TN vs. TMJ Disorder: What Is Trigeminal Neuralgia and How Is It Treated?

Do you notice that your face hurts on a regular basis? Or, maybe your jaw hurts constantly and has been for a few months? 

You might assume you have trigeminal neuralgia or TN. After all,  facial muscle pain is a major symptom of this disorder. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only disorder that causes these types of symptoms. Another condition to consider is temporomandibular joint disorder.

Let’s first define what trigeminal neuralgia is.

What Is Trigeminal Neuralgia and How Does It Differ from TMJ Disorder?

Neuralgia is intense pain in or along any number of nerves in the body. The trigeminal nerve is the nerve that controls the motion of your jaw. 

Such pain can radiate throughout your face, causing jaw pain similar to TMJ disorder. It can also cause headaches and migraines. 

So, what really is the difference between TN and TMJ disorder?   

TN vs. TMJ Disorder – the Causes Are Different

As mentioned, TN is pain in the trigeminal – or jaw – nerve. What is TMJ disorder? 

The TMJ is the actual jaw joint. Due to trauma, anatomy, and oral misalignments, pain can occur. The muscles of the head and neck become tense. The jaw joint can develop arthritis more easily, which also causes pain. Additionally, the disc between the joint can wear down faster – another cause of inflammation and pain. 

Recognize TN-Specific Symptoms 

As similar as these two conditions may be, there are some symptoms that are TN-specific. These include: 

  • Sharp pain in the face or teeth
  • Pain isolated to only one side of the face
  • Sharp pain under or in front of the ear
  • Searing pain around the eyes, as well as the lips
  • Tingling or numbness of the face. 

Symptoms also occur rather suddenly and can be caused by: 

  • Touching your face
  • Eating
  • Talking
  • Oral home care practices. 

TN Treatment: What Can Be Done to Treat Trigeminal Neuralgia?

If you have TN pain, you’re probably wondering if there’s an effective trigeminal neuralgia treatment. 

Thankfully, there are multiple ways to treat this condition. 

TN can be treated surgically and with certain medications. It’s important to note that not all treatments provide lasting relief. However, you can improve your rate of success by implementing some practical and even enjoyable steps at home. 

The first thing you want to do is try and prevent TN episodes. You can do this by: 

  • Eating soft foods
  • Avoiding temperature extremes when it comes to food or even while bathing/washing your face
  • Always be gentle when brushing your teeth and washing your face
  • Identify your triggers and do your best to avoid them. 

Some enjoyable practices that can help reduce your pain include: 

  • Yoga 
  • Aromatherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic and massage therapy
  • Meditation and visualization
  • Biofeedback
  • Vitamin therapy. 

Dr. Palmer can now do OZONE INJECTIONS to treat this condition.

Ozone is antibacterial ,antiviral and antifungal and also reduces inflammation. OR  LASER THERAPY which also decreases inflammation.  However TN sometimes can be caused by jaw imbalance so sometimes the treatment for TN can be to treat the bite/jaw.

See Dr. Shauna Palmer Right Away If You’re Experiencing Facial Pain – We Want to Help!

So many people think they must “grin-and-bear-it” when it comes to pain, but that simply isn’t the case. 

Dental and oral related pain – whether it’s a dental infection, TMJ disorder, or even trigeminal neuralgia – should be evaluated by a physiological health professional as soon myself as soon as possible. 

The reasons for this are numerous, but here are two of the most important reasons. 

First, TMJ or TN pain can progress if not taken care of immediately. The goal is less pain – not more. The sooner you see receive a neuromuscular assessment, the fewer issues you’ll have down the road. 

Second, I want to help. I hate seeing anyone in pain. I am not here to shame you if you’re don’t have the best home care or if you’re lifestyle isn’t considered “healthy” by the norm. That’s not the goal. The goal is to educate and provide exceptional care – and that means doing all we can to get you out of pain. 

If you’ve been experiencing any of the symptoms relating to TMJ disorder or  trigeminal neuralgia, don’t wait a moment longer. Schedule an appointment right away. 

Do you notice that your face hurts quite often? You don’t need to suffer in silence. Contact my office today. My team and I will evaluate your symptoms for TN, TMJ disorder, or other bite related issues that could be contributing to your pain – and we’ll help you find a solution!