Tension Suppression System (NTI-TSS)

Willowdaile Family Dentistry is proud to offer the latest advancement in dentistry for the prevention and cure of headaches through the use of the NTI-TSS appliance, a type of occlusal guard. The explanation below will help you better understand how the appliance works.

Chronic symptoms of the head and neck can often be attributed to:

  • Headache and the temporalis muscle (which closes the jaw)
  • Sinus pressure / pain and the lateral pterygoid muscle (which moves the jaw laterally)
  • Neck stiffness and pain and the trapezius (which stabilizes the skull during jaw closure)

Contraction of the lateral pterygoid (A, above) simply moves the jaw sideways (or if both contract, front wards). If the temporalis (B, above) contracts simultaneously (clenching), the intensity of the temporalis contraction dictates the degree of resistance the lateral pterygoids encounter when they attempt to move the jaw sideways.

As temporalis contraction intensity increases, the lateral pterygoids must work harder, creating symptoms where the muscle is attached (the TM joint and sinuses), and obligating the trapezius to maintain a tightened posture (stiff and sore neck).

When there is temporalis contraction exclusively (no lateral activity), the jaw joint and sinuses are less strained, while resultant temporalis pain may be considerable. Tension-type headache patients without jaw disorders clench their jaws 14 times more intensely while sleeping than do asymptomatic controls (above).

A traditional dental mouthpiece, or splint, reduces the resistance to side-to-side movement, thereby reducing the effort and resultant strain to the jaw joint and sinuses (above, left). The same splint also provides an ideal clenching surface. The temporalis can be felt contracting (it will bulge slightly) when clenching with or without a splint.

An object placed in the mouth on the front teeth (as a pencil), reduces the temporalis’ contraction intensity by at least 66%.  An “Anterior Midline Point Stop” (AMPS) with specific modifications can prevent the temporalis contraction intensity, thereby treating and preventing: chronic headache, TMJ problems, sinuses signs and symptoms, and stiff and sore neck.

The N.T.I. Tension Suppression System is a prefabricated poly-carbonate matrix that a dental practitioner retro-fits to the patient’s teeth (not exclusive to the upper teeth, above is just one example). If you have suffered with stress headaches, come in and let Willowdaile Family Dentistry in Durham, NC fit you for an N.T.I. today!