NTI Tension Suppression System
The FDA has cleared for marketing for the first time, a device that prevents medically diagnosed migraine pain, tension-type headache, and jaw disorders ("TMJ"), without drugs or surgery, through the reduction of trigeminally innervated muscular activity.
The N.T.I. Tension Suppression System is a prefabricated polycarbonate matrix that a dental practitioner retro-fits to the patient's teeth. It is completely different from any other type of mouthpiece. Here's the rationale.
Chronic symptoms of the head and neck can often be attributed to:
Headache -- the temporalis muscle (it closes and clenches the jaw)
Sinus pressure and pain -- the lateral pterygoid muscles it moves the jaw side to side and/or forward)
Neck stiffness and pain -- trapezius muscle (it stabilizes the skull during jaw clenching and grinding)
How an NTI-tss works
This is a simple demonstration of the efficacy of the NTI-tss device.
A) Begin by gently biting on the moon portion of your fingernail, using your central incisors. Only be forceful enough to create slight discomfort.
B) Now attempt to use the same amount of force, but this time bite with a canine tooth on the same spot of your fingernail as you did with the central incisors.
What happens? Biting with the canine tooth is suddenly more painful than with the incisors... Why? The incisor teeth are intended to not only incise food, but to be "hardness monitors" of what you're biting into. They are under your control and tell you if something will be to hard to chew.
The canine teeth are designed for grasping and pressing into what it is that you're trying to hold on to (carnivores specifically use the canine teeth for this purpose). The intensity of muscular activity created once the canine teeth have been engaged is under less voluntary control. In fact, the message to the brain is: "We've opened our mouth to grab something and have caught it...hold on!" The contacting of canine teeth encourages jaw clenching!
Dentistry's attempt at dealing with parafunctional jaw muscle activity (the most destructive of which is jaw clenching) has been to provide alterations of the biting surfaces of the teeth.
The NTI-tss device (left) reduces clenching intensity by exploiting the mechanisms of the incisor teeth and by preventing the engagement of the canine and molar teeth when the jaw is centered (A), and when it is in excursive positions (B).