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Debilitating Pain - Trigeminal Neuralgia or TMJ disorder.



Junior member
Oct 18, 2023
Newnan, Georgia
I've had a lot of dental work since November of 2023. Does these symptoms sound like Trigeminal Neuralgia or TMJ or something else?

I've been having excruciating pain that at times feels like it starts deep within my ear spreads to my jaw in front of my ear, then a burning sensation in my cheek and when this happens my teeth on the left side top & bottom becomes sensitive (random teeth one time it'll be one tooth next time it'll be another) like they're having nerve issues and I get a really bad headache when it happens. It's really random sometimes it happens multiple times a day, it's sudden and sometimes last 5-10 minutes & sometimes longer. Sometimes it happens late in the afternoon other time it comes and goes all day or sometimes it's constant.

It's become almost debilitating when these flare ups come on it takes me out of commission pains so bad I can't do anything until the pain lets up. Figured I'd come here before going and trying to explain my issues to a doctor.

If anyone else has had these issues or two diagnosed did any natural remedies help? Or what kind of medicines helped when you had these flare ups
It could be either TMJ or Neuralgia TBH, Neuralgia typically has a "trigger point", an area where if anything touches it then "Boom", extreme pain. Do you have anything like that?
No just random excruciating pain. I'll be fine then all of a sudden it'll hit me with facial pain so strong I can't function. My jaw will be so sore during these attacks that it hurts to open my mouth. Also I've noticed when I push on my ear there is sore spot around the incisura intertragica (guess that's what it's called) that's been there ever since the pain started. It's weird cause like each day it feels like it makes something else hurt (if that makes sense)

Right now I'm in a flare up that's lasted 24 hours. And it's got one of my teeth where it feels like it's a really bad toothache. 😭
My jaw will be so sore during these attacks that it hurts to open my mouth.
That's more like TMJ then neuralgia then. Are you under a lot of excess stress at the moment (apart from with your pain that is). Any underlying medical issues (PM me if you don't want to post publicly)
@Gordon Thank you so much, for replying. I know we keep you busy on this site but it feels great knowing we've got someone on our side to talk our issues out with.

The only other medical issue I have is I'm a Type 1 Diabetic. But it's under control (last a1c was 6.3) and I don't feel like I'm under a lot of excess stress (except for this excruciating pain & not knowing what it is), so not sure what's causing these flare ups.

I've had a lot of dental work since November 2023 I've had a root canal with crown on tooth #30 and then 5 other pretty big fillings in tooth #31, #29, #20, #19, #18 (they were all done pretty close together, felt like I was in the dentist office every couple of weeks). Could it be cause my bite is off (even though I don't really notice it)? This started around the time I got my root canal it took about 1 1/2 hours to complete so my jaw was really sore the next couple of days and I had flare ups, they were painful but manageable because they'd come and go. But then, it went away and came back randomly it started only happening for 10 or so minutes, then sometimes it would come and stay around all day and no OTC medicines seem to help it. Sometimes there is so much pressure it feels like my head is in a vice grip with nerves firing off in every direction on my left side, normally that's when I can't function. Also, I've started noticing the last couple of days when a flare up begins it starts deep in my ear (almost feels like a really bad ear infection) then it'll spread across my jaw (sometimes it feels like I can barely open my jaw) where I'll have a painful burning sensation and then random teeth will start hurting (like a toothache - not always the same tooth sometimes it's on top sometimes its on bottom) a lot of these flare ups happen in the afternoon around 6 pm or so. After my last filling, doctor assured me I was good to go meaning no more cavities were present. So I don't know what to do?
Start by having a read at our TMJ pages here: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/faq/tmj-pain/

For the love of all that's holy, don't Google TMJ! The amount of quackery on the issue is insane. Probably because we don't know why it happens, it spontaneously comes and goes and we don't really know for sure what treatment works and what doesn't!

Your dentist should be able to help you a bit with it and also if you can get to a Physiotherapist they can be a great deal of assistance too.