NTI and TMJ:Problems and Complications

The NTI appliance which is a highly marketed appliance which is touted to relieve migranes and other TMJ pain related problems.  It has been around for somtime now and is a small piece of acrylic that is fabricated to fit over the upper or lower front teeth only. No back teeth touch and the appliance usually only goes over 2 or 4 front teeth.  It is stated to work by maintaining relaxation of the temporalis muscles. The appliance has worked for some patients and they like the small size. However, due to the design of the appliance there are some major problems that occur with some patients. The photo above exhibits intrusion of the front teeth from wearing an NTI applaince for 9 months.  This is called an open bite. Look at the gap between the upper and lower front teeth.  This is a serious com;ication as it causes problems and is not easily fixed.  As a Houston TMJ dentist who sees many TMJ cases per month, this is not the first case of complications that I have seen from NTI appliances.  In all fairness, I have seen some NTI wearers who have not had these issues.  I hope this article does help to raise the awareness of these complications from the NTI appliances and that patients that are using them be certain to observe and monitor the way the front teeth meet.  Additonally, it seems prudent that if dentists want to use the NTI on their patients to advise them of the possibilty of this issue and have them be aware of these changes to their bite that might be irreversible. If you have any questions about Houston TMJ pain or TMJ treatment, or Houston Cosmetic Dentistry,  please do not hesitate to contact our office as we welcome your questions.  Ronald W.Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, 713-668-2289

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