Trigeminal neuropathy.

Peñarrocha M; Martí E; Cervello MA; Bagán JV.
Oral Diseases, 2007; 13:141-50.


Trigeminal neuropathies (TNs) are well recognized disorders characterized and manifesting as skin and mucosal numbness in the region innervated by the trigeminal nerve. Facial numbness indicates trigeminal sensory alteration affecting the trigeminal system. TNs always pose differential location difficulties as multiple diseases are capable of producing them: they can be the result of traumatism, tumors, or diseases of the connective tissue, infectious or demyelinating diseases, or may be of idiopathic origin. Their importance is explained by the fact that TN may represent the first manifestation of tumor disease, or of relapse in patients with prior neoplastic processes. As such, these manifestations are ominous, and patient life expectancy is often short. The clinical exploration reveals a loss of sensitivity in the cutaneous territory corresponding to the affected nerve, which can be partial (hypoesthesia) or complete (anesthesia). The sensory defect is occasionally associated with hyperesthesia (i.e., the patient suffers a decrease in sensory perception, but when sensation is perceived, it may cause considerable discomfort). Complementary studies are needed to establish the etiologic diagnosis, with laboratory tests to discard the possible causative diseases underlying the trigeminal neuropathy, and the opportune radiographic examinations in the form of plain X-rays or a routine cranial computed tomography scan.

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Profesor Doctor Miguel Peñarrocha Diago © 2010 Aviso Legal