Is there any connection between dental work and TN?

A compressed nerve may be the cause of TN, but I thought there might be some connection between TN and teeth. How many here do not have any dental work done, have good set of teeth ? It is interesting to know .

Hello Seow W

Keep a fire extinguisher by your computer. It's about to start smoking. A huge number of our membership come to the site with your question. Red is preparing to publish a paper on this subject I have lost 4 teeth due to misdiagnosis. I take some of the blame for this because I wasn't more active in researching the problem on my own. I left it up to "the them" Three years, three different types of dentists and not one mentioned TN.

Check out the Facial Pain link at the top of the page.


All my initial symptoms were dental in nature and both my regular physician and my neuro kept saying I was having dental pain even after 3 root canals, two apicoectomies (surgery on roots of teeth) and three extractions--the result of consults and treatments with two regular dentists, two endodontists and an oral surgeon. Still in pain, I asked the oral surgeon to extract yet another tooth and he refused to do so, insisting that I see a neurologist again--neruro ordered MRI showing blood vessel compression of trigeminal nerve. Continue to have significant dental pain but all involved are now pretty sure cause is TN and not dental in origin. Treating with meds and Gamma knive a couple months ago, but no pain relief yet. So, if anyone has tooth pain that does not respond positively to dental procedures, proceed with caution, as it could be something else.

Bob E.

just type dental in the search box above --- you will see mannnnnnnny postings - becoming evidence not to ignore correlation

I definitely agree with all these postings. I read every profile of new members and I cannot tell you how worrying it is that seemingly healthy happy young people are having their lives shattered by unthinking dentists. More education is needed by these Dr’s and I am so thankful Red is trying on our behalf to give information and statistics about the causes of TN in some patients to the Dental Community. Thank goodness this does not apply to me, I would be so cross and angry if I thought another human being had inflicted this on me.

I agree! My first Dentist knew nothing about TN or ATN and another dentist I went to said "I dont believe in that neuralga stuff, we are just going to remove all of your teeth and the pain will go away" I am not kidding you. But I have noticed that my new dentist (who is a 25 year old student) knew a lot about TN and ATN maybe this is somthing that is being taught in schools more recently. Also, my neuroligist is only 33 and he seems to know a lot about it and seems like he takes me very seriously... Maybe its just somthing that is taught more recently in medical schools... just a thought... -Sarah

Cleo -if i reacall - your surgery done to you was also becuse you insisted.. and not "voluntary" by you dentist (i mean of the surfery that got you some relief im yuor pain.

as for the original post :

i remember when my nightmare began..i went to some dentists .. and told them it all began after a tooth cleaning (at a dentist office) and a dental filling. and many of the "specialist" told me (and i quote!) "Strange i've never heard of such pains occurs after dental work..."...

well , now, simple me - who has never been a year in med-school.. .can teach all those ignorant doctors who made me feel like I was the one that is wrong - that there are TEN TOUSSANDS of cases of people going to the dentist and have thier life ruined after a "simple" dental procedure.

and the WORLD MUST know about this . thanks you all here for your support.

Cleo, I had surgical wisdom teeth removal (all four) at age 24. I was not in pain but my dentist was concerned by my x-rays. They were badly impacted. I developed TN age 47-48, do you think there is still a connection?

Many members here lose their teeth due to the misdiagnosis . The dentists, endosurgeon did not suspect TN even if the patient complained that there was no relief after a treatment. They either removed more teeth or did more root canal procedure. Why ? Weren’t they taught about TN in school? It is strange that toothache is closely related to nerve pain,yet they do not learn about other facial nerve pain,especially our mouth made up 10% of our face. Perhaps they were taught, but they were absent or …, whatever it is,we have already suffered.

I am also concerned whether all the unnecessary dental works increase the intensity of TN pain, from a level which is more manageable to one that is unbearable . Of course , compressed nerve has contributed to TN pain, but there is no proof that dental work does not. Nowadays , people go for tooth implant, crowning, bridges, root canal and so on. Will the skills of the dentists affect our TN pain? I do no imply that TN is caused by dental work, but rather the latter made our TN worse. Any suggestion?

Seow, I've posted a pre-publication draft of two papers here on Living With TN, that have a bearing on your question. Start with

[partial extract follows]

Demographics of Neurological Face Pain at a Social Networking Website

Strong patterns stood out in the patient data with respect to outcomes of facial pain diagnosis or treatment by dental practitioners (dentists, periodontists, endodontists, oro-facial surgeons). One or more of nine dental terms or word roots appeared in 631 patient stories and 36 treatment histories. It was remarkable that many of the practitioners acceded to insistent patient demands for root canal or dental extraction -- despite a lack of X-ray evidence confirming abscess or other dental problems.

The terms “dentist” or “dental” or both, occurred in 469 member narratives. At least 174 additional patient records also indicated a history of dental work, described without these two words. Reading of patient story narratives revealed the following range of outcomes and contexts for dental terms:

1. In 50 of 469 patient records reviewed, mention of the terms "dental" or "dentist" was peripheral, imprecise, or context was otherwise unclear.

2. In 71 patient narratives, pain initially believed by the patient to be "dental" in character was evaluated by one or more dental practitioners, with a finding that the pain was not dental in origin. A practitioner then referred the patient to a family doctor, general practitioner or neurologist.

3. In 132 patient narratives, the patient had acute facial pain, saw dental practitioners and received neither a diagnosis nor a dental procedure. Patients in this group later saw a medical doctor or neurologist on their own initiative or at the suggestion of someone they knew. Several diagnosed themselves by performing Internet searches on their symptoms, before seeing a medical doctor. About 40 records included "online" referring to patient research or online support groups, or "research" or "self-diagnose".

4. In 154 patient narratives, the patient saw one or more dental practitioners and was treated with antibiotics, root canals, multiple dental extractions (sometimes at their own urgent request), TMJ therapy, bite correction, dental guards or major dental surgery. The terms "misdiagnose" or "mis-diagnose" appeared in 32 patient story narratives, and "unnecessary" in 14.

5. In 50 narratives, the patient saw a dental practitioner for routine dental work (cleaning, cracked tooth, crown replacement, other). Within hours to weeks after dental work was performed, the patient experienced extreme facial pain which they later believed was an outcome of something done by the practitioner.


Hi Red

I note that your study is pre-publication status..May it be released to members outside our group such as neuros, dentists etc?

i must tell you from my experience that i've been to MANY dental doctors in all fields (at least 30 if not more). the pain was sooo severe i couldn't belive no-one would find a cause.

to be fair with them- many knew about TN .. but even those who didn't , almost no one suggested dental work.. cause they said the XRAYS were fine (some offered to remove the "problematic tooth or the wisdom tooth) but these doctors were rare. most of the doctors i saw - refused to touch my teeth when the saw the XRAYS are fine.

so maybe that is to said in thier good side.


i must say here again and again and again and again.. and TELL THE STORIES i've heard. personnaly... from more than one or two or three people here.. that went from dentist to dentist... suffered greatly.. wished they were dead because of the pain - and EVERY DOCTOR told them they don't havea dental problem.. and thier problem is neurological... these people didn't give up.. and after a while done some dental work (wheather it's "pulling the tooth" out, or opening some teeth) and when they done that - it was shown an ingection not seen in ANY of the XRAYS !!!!!! THESE PEOPLE ARE CURED TODAY.

so the medical world should learn of these cases more. that's what my opinion in that matter.

I would welcome peer review by doctors, neuros and dentists, Bill. Feel free to circulate the paper with the qualifier that it is under review for publication and should not be quoted in open sources.

Regards, Red

Red, I haven’t read the papers yet, but thank you. It is remarkable that about 25% of our me members seek dental practitioner help when the first pain occurs ,of whom 7% deemed it unnecessary. What catches my attention is 2% experienced facial extreme facial pain after the dental work. This is high , considering that our disease is rare. Who knows there might be more out there who experienced slight facial pain after the treatment but manageable with pain killers over the counter.

Nir, I feel that you should not go to the dentists again and insist that you have some dental problem resulting to this pain. Why not approach a neurologist and get some medicines to treat your pain? Stopping the pain is my first concern and seeking the cause comes later.

I was 19 when I had all 4 of mine pulled out at once - same reasons… They were impacted. It took me weeks to heal from that and my face was yellow and purple from all the bruising. Not even a year later I had my first bought of shingles. Twenty years later and possibly another shingles outbreak and here I am.

Jackie said:

Cleo, I had surgical wisdom teeth removal (all four) at age 24. I was not in pain but my dentist was concerned by my x-rays. They were badly impacted. I developed TN age 47-48, do you think there is still a connection?

Seow, the actual numbers of patients who first experience chronic face pain following a dental procedure is probably higher than 25%. I took a conservative approach to interpreting member narratives, starting with ONLY the 465 or so records in which "dentist" or "dental" appeared.

Regards, Red

Cleo,There is an unknown cause that triggered TN pain besides compressed nerve by veins or arteries. The finding of the cause needs more studies and researches which is not within our ability . A cure will be on its way if the cause is discovered . I , too , believe that no nerve damage would occur 1 to 2o years post extraction . It would be scary if this happened. Dental health is indeed important part of life, hence all dental practitioners MUST know about TN pain and advise the patients what to do and sent them to the appropriate department with a referral. From my knowledge , many members here, including myself, are helpless when they experienced nerve pain and thinking they have toothache . Some requested to do more dental work to help relieve their pain. In such cases, the dental practitioner should be firm and give good advice with explanation to alleviate the fear. I had done root canal procedure to the same tooth 3 times ( upon my insistence ) before being diagnosed as TN. I do not read medical literature and it was the first time I heard of it .

I do not know whether there is any connection between dental work and TN, that is why I post it up for discussion. This is internal, just among our members. It is interesting to know what other members say. I like to hear the views of the members whose pain started after the dental work and how it was like then. I also like to hear those whose pain started just before the dental work. As for myself, my pain started from my gum. It was a dull pain, but manageable . My primary doctor asked me to see a dentist and only after root canal procedure did it ascalated to unbearable pain. That is why I believe the treatment has triggered 'something ’ ,leading to TN, otherwise it is dormant, just like volcano .

There is something I wanted to add. My endosurgeon did not take any X-ray before doing the root canal procedure and I did not experience toothache . I told the dentist that the right side of th gum around my molar was painful, but the pain was not constant . In fact it wasn’t painful when I saw him and he did some check up and said my teeth were good. Then he sent me to the endosurgeon in the same clinic for a thorough checkup.
The second root canal procedure was done when I told the endosurgeon that the pain got worse after the first one. He asked ME what should he do ? I was lost and fearful and told him to redo it ! Of course the pain did not go away. The third root canal procedure was done because she ( now a lady endosurgeon ) wanted to find out if the previous one was ’ clean’ , that was the word she used. Before she did it, she checked for any crack in my molar. There was none, of course.

Well, now I have remission. :slight_smile: . Just before the remission, I had pain around the ear, which went all the way up to the temper and then to the right side of the head. The pain in the gum had disappeared for quite sometime.

Thanks, I did not feel a connection in my gut instinct, just wanted your advice as you seem well versed on Dental Problems!

Cleo said:

I had mandibular nerve repair in 2001. When a trigeminal nerve injury occurs during dental work. It is usually not a tooth related problem anymore. But can be in certain cases. I'm obviously not here to debate on if trigeminal nerve damage can happen during dental work! I know I'm not the only one here with known nerve damage after dental work.

Dental health is an important part of life. I have 30 teeth that include 3 crowns and 5 amalgam fillings. If i had all my teeth removed tomorrow?? It would not cure my nerve damage. and there could be a risk of making things worse. And that's why... I have my teeth pro cleaned by the dentist 2 times a year. brush, floss and use a water pic daily. Classic tn is not even related to dental induced nerve trauma. but I'm almost positive the nerve pain must be similar. and.. no, nerve damage would not occur 1 or 20 years post extraction. rest easy people!