirsten Lord, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the business, runs the three physiotherapy centres in central Edinburgh and Glasgow and her expert physiotherapists are all trained in specific migraine reduction techniques.
The package of treatment for the Migraine Relief Clinic costs £450 which includes three physiotherapy sessions at the Edinburgh or Glasgow Physiotherapy Centres and the fitting of the NTI splint at Lubiju.
Kirsten added: “We first assess you to find the specific muscles and joints which tether your nerves then release them using manual techniques. We also explain what the problems are and what we need to do to fix them.
“Reducing stress and improving ergonomics eases the tension and tone in the muscles and simple advice, such as not using chewing gum, will keep your muscles loose. Our aim is to give you a long term relief of pain.”