Suffering From a Lingual Nerve Injury or Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia manifests as sharp facial pain. The source of the pain is usually the result of pressure on the trigeminal nerve. This happens most often when a blood vessel, commonly the superior cerebellar artery, presses on the nerve. It can also be caused by pressure exerted by a tumor, damage or injury to the nerve, or lack of protective insulation on the nerve. Multiple sclerosis can also contribute to trigeminal neuralgia.
Trigeminal neuralgia is uncommon. It affects approximately 12.6 people out of 100,000 every year. It can occur in children; however, it is more prevalent in older adults. It is also more commonly found to affect women.
The lingual nerve supplies sensation to the chin, lower lip and the tongue. This nerve, like the trigeminal nerve, can be damaged during surgery. Occasionally, it is injured when the lower wisdom teeth are extracted. It can also be injured when dental implants are placed, during root canal therapy and due to local anesthetic injections. In some situations, when pathological growths are removed, or biopsy is necessary, injury to the lingual nerve may be unavoidable.
Fortunately, most lingual nerve injuries heal within two or three months. If the injury is not resolved within six months, the damage is usually permanent. In most cases, when the injury occurs as a result of a dental procedure, the risk of permanent damage is low.
Damage to lingual nerves can alter the patient’s perception of taste. The sensation in the chin and lower lip changes. The tongue may also lose sensation or have altered sensation. An individual can be greatly affected by these changes.
Trigeminal Nerve Injury Treatment, Lingual Nerve Repair Specialist
When injury to the nerve does not heal on its own, treatment may be recommended. Monitoring the symptoms is always advised to determine if treatment is warranted. Gregory Levitin, MD, FACS, is a board-certified otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon. Dr. Levitin has expertise in the treatment and repair of lingual nerve and trigeminal nerve damage.
Early detection of the condition and monitoring the natural healing process are important. If sensation to the affected areas does not improve, or if the condition worsens over time, waiting for intervention may reduce the effectiveness of treatment.
Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia
Although children can be affected by trigeminal neuralgia, it is most commonly found in adults over 50 years of age. Simple acts such as brushing your teeth or putting on makeup can trigger agonizing pain. Short, bouts of mild pain may indicate the onset of trigeminal neuralgia. If it progresses, the patient may experience more frequent attacks of pain with increasing severity.
Some symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia include:
- Facial pain triggered through mild acts such as speaking, chewing gum, touching the face, etc.
- Electric shock sensation of severe jolting pain
- Episodes of facial pain lasting anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes
- Multiple attacks that continue for a length of time from days to months or longer (some may have pain-free periods)
- Constant aching or burning sensation which might transform into spasm-type pain
- Pain in areas of the trigeminal nerve: the cheek, jaw, lips, gums, teeth and rarely in the eye and forehead
- Frequent attacks of pain with increasing intensity
It is time to see a doctor if you experience facial pain, particularly if it comes in sudden attacks, is not relieved by pain medication and if it is increasing in intensity. Monitoring the pain is important to ensure that if treatment is required, it takes place within a timeframe that will make it effective. The longer the condition is allowed to progress, the less successful any effective treatment will be.
If you are suffering from facial pain that may be due to trigeminal nerve neuralgia, contact New York Sinusitis Treatment today to schedule a consultation appointment. You do not have to suffer from pain caused by this condition when treatment is available.