Thursday, March 15, 2007

The "Gentle Dentist" and his philosophy.

I have Google News Alerts set so that I receive emails about news and new blog entries related to Migraine disease. They're generally interesting, and help me learn and stay up-t0-date. There are times, on the other hand, when one of the catches my eye for another reason -- doubting what I'm reading or even the reason someone wrote it in the first place.

Case in point, is a Blog Alert I received about half an hour ago. The title was "Migraine headache treatment," and it led to a blog titled "The Gentle Dentist." The description on the blog reads, "Press Releases and Ask The Dentist Q and A. This particular blog entry is of the Q & A variety, and the question was about Imitrex and the person asking the question having read that "there may be something I can do about it that doesn't involve drugs."

In his response, "The Gentle Dentist" states that, "Medications such as Imitrex have been used to help, but only in about 50% of the cases is there a resolution from the pain." Hmmmmmmm. That figure seemed low to me, so I did a bit of research. According the the University of Maryland, "Unfortunately, recurring headaches with sumatriptan develop within the first 24 hours in 20% to 40% of people who have taken the drug... Studies on the newer agents (triptans) have reported pain relief within two hours in between 60% and 91% of patients." That would seem to contradict the dentist blocker, but let's not go on just one source.

On the American Council for Headache Education site, I found this, "About three-quarters of migraine sufferers will report significant improvement within an hour after taking sumatriptan by injection. One-half to two-thirds will have a good response 2-4 hours after taking the oral form of sumatriptan.

The Gentle Dentist goes on to say, "There is a new dental device that has been approved by the FDA to treat migraine headaches and has been actually shown to be more effective than the medications." He's referring to the NTI-TSS, developed by Dr. Jim Boyd. The NTI device is excellent. However, what the blogger dentist doesn't mention is that it's not for acute treatment, bur for prevention, and is effective for a subset of Migraineurs, those with triggers related to the temperomandibular joint and the effect it can sometimes have on the trigeminal nerve. The main web site for the NTI-TSS device,, states, "In a large percentage of migraine sufferers, the motor root which travels within the conduit of the (sensory) third division is hyperactive, commanding tremendous amounts of potentially damaging activity from the jaw muscles during sleep. This results in a bombardment of noxious (negative) information going back to the sensory nucleus, thereby sensitizing it, making the patient far more susceptible to migraine attacks."

Comments were closed on the Gentle Dentist's blog, so I couldn't leave him a comment there. If I could have, I'd have
  • asked him to check his statistics on the success rate of Imitrex
  • suggested that it was a bit narrow of him to only mention one of many Migraine treatments
  • pointed out that it would be helpful to say that the device is appropriate for a subset of Migraineurs, not all.
But, since he's not open for comments, I'll have to make my comments on my own blog. :-)


The Gentle Dentist can be found on his own blog.

My info on Imitrex success rates came from:

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Daily Headache

UGH! A daily headache or Migraine isn't something I'd wish on anyone. BUT, there is a great blog entitled "The Daily Headache." If you haven't read it, you're missing out on a great blog written informatively and with superb wit and humor.

The so-called "Migraine personality" was debunked years ago. Well, at least that's what I thought. Now, some fools in Italy who call themselves doctors are bringing it up again.

I'm not going to write more on this because Kerrie at The Daily Headache already said what I'd say. So, I'll just suggest that you go read her blog entry. Thanks, Kerrie!