Dealing with Chronic Dental Pain

man smiling in mirror, gesturing to mouth

At Rutgers Health University Dental Associates, there’s a wide range of specialties available under one roof. Here, patients can see dentists, surgeons, prosthodontists and even orofacial pain specialists. If you’ve been living with chronic, debilitating pain in your mouth, jaw, head, face or neck, a specialist can offer help, unlike many dentists, who often lack the advanced training necessary to treat these disorders. 

Complications of Oral and Facial Pain

Unfortunately, many people suffering with chronic orofacial pain live with it for years. That’s because chronic pain can be triggered by a vast array of causes that are difficult to diagnose. Often, the condition is mistaken for pain caused by dental issues when the underlying cause is something else.

For example, some pain is linked to a neurological disorder, such as trigeminal neuralgia. For other patients, their pain might be caused by problems with the jaw (temporomandibular) joint or diseases including forms of arthritis or even cancer. And the cancer doesn’t necessarily have to be located in the head or neck region for it to cause pain in the mouth or face. Sometimes it can arise from cancer in distant parts of the body, like the lungs, when certain nerve pathways are affected.

Detecting the root cause of oral and facial pain can be challenging. That’s why many patients are repeatedly misdiagnosed and don’t receive proper treatment. As a result, they continue dealing with their severe, persistent pain, which can lead to social isolation, trouble concentrating, mood changes, decreased appetite, problems sleeping and more.

Finally Finding Relief

The Center for Temporomandibular Disorders and Orofacial Pain at Rutgers Health University Dental Associates has helped thousands of people finally get the right diagnosis and chronic pain treatment. For patients like Jerry Williamson, who dealt with chronic pain for decades, relief is like a miracle. Williamson was misdiagnosed countless times, but it wasn’t until he met with internationally recognized orofacial pain expert Dr. Gary Heir that his condition was finally understood. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic trigeminal neuropathy, which developed after an initial nerve injury he received in junior high school.

Previously, Williamson was told his pain was due to a dental issue and ended up undergoing several tooth extractions and other procedures to try to fix it. These unnecessary procedures worsened the chronic pain. Dr. Heir prescribed a special mouthpiece and a cocktail of topical medications to help treat Williamson’s nerve injury to get his pain under control.

Don’t Wait to Seek Treatment

Are you like Williamson and dealing with excruciating pain that won’t go away? Whether you have the same condition or something else, you won’t know until you see an orofacial pain specialist. Specialists know more than anyone else about this type of pain and have vast experience with patients just like you. Make an appointment at Rutgers Health University Dental Associates to get the answers and treatment you deserve. You can schedule a visit at either the Newark location or the New Brunswick location to get started.