Many TN patients unnecessarily have teeth removed. They think that it’s the cause of their pain, and dentists can acquiesce to their demands if they aren’t familiar with the condition or given a proper diagnosis.
This can be a sad, frustrating process for both patient and doctor as they learn that the pain persists despite the onward march to a full set of dentures before age 50. Unfortunately, this is a common warning tale among veteran TNers when counseling new patients.
The dental connection is not totally misguided, however, as research has shown that dental problems can often be the cause (rather than the effect) of TN facial pain.
Accidental or iatrogenic dental trauma is found to be the cause of nearly 40 percent of all cases of trigeminal neuralgia. When combined with trigger-inducing standard dental work and the ongoing perception of tooth pain, this can give new meaning to having a “dental phobia.”