What is Neuropathic Pain?
Often chronic, Neuropathic Orofacial Pain Disorders arise from the nerves of the head, face, and neck. It can be frustrating to sufferers, as doctors have difficulty identifying the mysterious pains and may pass your pain off as psychological.
Your nervous system is divided into the central portion (brain and spinal chord) and the peripheral portion (nerves going to extremities like the arms, legs, trunk, face, and teeth). The brain can continue to interpret pain as coming from a damaged peripheral nerve, even after the damage has healed.
- Pain in the face or tooth without infection
- Sharp shooting pain
- Toothache after tooth is removed (phantom tooth pain)
- Burning, radiating pains involving the teeth and/or gums
- Pain that persists even when the area is numb
Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is a brief, stabbing pain that can be triggered by touch or movement of the area. The trigeminal nerve gives sensation to your face. It is believed that TN is caused by compression of the trigeminal nerve.
Atypical Odontalgia (Phantom Tooth Pain) is a persistent tooth pain that is not associated with a specific tooth or cause. Sufferers typically visit many dentists and may undergo unnecessary treatments in the attempt to alleviate the pain.
Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is often caused by changes to the nervous system that causes peripheral nerve damage. In addition to a burning pain triggered by mild stimulation, the sufferer may have a feeling of being cold because blood vessels may narrow.