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Mystery Migraines


By: Karim El-Samra, DMD – Montreal Times

Statistics have shown that about 8% of Canadians suffer from migraines. A new report released by the World Health Organization states that headache disorders, including migraine and tension-type headache, are among the most prevalent disorders of mankind.

Well, we don’t really need statistics or reports to be aware that this is a major problem in our society and in the world. Could the solution be so simple and so close that it is literally right under your nose?

Causes of headaches and migraines can be numerous. In a 2000 study that Dr Alain Aubé, TMJ and occlusion disorder expert, performed with the neurologist Dr Jacques Meloche of the Migraine Clinic, it was demonstrated that a dental equilibration reduced headaches and migraines in the order of 80 percent in frequency and intensity.

It goes without saying that every recurrent headache or migraine requires a medical investigation first. When your doctor declares that there is no evident medical cause for your headaches or migraines, then I recommend a consultation with your local occlusion and TMJ expert to see if your bite is at cause.

You see, your jaw joint is shaped like a ball and socket. There is only one position in which it can be stable and withstand the extreme pressure your muscles can apply to it while biting and that is when it is seated in its socket. In an ideal situation, all your teeth should contact simultaneously with equal intensity when both jaw joints are seated in that specific stable position. In over 96 percent of people, this is not the case.

As a matter of fact, when I guide most people’s jaw joints in their seated position (this is done gently and painlessly), only two teeth contact, usually the second molars; that is called an interference. Those teeth then force the joints out of their stable positions, in order for all the teeth to bite together. This disharmony between the jaw joints and teeth is responsible for a whole list of problems, including:

Tooth grinding and worn down teeth
Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
Uncomfortable dentures
Loose teeth
Dental fractures
Orthodontic relapse
Gingival recession
Jaw pain neck pain

and, you guessed it, headaches and migraines.

Expert in occlusion and TMJ disorders have grouped these problems into one category that they  properly named “Occlusal Disease”. Many schools of thought have come up with different definitions and treatments. Dr Alain Aubé’s work combines Dr Peter Dawson’s sound principles of occlusion with Dr Marc Piper’s expertise on TMJ pathology. In other words, the protocols he applies are a result of sound scientific principles and takes all factors into consideration when treating patients with occlusal disease safely and effectively. These treatments are non-invasive, painless and predictable.

As a general dentist with certification in occlusion and TMJ treatment from Dr Aubé’s “Institut Canadian d’Occlusion”, I have the deep satisfaction of helping people to stop suffering from these and other problems of the masticatory system. So if you or anyone you know is suffering from mystery headaches or migraines, chances are we will be able to help get down to the root cause safely and effectively.

Karim El-Samra, DMD
D Dental Office,
3700 Sources Boul. Suite 210

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