Why is Pain in the Face and Head Worse than the Rest of the Body?

Researchers have found why pain from the head and face can be more disruptive, and emotionally draining than pain in other parts of the body. The researchers found that sensory neurons from the head and face are wired directly into the brain’s principal emotional signaling hubs, while sensory neurons from elsewhere in the body are connected only indirectly to this hub. People consistently rate pain of the head and face as more disruptive and emotionally draining than pain in other parts of the body. The results may help lead toward more effective treatments for pain mediated by the craniofacial nerve, including chronic headaches and neuropathic face pain. Usually doctors focus on treating the sensation of pain, but this work demonstrates that doctors need to also treat the emotional aspects of pain. Pain signals from the head and face compared to those … Read more

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may help with Alzheimer’s disease

A study by researchers at Tel Aviv University shows that hyperbaric oxygen treatments may help improve symptoms by patients who have Alzheimer’s disease. Putting someone in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber has been shown in the past to be extremely effective in treating wounds slow to heal. Professional sports athletes, including even Lebron James, have used hyperbaric oxygen chambers to help them better perform in their respective sports. See http://www.slamonline.com/media/slam-tv/lebron-james-recharges-hyperbaric-chamber/. The researchers have shown for the first time that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can actually improve the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease and even correct behavioral deficits associated with the disease. Patients who undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy breathe in pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber. In the chamber, the air pressure is increased to twice that of normal air. When this occurs, oxygen solubility in the blood increases and is transported by … Read more

Prevent cavities in sensitive teeth

People with sensitive teeth know that taking a sip of an ice cold drink can cause a painful jolt in the mouth. There are different approaches to treat this condition but the treatment usually does not last very long. Research appearing in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces shows the development of a new material with an extract from green tea that can help treat sensitive teeth and even help prevent cavities. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the protective layers of teeth are worn away and exposing the bony tissue called dentin. Dentin contains microscopic hollow tubes which allow hot and cold liquids and food to contact the underlying nerve endings in the teeth leading to pain. Unprotected dentin is vulnerable to having cavities form around it. Placing a mineral called nanohydroxyapatite in these tubes has often been used to treat sensitive teeth. … Read more

Opioids Overused For Migraine Headache Treatment

A new study that attempted to find racial disparities in the treatment of migraine headaches found no differences and instead found that opioids are often overused for migraine headache treatment. As has been discussed on this blog and site before, the prescribing habits of opioids are under scrutiny for wisdom teeth surgery. See for example the article http://blog.teethremoval.com/what-can-a-surgeon-do-to-prevent-opioid-abuse/ and the article http://blog.teethremoval.com/painkiller-overdose-in-michigan-are-wisdom-teeth-extractions-contributing/. Now it appears that the prescribing habits of opiods for migraines should also be under scrutiny. Existing research shows that African-Americans experience more frequent and severe migraine headaches than non-Hispanic whites. Researchers at the University of Michigan set out to explore if there was any evidence of racial disparities in treatment practices for migraines. However, instead of finding any disparities, they found opioids were being prescribed as frequently as medications that are more effective for migraine headaches. In the study, results from … Read more

Gum to Test for Inflammation in Mouth

Researchers from the University of Würzburg in Germany have developed a chewing gum that is capable of detecting inflammation in the mouth. The research was motivated by the fact that 6% to 15% of patients who receive dental implants develop an inflammatory response in in the years that follow. This is caused by bacteria destroying the soft tissue and the bone around the dental implant. The researchers provided proof of a principle by using studies of the saliva of patients at Merli Dental Clinic in Rimini. They showed that in the presence of inflammatory conditions, specific protein-degrading enzymes are activated in the mouth. These same enzymes break down a special ingredient of chewing gum within five minutes to release a bittering agent that could not be tasted before. In the future, patients will benefit from this method using a chewing gum diagnostic test … Read more