You should be made aware of how prevalent orofacial pain is. Face, neck, and mouth discomfort are common complaints. Conservative therapies work well for some people. Oral surgery is the answer for others. After a comprehensive examination and diagnostic evaluation, a case-by-case determination is made regarding the best treatment for orofacial pain. The immediate objective is pain relief, but oral surgery may be required to address the underlying issue and stop the problem from recurring.
Oral Surgery For Trigeminal Neuralgia And Orofacial Pain
Trigeminal neuralgia is an excruciating condition of the face that tends to come and go in sudden shock-like episodes. The pain is typically excruciating, shooting, stabbing, or burning, typically brought on by light contact. There may be several short-lived bursts of discomfort that follow one another quickly.
A dull, persistent ache, a sharp stabbing pain, or any mixture of the two may be felt in the orofacial area. Additionally, some patients report migraines, difficulty eating or chewing, sore muscles, and popping, clicking, or locking of the jaw joint. Why do these signs occur? There could be several problems at play, such as:
- Bruxism, or grinding and clenching of the teeth
- Missing teeth or tooth misalignment
- Injury or trauma to the face, neck, or jaw
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
- Facial nerve disorders, such as trigeminal neuralgia
The fifth cranial, trigeminal nerve conveys pain information to the brain. When the nerve is damaged, pain signals are sent at the wrong times, and the aches can be very severe. TN is considered the most painful medical condition ever to exist.
The pains have been variably compared to a powerful electric shock shooting through the face or intense stabbing and burning sensations. More women than males are affected by TN, and the right side of the face is typically the only side to experience pain. The majority of those affected are over 50, though the disease can also affect young adults and, very infrequently, children. Many times, non-invasive treatments can successfully reduce symptoms and avoid the need for surgery. Patients may find relief from an oral appliance, such as a stabilization splint or mouthguard, gentle jaw stretches, and facial relaxation exercises, over-the-counter pain relievers, ice, and heat packs, prescription muscle relaxants, or anti-inflammatory drugs, alternative therapies, such as trigger-point injections, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), acupuncture, and biofeedback.
Experts say surgical intervention for facial pain should only be used as a last option. Oral surgery, however, may be an option if conservative measures fall short in relieving symptoms and patients cannot fully appreciate their lives due to pain.
Orofacial surgery with 3D Dentistry
The orofacial pain specialists at 3D Dentistry are skilled at treating various conditions connected to the mouth, face, and jaw. We can put you on the path to relief if you’re experiencing acute or chronic pain and want to attempt surgery as a painkiller. Call us at (941) 253-2300 for more information about 3D Dentistry or to arrange an appointment to review non-invasive treatments and oral surgery possibilities for treating orofacial pain.