No more migraines

03 September 2007 . Posted by Cameron in Smile Stories

Danielle Dixon, a young marine biologist, came to our practice to see if there was anything we could do to help alleviate the migraines and jaw problems that had plagued her since childhood. They’d become so severe of late that her GP had referred her to an oral surgeon, who recommended surgery.

From sixth grade, Danielle had suffered from what she described as “wicked headaches” – migraines with vomiting. She had undergone a myriad of medical tests, which had failed to identify any illness or tumours. Ultimately, she had to deal with the pain using medication.

In ninth grade, Danielle was involved in a car accident. She sustained head injuries and suffered subsequent jaw dislocation and seizures. The migraines became so severe she was taking up to 20 painkillers a day and was occasionally hospitalised. Some years later, Danielle was involved in a second car accident, further exacerbating her headaches. From time to time, her jaw would lock open.

Danielle is currently researching clown fish for her masters degree in marine biology. As a result of her studies, she spends a lot of her time underwater, kitted out with scuba-diving gear. Danielle was finding it increasingly difficult to hold the regulator in her mouth and stay underwater for extended periods.

Her research had taken her to Papua New Guinea, and she was terrified of being stuck in PNG’s jungles with her jaw locked open!

Danielle had heard about the work we’ve been doing with neuromuscular dentistry. She thought she’d give us a go before facing the surgeon’s knife. Using a computer system that creates a 3D analysis of the jaw, we measured Danielle’s jaw muscle activity and digitally tracked the movement of her jaw. This enabled us to identify Danielle’s ideal jaw position. We then made an orthotic to temporarily adjust her bite. Danielle noticed an improvement immediately.

Only 10 weeks later, she was totally symptom-free. No headaches. No jaw dislocation. And no medication.

Today, Danielle is happily diving again, completing her masters research. She couldn’t thank us enough for getting her work back on track and putting the smile back on her face.