Trigeminal Neuralgia vs. TMJ

TMJ Trigeminal Neuralgia

The Relationship Between the Trigeminal Nerve and TMJ

Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain disorder characterized by sudden, intense, and stabbing facial pain. The trigeminal nerve, responsible for transmitting sensations from the face to the brain, is typically affected. Pain episodes can be triggered by seemingly routine activities such as chewing, talking, or even a light touch to the face. The pain is often described as electric shock-like and can be debilitating, significantly impacting a person’s quality of life. Trigeminal neuralgia is most commonly seen in individuals over the age of 50, and its exact cause is not always clear. Compression of the trigeminal nerve by a blood vessel is one possible factor. Treatment options range from medications to surgical interventions, and the approach depends on the severity of symptoms and individual response to different therapies. Managing trigeminal neuralgia often requires a collaborative effort between neurologists, pain specialists, and sometimes neurosurgeons to tailor a treatment plan that best addresses the unique needs of each patient.

While TMJ disorders and trigeminal neuralgia are separate conditions, there are a few reasons they may be connected or confused:

  • Overlap in Symptoms: Both conditions can cause facial pain, which may be felt in the jaw, cheeks, or temples. Pain may be triggered by activities such as chewing, talking, or facial movements.
  • Muscle Tension: TMJ disorders often involve muscle tension and spasms in the jaw and facial muscles. Trigeminal neuralgia can cause intense, stabbing pain that may lead to muscle tension and guarding.
  • Nerve Compression: In some cases, TMJ disorders may involve compression or irritation of nearby nerves, including branches of the trigeminal nerve.
  • Misdiagnosis: Due to the similar symptoms, there is a possibility of misdiagnosis, with one condition being mistaken for the other.

If you suspect you have an issue with your TMJ or trigeminal nerve, it’s crucial to consult with healthcare professionals, like the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of the South Shore, who can help diagnose and treat these conditions.

We Go Beyond For You

At the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of the South Shore, we believe in providing comprehensive care for all of our patients. That’s why in addition to offering treatment for TMJ and sleep disorders, we also offer services for trigeminal neuralgia. Our specialists work closely with each patient to create personalized treatment plans that address their individual needs. We are committed to helping our patients achieve long-term results and improve their overall health and well-being. We go beyond to provide exceptional care for our patients.

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Providing Non-Surgical Therapies | Restoring Quality of Life

At the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of the South Shore, we understand the unique complexities of TMJ-related trigeminal neuralgia.  Do you find yourself constantly suffering from severe facial pain? Patients often experience trigeminal neuralgia and musculoskeletal pain in conjunction with headaches or migraines.

Are You Experiencing Any of the Following?


Facial Pain


Trigger Factors


Sudden, Unpredictable Pain


Exacerbation by Routine Activities

Any of the above could be symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia and should be evaluated promptly.

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