Facial Pain, Normal Sinus CT scans, Headache, Migraine and TMD

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Posted: November 7, 2017
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An older study in the Laryngescope is on 104 patients with facial pain who had normal CT scans. Twenty nine of the patients had previous unsuccessful sinus surgery. The patients were approximately 80% women, TMJ disorders are usually (80%) found in female patients.

The study showed " Four percent of patients seen by a neurologist had an unsuspected serious intracranial diagnosis." It is essential that organic neurologic causes are ruled out but the 100 remaining patients had headaches of undetermined causes. Facial pain and sinus pain are a alert for MPD (myofascial pain) and TMD (temporomandibular pain). Treatment of patients with chronic headaches, migraines sinus and/or facial pain is frequently done without a neuromuscular dental evaluation even though NMD has extremely high success rates.

The Trigeminal nerve innervates the sinus cavities. It is often called the Dentist's nerve because the trigeminal nerve primarily goes to the teeth, jaw muscles, jaw joints, periodontal ligaments and is responsible in full or part for most headaches. It also controls blood flow to the anterior 2/3 of the brain thru the meninges.

Correction of underlying neuromuscular problems often allows drug free effective treatment. When CT scans are normal patients with sinus pain and facial pain should always be evaluated by a neuromuscular dentist. Neurologists should evaluate all patients with organic brain disorders but functional treatment is preferred to heavy drug therapy for the majority of patients.

Frequently Chiropracters and dentists can get miraculous results by working together especially NUCCA and A/O (Atlas Orthogonal) chiropracters. The Dentists can correct nociceptive trigeminal nerve input while the chiropracters correct cervical and head posture. Long term correction of those problems usually requires correction of descending conditions associated with improper jaw function.

Laryngoscope. 2004 Nov;114(11):1992-6.
Neurologic diagnosis and treatment in patients with computed tomography and nasal endoscopy negative facial pain.
Paulson EP, Graham SM.

Department of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1093, USA.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the helpfulness of specialist neurology referral for patients with facial pain, a normal sinus computed tomography (CT) scan, and normal nasal endoscopy findings.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective identification of patients and analysis of data approved by the Institutional Review Board.

METHODS: The data of 104 consecutive patients presenting with facial pain, a normal sinus CT scan, and normal nasal endoscopy findings were reviewed. The patients presented to a single rhinologist in a tertiary care institution. All patients were referred for specialist neurologic evaluation and potential treatment. Further information was obtained from a patient survey.

RESULTS: Of the 104 patients, 81 were women and 23 were men. The average age was 46 years (range, 22-85). Fifty-six had clear CT scans, 48 had minimal change, and all had negative endoscopies. Twenty-nine had previous unsuccessful sinus surgery. The average follow-up period was 10.5 months. Forty of 75 patients seeing a neurologist were seen on multiple occasions. Four percent of patients seen by a neurologist had an unsuspected serious intracranial diagnosis. The most common diagnoses were migraine (37%), rebound headache (17%), chronic daily headache (17%), and obstructive sleep apnea (16%). Overall, 58% improved on medical therapy; 60% of those with a clear CT scan improved, and 53% of those with minimal change on CT scan improved (P = .749).

CONCLUSIONS: Facial pain remains a difficult symptom to diagnose and treat in rhinologic practice. Patients often undergo surgery without help. Most patients with facial pain, a normal sinus CT scan, and normal endoscopy findings benefit from neurologic consultation. Serious intracranial pathologic conditions can be excluded and diagnosis-specific pharmacogenetic therapy instituted with improvement in more than 50%.

PMID: 15510029 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]