How to tell the difference between TMJ and TN

I found this blog by a dentist who studies facial pain, specifically TMJ and TN. I thought I'd throw this up here right away :) HUGS, Julie

Here's an excerpt: Q: Is it possible to have facial nerve pain and as a result of TMJD?

A: Yes. The damage inside the temporomandibular (TM) joint can irritate the nerve. It is like a ball and socket with a cartilage disc between the bone of the head (skull) and the lower part of the jaw. This disc can become displaced, usually by trauma, and nerves and blood vessels that lie behind the ball part can be pulled forward on top of the ball part and cause pain. This pain travels over the trigeminal pathway.

Q: How can one determine if he or she is experiencing which type of pain- TMJD or TN?

A: Two things facilitate the diagnostic process. A unique MRI of the TMJ itself is the gold-standard for diagnosing TMJD. Another way to diagnose the origin of the pain is to perform an ariculotemporal nerve block with local anesthetic. This block numbs the TM joint itself, not the trigeminal nerve. If a person has TN, the pain will continue. If the TM joint is involved, the pain will significantly reduce.

Q: It sounds as though a person can have nerve pain along the trigeminal pathway and still not have trigeminal neuralgia. Is this correct?

A: Yes. When this occurs, we call the syndrome atypical facial pain or neuropathic facial pain. Correct treatment for TMJD can resolve the issue if the dysfunction is treated early enough. If the problem has persisted over a long course, correct treatment can still significantly relieve the pain.

Love this Julie!

Yeah I thought it was very relevant. Good to know. :)