The Trigeminal Nerve

  • Posted on: Mar 11 2015

The Trigeminal Nerve

As the tri in its name implies, the trigeminal nerve has three branches: the ophthalmic (eyes), the maxillary (mouth), and the mandibular (jaw). These three branches are responsible for a majority of the muscle function and sensation in the face, which is why pressure placed on this nerve from TMJ can produce so many seemingly unrelated symptoms.

As the largest of the cranial nerves, the trigeminal controls sensory function throughout the face including sensory input to the eyes, ears, and mouth. When the jaw is out of alignment pressure is placed on this important nerve, often resulting in painful symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Neck, shoulder, and back aches
  • Jaw and facial pain
  • Ear pain
  • Ocular pressure and pain

Additional symptoms of TMJ such as difficulties chewing and swallowing are caused by disruptions of the trigeminal nerve’s control of motor functions such as mastication.

Restoring Alignment

In order to stop these painful and limiting symptoms of TMJ, pressure must be taken off of the trigeminal nerve. Accomplishing this requires customized neuromuscular dental treatments that have been specially designed to address this specific problem.

Grand Rapids dentist Dr. Jerry Mulder offers a range of TMJ treatments and would be happy to meet with you for a comprehensive evaluation to determine which one is best for you.

To schedule your TMJ evaluation with Dr. Mulder, please contact A Life of Smiles today. Dr. Mulder serves Grand Rapids and all surrounding areas of Michigan.

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