I am in remission from TN but i think i am suffering from Neuropathy in different areas of my face (caused by trauma) Yesterday i was chewing on toast when my jaw started to strongly ache. I traced it back to behind my ear lobe. When I pressed it the ache subsided. Today i have a slight puffyness on my cheek in front of the ear lobe.
Is this due to neuropathy? I do not as far as I know suffer from TMJ, although I do find face stretches help me when I feel the effects of the neuropathy begin. I am also careful not to clench teeth as i think this was one of my triggers for TN.
What nature of trauma have you experienced?
We should realize that "neuropathy" is literally "mechanical or physical nerve damage". Sometimes neuropathy and TMJ issues can be hard to distinguish from one another because the symptoms overlap and "TMJ disorder" is itself a very imprecise term with a huge range of assigned or interpreted symptoms.
"Neuralgia", on the other hand, is a condition of nerve inflammation. Swelling or fluid retention (edema) tend to be associated with inflammation rather than mechanical damage. The reason why doctors attempt such distinctions is mostly about choosing an effective course of treatment. The treatments can be quite different for facial neuropathy and neuralgia, and both can be different from the treatments offered for TMJ.
If all of this seems a bit dodgy to you, I'd have to say it is. I think I'd be a lot more comfortable having an orofacial pain specialist do an evaluation on you, than I would be in trying to speculate on "which" thing you have. You might in fact have all three.
regards and best,
R.A. "Red" Lawhern, Ph.D.
Resident Research Analyst, LwTN
I have my first appointment with neuro coming soon, so i will let you know what he thinks. I allowed my face to get very cold yesterday, today I made sure i was covered at all times with a woollen scarf these seemed to ease the jaw ache i had yesterday, the puffiness has subsided, I eat with a lot more ease, but could still feel the ache behind the ear. thanks Red