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Marshall James Nev, PLC | Why Should a Dentist Treat My Headache? in Richmond

Lexington-Richmond Headache Clinic
Marshall James Ney, DMD, FAAOP
Fellow American Academy of Oral Facial Pain

527 W. Main St.
Richmond, 40475
(859) 623-3761

Why Should a Dentist Treat My Headache?

Why Should a Dentist Treat My Headache?


Let’s look at what different doctors treat. Neurologists treat headache caused by migraine or some other neurological disorders. Physical medicine doctor’s treat muscles but not headache and anesthesiologists treat by injections and burn nerves, but this is one of the last treatments to try. This leaves dentists (proficient in treating headaches), psychologists, and physical therapists to treat headaches caused by muscle. Let’s take a look at those muscles.

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Mastication Muscles


The above images illustrate the major muscles of mastication and the stabilizing muscles of the head and neck which are all part of the chewing/clenching grinding your teeth process.

OK, let’s look at the percentages that these different diagnosis cause. (International Headache Society) Migraines are responsible for 12% of all headaches and neuralgias are responsible for 1% of all headaches. Together, they are only responsible for 13% of all headaches. While there is another 2% of headaches caused by rare diseases, this leaves 85% of all headaches that are not addressed by migraine and neuralgia! So what causes all of these headaches?

Let’s see, what is the largest part of the body? The skin. But what part of the body has the largest mass? It's not our skin or our bones. It is muscle, and 85% of all headaches are caused by muscle!

Who treats headaches caused by muscles? The Lexington-Richmond Headache Clinic!

Physical medicine doctors also treat muscle, but mostly from the neck down. I know this because my oldest son Marsh is a physician and in a physical medicine residency program at Chapel Hill. They do not focus on headaches. This leaves mostly dentists, psychologists, and physical therapists to study and understand oralfacial pain.

Interestingly, dental students spend over 50% of their time in gross anatomy studying the head and neck, while medical students concentrate more of their time in the chest and abdomen.

Dr. Ney is a fellow in the American Academy of Orofacial Pain. To achieve this, he has been taught by experts in anatomy, physiology, sleep medicine, physical therapy, psychology, health psychology, neurology, tempromandibular disorders, myofascial pain and trigger points disorders, vascular and non-vascular intracranial disorders, neuropathic pain, intraoral pain disorders, cervicogenic (neck) mechanisms of orofacial pain and headache. As a dentist, he can discern whether dental problems are contributing to the head and neck pain.

As an aside ... Dr. Ney always sits in the first or second row of seats during a lecture. He is there to learn and apply what he learns to help his patients.

The best way to answer headache questions is to make an appointment for an initial examination where we can talk one on one, face to face. It is also very helpful to bring another family member, best friend, or significant other. Through patented visual aids, drawings, and one on one explanations, I can address your concerns. The initial exam takes between 45 minutes an an hour.

Our philosophy is to teach you what causes pain and give you the knowledge and tools that you can use to manage the pain yourself, without, taking off work, or even paying for an office call. We really want you to solve the problem.

We want to hold your hand through the initial treatment phase, but then we want to let you go and manage the pain by yourself. If we have done our job, then 90% of the time you will be able to manage your pain. Of course, we are always there if you need us.

If you are in pain that is so bad you are thinking of going to the emergency room, then call our office (859) 623-3761, and we will see you the same day. This is a promise.

The process of determining a headache treatment plan is complicated, but we understand it and will personally guide you through the maze.

—Dr. Ney

Richmond Dentist | Why Should a Dentist Treat My Headache?. Marshall James Ney is a Richmond Dentist.