Headache Prevention: The NTI-tss had been FDA approved for migraine prevention.
How an NTI-tss works
This is a simple demonstration of the efficacy of the NTI-tss device.
A) Begin by gently biting on the moon portion of your fingernail, using your central incisors. Only be forceful enough to create slight discomfort.
B) Now attempt to use the same amount of force, but this time bite with a canine tooth on the same spot of your fingernail as you did with the central incisors.
What happens? Biting with the canine tooth is suddenly more painful than with the incisors... Why?
The incisor teeth are intended to not only incise food, but to be "hardness monitors" of what you're biting into. They are under your control and tell you if something will be to hard to chew.
The canine teeth are designed for grasping and pressing into what it is that you're trying to hold on to (carnivores specifically use the canine teeth for this purpose). The intensity of muscular activity created once the canine teeth have been engaged is under less voluntary control. In fact, the message to the brain is: "We've opened our mouth to grab something and have caught it...hold on!" The contacting of canine teeth encourages jaw clenching!
Dentistry's attempt at dealing with parafunctional jaw muscle activity (the most destructive of which is jaw clenching) has been to provide alterations of the biting surfaces of the teeth.
1) A full coverage splint, usually a thickness which mimics the intended space between the teeth when the jaw musculature is supposed to be at rest, provides both canine and posterior teeth contact, thereby allowing for perpetuation of parafunctional (nighttime clenching) muscular activity.
2) By increasing the thickness of the splint, clenching intensity may be altered, depending on the amount of pressure applied to particular teeth. If contacts are "heavier" in the molar region, clenching intensity can be suppressed slightly. If contacting is prevalent in the canine region, clenching is reflexive and perpetuates.
3) An anterior bite plane reduces parafunctional intensity of the masseters (the muscles on the sides of your jaw, primarily involved in chewing, not clenching), and to a degree, the lateral pterygoids (the tiny muscles at your jaw joints that open your jaw), but still provides canine contact for temporalis clenching.
The NTI-tss device (above) reduces clenching intensity by exploiting the mechanisms of the incisor teeth and by preventing the engagement of the canine and molar teeth when the jaw is centered (A), and when it is in excursive positions (B).