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Frequently Asked Questions

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Can you provide a list of medications prescribed for neuropathic facial pain with recommended dosages and side effects? Medical Treatment for Facial Pain, by Jeffrey Cohen, MD   I am looking for information on dental work, hygiene, and treatments for patients with mouth pain. Dental Care with Concomitant Neuropathic Orofacial Pain, by Henry A. Gremillion, …

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Tips for Managing Chronic Pain in Primary Relationships

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Note: this is part 2 of a 2-part series on optimizing primary partner relationships in the context of chronic facial pain. Read part 1 here. Use Therapy If you have a history of childhood abuse or neglect, and you haven’t talked this out in therapy, you need to do this. It is not necessary for …

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Optimizing Primary Partner Relationships in the Context of Chronic Facial Pain

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Pain is both a private experience and a social one. It is undeniably true that the patient has a private experience of pain that cannot be shared. However, the patient’s private experience of pain inevitably results in behavioral changes that others can see and this creates the patient’s social experience of pain. Once pain has …

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Coming out of the Facial Pain Closet

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Being diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, or any chronic illness, is no easy pill to swallow. Receiving the diagnosis can be both scary but also oddly welcoming — getting validation of your pain can be a relief. One challenge that comes along with trigeminal neuralgia is figuring out how to tell people in your life about …

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Debunking an Old Myth about TN

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To the best of our knowledge the description of trigeminal neuralgia as the suicide disease originated in the late 19th century. During this time general brain surgery incurred a mortality rate of 90% and was considered tantamount to suicide by many. It goes without saying that brain surgery for TN was crude and dangerous, with …

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My Story With Facial Pain

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I remember it all started in 2006 with constant aching pain on my right eye. I was six months’ expectant with my second born child. It was aching constant pain, I took so much medication which did not help. Upon delivery the pain was still there, but not as much as it was when I …

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How Neuroplasticity Changed My Brain

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This year marks the 24th year I have been dealing with TN type 1 and type 2 and Bell’s Palsy. Before you ask “have you tried…?” Yes, I’ve tried it. I’ve tried it all, it seems. Over a dozen neuropathic medications, a dozen more pain medications like narcotics. I’ve tried microvascular decompression surgery, rhizotomy, motor …

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Selecting a Complementary and Alternative Medicine Practitioner

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Selecting a health care practitioner is an important decision and can be essential to ensuring that you are receiving the best possible care. This fact sheet provides information on selecting a practitioner whose services are part of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), such as acupuncture, chiropractic, and naturopathy. It also suggests sources for additional information. …

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How to Prepare When Seeking a Diagnosis for Orofacial Pain

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Editor’s note: This article has been written to outline the components of a comprehensive orofacial pain evaluation; to empower you as a patient (and your loved ones) to more adeptly participate in this diagnostic process. Please keep in mind that different healthcare specialties have scopes of practice and may define a “complete” evaluation differently. Importance …

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Stress Exacerbated Systemic Illness

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An example of courage: One patient with TN went to a psychotherapist after three failed microvascular decompression surgeries. At that time he was taking more than the highest recommended dose of carbamazepine, much to the consternation of his neurosurgery team. Before developing trigeminal neuralgia, this gentleman worked as an accountant for a local university. He …

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