Man mistakes neuro disorder for dental pain, gets 11 teeth pulled

  • Pawan Pandita, Hindustan Times, Noida
  • Updated: Aug 06, 2015 10:55 IST

Mistaking it for just a toothache, a resident of Greater Noida got 11 of his healthy teeth extracted before being diagnosed for a neurological disorder called trigeminal neuralgia (facial pain). After undergoing a neurosurgery in Fortis Hospital here in May last year, 54-year-old Sunil Mangal is now hale and hearty.

‘The facial pain started in early 2013. The pain in the jaw used to be so excruciating that I had almost stopped eating or drinking. I even thought of ending my life. I got 11 healthy teeth pulled out before undergoing surgery for trigeminal neuralgia,” Mangal said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Trigeminal neuralgia is a neuropathic disorder characterized by episodes of intense pain in the face, originating from the trigeminal nerve.

Depression is often noted and there are reports of patients feeling suicidal or even committing suicide.

The trigeminal nerve is the nerve responsible for sensation in the face and motor functions such as biting and chewing. This disorder is characterised by episodes of extreme facial pain and can last from a few seconds to several minutes or hours. Pain may be felt in the ears, eyes, lips, nose, scalp, forehead, cheeks, teeth, or jaw and side of the face.

Neurosurgeon Dr Manish Vaid, who conducted the operation, said Mangal would have been saved of his ordeal ha+d he been diagnosed correctly.

“This disorder is often also confused with migraine. Trigeminal neuralgia is not easily controlled, but can be managed with treatment options. It can be treated by glycerol injection, radiotherapy and alcohol neurolysis, but that destroys nerves,” he said.

“The best option is surgery as it preserves and maintains nerve anatomy. The success rate of the surgery is 90%if conducted straightaway. It
comes down to 50 to 60% if the patient undergoes surgery after taking other treatments as the nerve is already damaged by the other treatments,” said Dr Vaid who is senior consultant of department of neurosurgery at the hospital.

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