Trigeminal Neuralgia Community
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Are my symptoms TN or Neuropathic Pain? Pls help!

Hi everyone! I'm new to this site and forum! I'm very concerned because I'm so confused. I was diagnosed with TN but i'm not confident that my diagnosis is in fact TN because they are not the typical TN or even the Atypical TN symptoms. My history is:

In 2005 i had dental work done in my upper left tooth near my molar (root canal).. everything was fine after that. In 2006 when I enlisted in the military, they re-did my root canal due to the filling not being permanent etc etc... they wanted a more permanent crown etc. they re-did the entire root canal and filling and crown. I'm not sure if this is the cause of any nerve damage but a year later, I felt alot of pain and thought it was the toothache. It was a dull ache around the same area

Early 2007, I went to a dentist thinking it was my tooth and he took x-rays and did some exams and couldn't find anything wrong but he prescribed my Vicodin ES which seemed to work. No symptoms or episodes for about 6-8 months. The pain varied. Sometimes it was dull, heavy, pressure-like sensation, tightness, from my jaw all the way to my ear and all of my teeth on my left side (upper and lower). I felt this same pain throughout the end of the year and in 2008 sometimes 3 times a week, sometimes every 3 months. It comes and goes.

However, this year seemed to be the worst and is progressively getting worse. In June, I had so much pain that I had an emergency appointment with a different dentist and the dentist requested to redo my root canal, after many xrays, evaluation and medications, and a trip to an endodontist .. they confirmed that it was NOT my tooth and it was not TMJ either. The pain was still the dull achy, tightness, 20 minute, pains that come and go... they are typically around my left jaw, all my teeth left side and cheekbone.  They referred me to a medical doctor to be evaluated for TN.

I then saw my regular doctor and he said it seemed like i had Trigeminal Neuralgia and prescribed Tegretol (Carbamazepine) 200mg/day. I took this daily for a couple weeks and didn't really do much and wht was worse was i couldn't handle the side effects AT ALL. I was like a zombie at work, i couldn't talk properly, i was eating my words, i was hanging on to the walls while walking, i couldnt drive etc. He then referred me to a neurologist. He did confirm my TN diagnosis and changed my medications due to my side effects - im now taking Topomax at 50mg/day and Vicodin 5/500 for pain. I'm not sure if this is helping. I'm getting more attacks at night now. more than before.

My problem here is... please help me if anyone knows.... I do not feel that this is neither TN or ATN! symptoms don't seem like either of the two. its not "quick and short electrical shocks" like the TN symptoms --- i have "quik and short BUT dull and pressure-like pain".... but then again.. ITS NOT like ATN pain that is constant. -- I feel that i am in between these two.  I have read that it may be neuropathic facial pain... could i have been misdiagnosed?

my neurologist is 29 years experienced? i'm not sure if I trust him all that much yet. i want to. But i want to get a second opinion but I also believe other patients. Trigeminal Neuralgia I believe is a condition where patients' support with each other is more important than anything..

i would appreciate any help...thank you in advance everyone.....
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