Neurological symptoms – Treatment planning for dentists

August 9, 2013

In this next post, I’m going to chat briefly about neurological symptoms and why they are so important in dentistry.  Anyone who has been to one of my seminars will know all about this

Primary neurological symptoms are headaches, migraines and any type of ‘chronic pain’ in the face, head, neck or shoulders.  The pathophysiology is more extensive than I can write here but you MUST get into the habit of asking whether your patients suffer from regular headaches (morning headaches, tension type headaches, chronic headaches or any form of migraine).

The reason why this is so critically important is that neurological symptoms are usually the fall out of parafunction.  Migraines, headaches and jaw problems can often be managed with correct therapy, but if they are present then you must factor this into treatment for long term success.

Whether you are planning for implants, ortho, restorative or even perio then you must understand these symptoms.  The more severe the symptoms, the less extensive dentistry you must do until these symptoms are controlled.  Failure to do so may result in tipping the neurology in favour of central sensitisation syndrome at which point the patients will suffer with these problems forever

My chronic pain and migraine patients have always seen by a doctor or neurologist.  Oftentimes they have been suffering for years and we can make most of them comfortable in a few short weeks or months.  Failure to do this will result in a downward spiral of restorative success.

Occlusion is NOT the answer to managing these symptoms although it may alleviate some of the symptoms (this does not make it the causative factor)


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