What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
A nerve disorder, trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by sudden bursts (paroxysms) of face pain that are often triggered by light touch or cold around the mouth or face, or by talking, eating or teeth brushing.
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Facts about Trigeminal Neuralgia
- It is also known as tic douloureux.
- Pain is usually on one side of the face, but in 10 percent of patients it is on both sides.
- Approximately 15,000 new patients are diagnosed each year.
- It is most common in women and people over age 40.
- Seizure medications may be effective for controlling the pain for a period of time, but include many side effects.
- The cause is often unknown. A tumor or blood vessel pressing on the nerve may cause a low percentage of cases.
- Many treatments exist that may help for a length of time. Some are invasive and may also cause permanent damage.
Dental colleagues: Facial pain not responding to traditional treatment?
Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is a neurological disorder affecting the trigeminal nerve that, in its early phases, may mimic a dental abscess or TMJ/TMD. The rarity of this disorder and the variability of symptoms mean that some patients are initially treated for dental or sinus issues before a neurological disorder is recognized.
If you suspect that one of your patients may have TN or would like to rule out that possibility, we can help.
- Referrals to local neurologists experienced in the treatment of TN
- Highly effective, precise single-session radiation treatment
- Medicare-approved and safe for patients who are not good surgical candidates due to age or other medical conditions
We value the relationships we have with the dental community and are committed to working closely with you as you guide your patients through therapeutic decisions.
For more information or referrals, please call us at (253) 284-2438 or toll-free (866) 254-3353.