Trigeminal Foundation

Nerve Injuries

Helping to prevent, educate and manage

How do I know I have a trigeminal nerve injury

The Cause 

Nerve injury can sometimes result from dental treatments such as dental injections, root canals, insertion of dental implants and removal of teeth or other surgical treatments. These injuries affect the trigeminal nerve — the major sensory nerve of the face and surrounding areas,and one of the largest nerves in the head. This nerve is responsible for sending impulses of touch, pain, pressure and temperature to the brain from the face, jaw, gums and tongue.

Trigeminal nerve injuries can be extremely distressing for patients. Although the majority of patients regain normal sensation and function within a few weeks or months, some are left with abnormal sensation or pain, which can cause problems with speech and chewing.

Signs and Symptoms

Trigeminal nerve injuries can cause episodes of intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain in the areas of the face where the branches of the trigeminal nerve are distributed — the lips, eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, upper jaw and lower jaw. 

The Diagnosis

In making a diagnosis of trigeminal nerve injuries, your surgeon will start by conducting a thorough clinical examination. The surgeon also will ask about any previous dental procedures that may have caused the condition, as well symptoms you may be experiencing. This information helps to rule out other conditions that cause facial pain, such as diseases of the teeth, gums or jaw. Imagining tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans of the brain, may be conducted. These tests are used to eliminate some causes of trigeminal neuralgia, such as tumors, aneurysms or multiple sclerosis.


While medications may be used to manage many cases of nerve injury, they do not provide a permanent solution. Some patients may require surgery. Our surgeons offer a variety of surgical approaches, including:

  • Nerve decompression
  • Nerve repair from inside and outside of the mouth Percutaneous rhizotomy, a procedure that destroys part of the nerve that causes pain 

with a overview of management Link

Possible treatments include;

Counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy- we have a great team who are able to assess you for individual or group patient sessions. You are first seen by Dr Lisa Page our liaison psychiatrist and then by Dr Sarah Barker. 

  • Medication for pain sometime tablets sometimes numbing patches- Often we refer you back to your doctor if medication is needed.

  •  Surgery is rarely carried out for this condition as it can make patients worse on some occasions

  •  After treatment we will ask you to complete further questionnaires and feedback forms.

  • We continue to monitor many patients as some injuries do not require actual treatment as they are improving over 3- 6 months. After the consultation we write letters to the person who referred you to us and you are copied in.