Preventing Migraine Pain

Understanding the Migraine: A Disorder of the Trigeminal Nerve

The Trigeminal Nerve gets its name from its three sensory divisions:

  1. Opthalmic transmits sensations from around eyes, forehead, scalp, and surface arteries of the brain
  2. Maxillary (upper jaw and sinuses)
  3. Mandibular (lower jaw) providing sensations from everything below the cheekbone, including teeth, lips, gums, and the jaw joint.

The third division of the Trigeminal Nerve also transmits motor instructions to the jaw muscles. Necessary jaw muscle contraction intensity is regulated by the resistance encountered (or the hardness of food).

In migraine, the main center for sensation reception (called the “sensory nucleus”) has somehow become hyper-sensitized, responding unfavorably to normal outside stimuli (termed “dysmodulation”).

An example of “sensory dysmodulation” is the response to certain stimuli (commonly known as “triggers”) with illicit neuropeptide secretions that irritate and inflame arteries surrounding the brain (via the first division of the trigeminal, resulting in migraine pain) and within the sinuses (via the second division, resulting in pain, stuffiness and discharge, or “sinus headache”).

Migraine Doctors and Migraine Specialist often overlook the third cause:

Until recently, the third division had been ignored as a potential contributing factor in migraine headaches.

For many migraine sufferers, the motor root which travels within the same conduit as the third division is hyperactive during certain stages of sleep, commanding tremendous amounts of potentially damaging activity from the jaw muscles. This is called “para function”. 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.

NJ, NY Migraine Doctor Mike Pilar is a Migraine Specialist with Programs Built to Identify and Solve the Problem.

During uncontrolled nocturnal parafunction (jaw-clenching, either in a centered or a sideways-shifted position), massive amounts of noxious input (nociception) bombards the trigeminal sensory nucleus.

Help with Controlling Parafunction

By keeping the molar and canine teeth from touching (thereby minimizing the intensity of muscle contraction intensity) while minimizing the degree of condylar rotation (jaw opening) during the parafunctional events, nociception to the trigeminal is inhibited (therefore, it is not the presence of incisor or front tooth contact that is therapeutic, but the absence of posterior and/or canine contact).

The (Pilar type NTI mouth guard) device was designed to reduce trigeminal motor hyperactivity and the resulting noxious afferent bombardment to the trigeminal sensory nucleus, thereby reducing dysmodulation.

While touching the muscles of your temples, bite down on a wooden pencil with your back teeth as hard as you can. You’ll feel the muscles bulge as it intensely contracts. Now compare to when biting on the pencil with your front teeth only. That’s how the (Pilar type NTI mouth guard) device works.

Doctor Pilar: Migraine Specialist New York and New Jersey

Reference: “Migraine: A Disorder of the Trigeminal Nerve” can be found on