Golly it has started again .... that awful pain in my left lower back molar!! And I really thought that those episodes of lancing pain from trigeminal neuralgia (TN) were under control with the 200mg Carbamazepine at night. But no! Those little jabbing pains in my left ear suddenly started to get worse then the brutal stabs in the tooth started. I was pretty sure it wasn't actually my tooth that was the problem, as I have not long had my annual dental check-up, so I increased the carbamazepine to twice a day ........ and VOILA! It took a day to abate but things are now much much better with only the slightest twinge when I talk too much!
What are the symptoms associated with Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Pains are brief, lasting from seconds to a couple of minutes. Attacks of repeated brief bursts of severe pain may occur and last for an hour or more.
Pains are usually shooting, stabbing, sharp and electric-like.
Pains are usually triggered by light touch such as talking, eating or brushing the teeth.
Pains are located in the face, usually in the cheek, lips, jaw, palate, tongue, teeth, gums, side of the nose and, less often, about the eye and forehead.
Pain is usually on one side of the face, although infrequently, similar pains may develop at some other time on the other side of the face.
Pains usually respond, at least initially, to carbamazepine (Tegretol) or oxcarbazepine (Trileptal).
How do you distinguish tooth pain from that of trigeminal neuralgia (TN)? Dental pain is usually provoked by direct percussion to a tooth or application of cold and is diagnosed by examination of the teeth and peridental structures. Trigeminal neuralgia is often triggered by light touch about the face and may be provoked by wind, shaving, talking, eating or brushing the teeth. Carbamazepine (Tegretol) or oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) will eliminate the pain of TN but not dental pain. The relief of TN pain from carbamazepine or oxcarbazepine is usually very rapid and may occur within 45 to 60 minutes.
It may seem a strange thing but there is a definitely a link between petro-clival tumors and trigeminal neuralgia, and it has been something of a relief for me to find this out I can tell you. It is always good to know that one is not being hysterical or a wimp!