TMJ Disorder and Trigeminal Neuralgia

TMJ Disorder and Trigeminal Neuralgia

TMJ Disorder and Trigeminal Neuralgia

TMJ disorder has been linked to many conditions that cause extreme discomfort, including trigeminal neuralgia. One of the issues, though, is that many dentists do not seek to diagnose TMJ disorder. Individuals may go to the doctor or dentist but never link the trigeminal neuralgia with TMJ. Because the trigeminal nerve is located exactly at the temporomandibular joint, it’s no surprise that there is a connection between trigeminal neuralgia and TMJ. Let’s learn more about this condition and how it relates to TMJ disorder.

What is trigeminal neuralgia?

The pain of trigeminal neuralgia can last a long time. Photo by Mark Adriane on Unsplash.

Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition in which the trigeminal nerve is aggravated. The trigeminal nerve controls sensations of the face and runs from the brain into three branches. Most importantly, the trigeminal nerve runs through the temporomandibular joint.

The pain sensations of trigeminal neuralgia are similar to electric shocks and typically affect one side of the face. The nerve overreacts to any stimulation – simple actions like brushing your teeth, rubbing moisturizer, or applying makeup can incite a jolt of pain. The pain usually affects the lower half of the face and the jaw.

A major issue with trigeminal neuralgia is that it can worsen over time. Less stimulation will cause worse reactions, and the pain will increase.

How can you treat trigeminal neuralgia?

Often, individuals suffering from trigeminal neuralgia will go to the dentist and receive a root canal, or the dentist will pull a tooth. This generally does not fix the problem, however. Erroneously attributing trigeminal neuralgia to a problematic tooth has caused many individuals to needlessly suffer. 

What are the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia?

Common symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia include:

  • Severe electric shock-like pain
  • Pain from touching the face or facial sensations
  • Facial spasms
  • Pain that only affects one side of the face
  • Increased frequency of attacks over time

TMJ Disorder and Trigeminal Neuralgia

Problems with the bite, or malocclusion, can be a contributing factor to trigeminal neuralgia. A malfunctioning temporomandibular joint can affect the trigeminal nerve by pressing down on it, restricting the pathway.

It’s important to recognize additional symptoms of TMJ disorder in conjunction with trigeminal neuralgia. If you hear a clicking or popping in your jaw, suffer from sleep apnea, suffer migraines and headaches, or experience a dull ache along your jaw, you may have TMJ disorder. Of course, the lack of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that your bite is normal. It could be slightly off, which can contribute to trigeminal neuralgia.

Our goal is to treat TMJ disorder, bring you relief, and solve the pain puzzle. We will fit you with a special, custom night guard to help correct your bite. We have numerous other treatment options available to help with TMJ disorder.

Dr. Sid Solomon – TMJ Expert

If you have a problem with the temporomandibular joint and trigeminal neuralgia, you can seek help from the most skilled GNM dentist in Los Angeles, Dr. Sid Solomon.

Contact us today to set up a consultation and appointment. Don’t live with the pain of trigeminal neuralgia any longer. We’re here for you.