Today I read a facebook post about a seven year old boy with Migraines. He had been treated with propranolol for 3 months and was now totally disinterested in food, also the migraines hadn’t improved. This bothered me enough to write this short post.
According to the Migraine Trust:
“There is no actual test to diagnose migraine. Diagnosis will depend upon your doctor taking your medical history and ruling out other causes for the attacks. To make a firm diagnosis, information from two sources will be used:
- A detailed history of the headaches and/or other symptoms is taken. This history includes analysing:
- The features of the headaches (for example, how often they happen, how severe the pain is, what symptoms go with them);
- The effect the headaches have on your everyday activities;
- The family history of headaches.
- A thorough examination is carried out, including a complete neurological assessment.
Migraine is an inherited tendency to have headaches with sensory disturbance. It’s an instability in the way the brain deals with incoming sensory information, and that instability can become influenced by physiological changes like sleep, exercise and hunger.”
This statement refers to physiological changes, however when I read treatment, I don’t see any mention of a visit to the dentist. Yet in dentistry it has been found that changes in the bite cause pathophysiological changes in both soma and psyche. If the teeth, jaws, head and neck structure aren’t observed then there is a piece missing from the puzzle and the diagnosis incomplete on the grounds that not all the facts are present. While this may not lead to a misdiagnosis it may lead to a treatment option not being offered.
I’m not saying that dentistry can cure migraine headaches. What I can say anecdotally, is that I have treated many patients diagnosed with migraine and once the correct dental treatment is initiated, the migrainous symptoms either start to materialise but come to nothing or they disappear completely, as the imbalance in the bite is corrected and the physiological changes normalised.
We can also take a look at the link between Chiropractic and dentistry. Especially the SOT practitioners who look at the cranial structure and understand that if it doesn’t function correctly, the rest of the body goes into dysfunction. Along with Cranial Osteopaths, Cranial Physiotherapists and Craniopaths, they understand the relationship between the teeth, the jaws, the skull and the cervical spine. Working together many problems that have so far been treated with great difficulty become less complex and manageable.
Migraine appears to be a multidisciplinary problem and so all avenues should be explored in finding a treatment method that will help relieve the pain and suffering that is so debilitating for patients suffering this condition. While drugs may have their place surely we need to look at the obvious first, even if it isn’t so obvious!