Trigeminal Neuralgia Causes:
TN developing after Dental Procedures
There are many theories surrounding causation of trigeminal neuralgia. In our Los Angeles Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic office, we see many TN cases that developed following dental implants, root canals, and oral maxillary facial surgeries. While this is not the only precipitating factor it is one of the major temporal associations. It is this authors opinion that it is not the dentist that cause TN, however, the forces involved during these procedures can set off an underlying cervical spine weakness. During anesthesia, the bodies muscular protective mechanisms are paralyzed making injury to an already structurally unstable neck susceptible to further joint injury. Also, dental and facial surgeries often require difficult head positions, and forces applied to the teeth and jaw that can exacerbate a latent structural problem. The brainstem, which runs through the top two vertebrae in the neck, also houses the trigeminal nucleus. Spinal misalignments in this area can result in mechanical traction of the spinal cord resulting in abnormal nervous system function.
TN Caused by Whiplash and Neck Injury?
An interesting study was published in Dec. of 2001 in the Journal of Spinal Disorders, that looked at the correlation between whiplash trauma and trigeminal sensibility. The outcome of the study was whiplash trauma increased the sensitivity of the trigeminal nerve and it persisted over years following the trauma. Dr. Burcon chiropractic researcher in Michigan has drawn a correlation between whiplash type trauma and the onset of trigeminal neuralgia and Meniere’s disease. His research found that the trigeminal neuralgia and Meniere’s disease had an average onset of 13 years following a major whiplash trauma. It appears that neck injury damages the ligaments and soft tissue that support normal movement in the neck. When this occurs, it affects the brainstem and central nervous system. Over time a cascade of neurological effects evolves and chronic degenerative disease processes can ensue. (1)