Living With Facial Pain

Acquired FP from Dental Work

Kind of like this topic, and Red has alluded to it in recent posts. Like to add my opinion, and that is all it is.

Where as I can appreciate direct nerve trauma through dentistry can lead to TN, I think dental patients and dentists miss a potential obvious cause which is trauma to the neck, it only need to be minor if there is a predisposition. Minor can be ‘Open wide’, only. I’ve had a tooth extraction, and felt the previous day I’d been on the bumper cars, someone pulls one way, you pull the other. From experience, anyone with TN after dental should consider their neck as a possible cause. BEFORE anything else (MRI ‘evidence’ of vascular compression included (( obviously not nasties)). After all in the scheme of things cost is insignificant. Thanks C., hear from you soon?

I am one of those rare people whose TN started immediately after dental work. My pain is literally in my teeth and touching those teeth hurts like crazy. A neurologist even confirmed that my TN is, in her opinion, a direct result from aggressive and poorly done dental work on my front teeth resulting in nerve damage that sadly is an every day issue for me and has been for several years now. The dentist of course denies any wrongdoing and I’ve got better things to do than fight with him over this so I am trying my best to move on but it has not been easy. I’ll never bite into anything again with my front teeth.

I won’t bite into anything with my front teeth again-cause they are gone!Just the bottom ones.I can sort of fake being normal.
Sometimes I hang around the poorer areas of my city to shop because I can talk to people without feeling self conscious.So sad how people are hurting in so many different ways but we go on living our lives.Please don’t start slagging any doctor.I would really like this category to stay.

I’m confused–is this the topic moved from the other heading? I’m not sure how to categorize myself. I was on tricyclics for 35 years, and withdrew completely from them just before this all started. I’m pretty sure my trigeminal neuropathy is related to that. The timing is too coincidental.

I slowly developed bruxism, and a “funky” feeling in two teeth, but not really any pain at that point. After I went to the dentist, he diagnosed an obvious abscess and I eventually had that tooth extracted as it was cracked at the root. After extraction is when things really kicked into high gear with constant pain, burning mouth symptoms, etc…Basically it felt like the extraction area, and especially the next tooth, never really healed.

That started a summer of dental work–a root canal (warranted), bite adjustment, 3 courses of antibiotics, root planing, a new bridge, endodontist and periodontist, tons of x-rays. And of course nothing really helped and eventually I told my dentist this has to be neurogenic and he agreed. An oral medicine doctor gave me the diagnosis of trigeminal neuropathic pain and had me do an MRI (which was completely normal of course).

So in my case I would say that my nerve was already compromised, and dental work was the capper. I still think my dentist and endodontist are very competent, and would go back to them, especially as the option is someone new (though very afraid of dental work at this point!). My only complaint is that no one ever brought up the possibility of neurogenic pain, I had to do the research myself and be a strong advocate to get more help despite my obvious discomfort.

I’m still looking for options that don’t involve drugs with horrid side effects or surgery. There has to be a way to promote healing without creating more problems! This is of course extremely frustrating and discouraging at times, but I’m trying to remain hopeful.

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I’ve written a little (OK enough to bore most) about facial pain due to neck injury, search cervicogenic in the search box at the top of the page.

Dental procedures are enough to ‘activate’ existing neck complaints, even if they are not causing problems prior to dental intervention. Is it the dentists fault? I’m not sure, maybe they should verbally screen patients with prior neck trouble, but if a patient states they have a history of neck problems, what is the dentist going to do? refuse treatment? few dentists recognize any connection, and I’ve spoken/ engaged with them on numerous occasions. If they did ask the question, and stated the risked of treatment the patient would probably be out of the door before they finished. See the link below.

To be fair, if every/ any health profession stated the potential risk intervention of any procedure/ treatment which is required of them, you probably wouldn’t enter their facility ever again. In reality it doesn’t happen.

Neck problems can cause facial pain, often labelled as Trigeminal Neuralgia, a fancy name for my face bloody hurts. If anyone would have any doubts that Dental procedures can cause neck problems the below link- tetraparesis is possibly the extreme, ‘lesser’ complaints like trigeminal neuralgia possibly/ likely goes unreported.

In essence, I’m suggesting the majority who experience facial pain after dental intervention are experiencing pain not due to direct facial nerve damage by the dentist but the procedure irritating the neck. Neck trauma and facial pain I’ve seen on numerous occasions.

Hi Ziggy
Owwww.The tricyclics don’t help now?
I try and take a who slew of natural products now.
If they are not helping my mouth I am hoping they are helping somewhere else.
I wish that if someone has found the answer they would post.

Ellen, I tried reinstating amitryptiline twice, and it didn’t seem to help much. The problem is that I had to quit amitryptiline because it had gone paradoxical and was causing me severe insomnia, and it still does. I’m also very reluctant to go back on a drug that I worked so hard to get off of–then what? But if it took this away I would.

I’m trying various supplements, fish oils and cod liver oil, vitamins, tried alpha-lipoic acid. The B vitamins also give me severe insomnia unfortunately.

I agree, if anyone finds anything that helps even a small amount, please let us know! Every little bit of help adds up.

I am taking extra b,c,d,e magnesium,fish oil(although I am a vegetarian)greens plus,
topical stuff might help.Someone suggested almond carrier oil with germanium and mint added.It smells wonderful.
And if you have a google picture as to how the trigeminal nerve makes it to the face I would be happyish.
Take care

I actually first developed TN mostly in the branch behind my eyes (but sometimes moving into the tooth/jaw branch) for the first 12 years. My PT helped me get that pain under control (almost to remission but still with meds) for about a year and a half. Then, all of a sudden after a regular teeth cleaning, the constant pain started again but this time it was predominantly in my teeth.

I don’t blame the dentist as I clearly already had the condition, but it’s interesting that it moved to another branch so suddenly as a result of one cleaning. The neck concept is interesting too as I feel like my neck is definitely involved in the TN pain, whichever branch it’s affecting at that moment.

Anyway, I’ve been avoiding going to get a regular teeth cleaning ever since this constant pain started again in 2014. Before that, my teeth had been cleaned every 6 months for as long as I can remember and I’ve got to go get it done again.

Anyone have any tips for me or suggestions for the dentist so she doesn’t make this worse? Also, does anyone know of anything the dentist can use during the procedure to make me more comfortable if she hits a nerve (literally)?

I’m really scared to go because of how intense the pain is in that area already every day, but it’s starting to gross me out to think about how badly my teeth need a good cleaning too!

Ideas? Pep talks? Thank you!!

Christy -

Unfortunately I’m in the same dilemma here. So, I have to hit myself with a pep talk. I promise I’ll go at least once a year. I mean…ask yourself what will happen if you DON’T go? That scares the heck out of me. More root canals, more fillings, extraction? All the things that we know will potentially make this worse. I sometimes already think it’s at the “worst”…then I get even more fearful that it could get even worse. :frowning:

I know some people have to “gear up” for it by putting extra meds on board in the day/s before and then also using an anti anxiety med prior. I do believe I will be doing just that…then also continuing the meds for a few days after as well.

In between cleanings…every single day, I suck it up so that I don’t have have cleanings twice a year and so I don’t get any fillings etc…

Beyond that there’s not much more I can say.

So sorry you’re in this dilemma.

Thank you so much for the pep talk. I know it’s just what I need to do so I will make the darn appointment and just go. I need my teeth to look nice while I smile through the pain each day, right? :wink: I’m sorry you’re in the same dilemma. I’m so glad to have this forum and yet so sad to see so many of us still in uncontrolled pain. Thanks again.

Hi, I’m not on page often enough but decided to log on today and just saw your post regarding TN and neck. Have u ever researched "Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic Care?
Must be treatment by a Chiro practitioner of National Upper Cervical Chiropractic NUCCA only! They only deal with neck and head. Some Chiropractors will tell u they have machine device but they don’t. They manually try to do. U can see on utube.
Reports on the effectiveness of the Atlas Orthogonal (AO) chiropractic in the management of an upper cervical subluxation for a patient with trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Maybe this will help someone. Thanks, Daryla

Thanks for the info.
The more info we have=the better our chances

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Upper cervical/ nucca, can’t help think they have half managed to corner the market. I feel any competent physical therapist may be of benefit if the neck is the cause. Even self help exercises, with further thought, may be all that is needed, previously someone on this site has used just that, how much interest did it generate very little. Makes one think some folk don’t want to get better… before anyone wants to condemn me this is the action of many folk with any Disease, and I know this one sucks, but many have an excuse to use it as a crutch, and some do so, and hence don’t investigate the full treatment options available. Think this is about to make me unpopular,but give it some thought.

This is just an alternative thought process, and I don’t mean it to apply to all, even few, and it is not necessary a conscious state.

I know of folk who complain of the same, who have a traumatic emotional experience, to put it mildly (e.g. abusive partner, thrown out of second floor windows etc,), and until this is addressed they continue to have symptoms. They hold on to this ‘rubbish’ for months even years, through no fault of their own.

What I’m trying to say, is facial pain is not solely neck related. not solely vascular compression related, not solely anything related in the absence of pathology. It’s multifactorial, and the answer is never going to be a pharmaceutical pill, though sure it will control symptoms, good enough? We make our own choices.

aiculsamoth–You’ve presented your case many, many times in the past I see, relentlessly, always in a fairly respectful manner, but this crosses the line. I’ve only just begun this awful journey, and to suggest that I or any of us, WANT to have this condition, is just completely absurd. I cannot imagine how someone who has had this condition for years would feel upon reading this, it makes me very angry. ALL of us are searching desperately for answers, for understanding and consolation. To get on here and read that we are using it as a crutch–that is SO disrespectful and thoughtless. Do you think we really want to take all these horrible drugs? That’s crazy. Why would you want to cause anyone more pain like this? Please think before you type next time.

Hi Ziggy
We are all going through a rough go here.Some people are into praying,some people are into the latest drug and some people are into “new age” theories.Some people are into hypnotism.It really worked for my sister.The theory that cells have memories of all the times they have been hurt before.I am thrilled when something works for someone.Life is too short to be in pain.
But we have all been in the doctor office when the doctor says that the hospital could not see anything on the MRI and then we go to someone else who can actually read the MRI’s and they say AHA,I see the problem.
Everything is like that .All these tests-soon there will be better ones that even the clerks will be able to see the problems.
We are mostly space in our bodies.How our system works at a molecular level is a mystery.I never thought a tooth could grow bigger than my head-but that is what my version of this pain does.I could not be making that up.It still seems bizarre.But something has gone awry in the communication and sometimes there is a distorted mirror in my mouth.
I hope you don’t stay angry.


I do kind of agree with your sentiment, and sometimes I do read a post and think did I really type that! In some respects this might have been one of them, but the only people who really might be taking ‘offence’ are those who actually do use a diagnosis as a crutch, and there are many regarding many diseases. Your post in response would suggest your not one of these folk, why find offence?

TN is no different in a psychological sense to a lot of illnesses, a diagnosis impacts people in a lot of different ways. If for example someone gets a diagnosis, correct or otherwise, which they then think, that gets me out of caring for the mother in law for example, which they hate doing, they damn well hang onto that diagnosis, and if they really hate it, if whatever treatment might of made them better, regardless to those around them it’s made out it hasn’t. i.e. if I say I’m better I’ve to care for that ***** again, I’ll keep my gob shut.

This is just one of the facets of illness, and it’s all I was referring to.

I think the psychological impact of an illness is very often not addressed with regards the patient and indeed their carers, it is very complex in many cases.

Ziggy, thank you for your reply. and I wish you well, this site has a lot of great info, and I urge you to stick to it through your journey.

Sometimes there is an absence of info. Many times MRI’s show nothing (might be wrong type of MRI or compression is to small to see until surgeon looks. Some meds can help stop nerve from firing so much to help ease pain such as Lyrica. The Trigeminal nerve and it’s branches are like a tree. For some, it’s several branches, others, one branch. I have kept a log and find barometric pressure is a key factor. I had an aha moment while driving on highway, son opened and shut window changing pressure quickly. I felt pain shoot across face. It lasted for a week. My brother has severe migraines from Trigeminal nerve for years. In ER often. He has tried many things to help. No one wants this and for some it’s difficult to do anything in chronic severe pain. There are also facial migraines. New studies are helping.