When patients experience orofacial pain, such as trigeminal neuralgia, their first instinct is often to visit their dentist. However, it is crucial for dental professionals to recognize that this type of pain is not dental in nature but rather neurological. In fact, a recent survey revealed that a staggering 54% of patients with orofacial pain initially sought dental treatment. This highlights the importance of dental professionals being able to identify and differentiate between dental conditions and neurological conditions to prevent unnecessary dental procedures.
Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by severe and recurring attacks of pain, typically in the distribution of the trigeminal nerve. Surprisingly, everyday activities like eating, brushing, shaving, or even a gentle breeze can trigger these painful episodes. Unfortunately, many patients with trigeminal neuralgia undergo dental procedures in an attempt to alleviate their pain. The survey mentioned earlier found that a concerning 67% of TN patients had undergone at least one dental procedure, and 51% had endured more than two unnecessary procedures. This emphasizes the need for increased awareness among dental professionals regarding trigeminal neuralgia and orofacial pain.
To address this issue, the Facial Pain Association (FPA) has launched a quarterly newsletter specifically designed for dentists. With over 30 years of experience, the FPA is the world’s largest and oldest facial pain organization, offering reliable and up-to-date information from leading experts in the field. The aim of this newsletter is to increase awareness of trigeminal neuralgia and promote behavior change among dental professionals. The ultimate goal is to eliminate unnecessary dental procedures for patients suffering from orofacial pain.
By subscribing to the FPA’s quarterly newsletter, dental teams can stay informed about the latest news and content related to orofacial pain. The newsletter provides valuable resources such as articles and webinars to help dental professionals recognize and differentiate between dental conditions and neurological conditions. By staying in the loop, dental professionals can play a vital role in reducing the number of unnecessary dental procedures performed on patients with trigeminal neuralgia.
For more information and to subscribe to the newsletter, dental professionals can visit the Facial Pain Association’s website at facepain.org. By joining this initiative, dental professionals can contribute to the early identification and appropriate management of orofacial pain, ultimately improving the quality of life for their patients.