Prevalence of trigeminal neuralgia among patients with orofacial pain


Back ground: The great majority of patients complaining of pain in and about the face are suffering from some form of toothache. However, there are many other possible causes of such pain. Trigeminal nerve is the main sensory nerve supplying the skin of the face and scalp as well as the majority of the oral tissues and many deeper structures. The aim of this study was to find the prevalence of trigeminal neuralgia among orofacial pain patients.
Materials and Methods: One hundred and ninety seven patients with orofacial pain (111 females and 86 males) between the age 15-65 years were examined. Each patient was subjected to a questionainer. Some patients needed x-ray (intra or extra oral radiographs) in order to reach the diagnosis.
Results: The highest number of patients with orofacial pain was that of dental origin (pulpal and periodontal), about 28.5%, next to it was patients with TMJ disorder or myofacial pain 25.5%. Patients with trigeminal neuralgia were 16.3%. Patients with migraine were 8.6%. Patients with sinusitis were 8.1%. Patients with otitis media were 5.1%, also patients with a typical facial pain were 5.1%. Finally patients with cluster headache were 3%. The majority of those patients were of pain on the right side of the face more than the left side. The trigger zones were more frequently occurring intra orally mainly at the premolar and molar areas (43.7%), trigger zones at the upper lip were in 18.7% of patients while at the angle of the mouth in 15.5% of the patients, in the cheek 12.5%, and finally at the preauricular area was 9.3%.
Conclusions: The highest number of patients with orofacial pain was of dental origin (pulpal and periodontal), and TMJ disorder or myofacial pain. The prevalence of trigeminal neuralgia was 16.3% of the patients.
Keywords: Orofacial pain, Trigeminal neuralgia, Dental pain. (J Bagh Coll Dentistry 2008; 20(1)34-36)