What is the Mandibular Nerve?
The mandibular nerve (V3) is the largest of the three branches or divisions of the trigeminal nerve, the fifth (V) cranial nerve.
The mandibular branches of the trigeminal nerves assist a person when biting, chewing and swallowing. It can occur that at person develops numbness or other signs of trigeminal neuropathy from an accident, dental procedure or facial surgery. Trigeminal neuralgia can cause stabbing, shock-like facial pain or a constant burning sensation. It helps to understand the temporomandibular joint anatomy and why it may trigger cheek bone pain.
What does mandibular nerve pain feel like?
People suffering from mandibular nerve pain report feeling intense, shooting or jabbing pain that often feels like an electric shock. Spontaneous attacks of pain or attacks can be triggered by activities such as touching the face, chewing, speaking, yawning, or brushing teeth.
Why is my mandibular nerve hurting?
Your jaw muscles and mandibular nerve are meant to work harmoniously together. TMD issues can result from excessively grinding or clenching your teeth (bruxism), arthritis, jaw or head trauma, or other factors. Common symptoms of a TMD include: pain or soreness in facial areas, including headaches, earaches, and jaw joint aches.
What are the symptoms of mandibular nerve damage?
This medical condition involves chronic pain in a person’s facial area. It typically includes the teeth, gums, cheeks, forehead, and lips. The pain attacks may range from short, mild episodes to constant and intense burning sensations or periods of intermittent pain that last months or longer if undiagnosed and treated.
Where is the mandibular nerve located?
The mandibular nerve enters a person’s infratemporal fossa and passes through their foramen ovale in the sphenoid bone. It divides at that point into a smaller anterior and a larger posterior trunk. The main trunk gives off two branches at this point, meaning it is a complex part of how your jaw operates. Individuals suffering from jaw sprain and strain may have damage to their mandibular nerve. The anterior division gives off branches to three large muscles of mastication and a buccal branch which is entails sensory functions within the cheek. The posterior division gives off three main sensory branches, the auriculotemporal, lingual and inferior alveolar nerves and motor fibres to supply mylohyoid and the anterior belly of the digastric muscle.
In general, the mandibular nerve supplies the lower face for sensation over the mandible, including the attached teeth, the TMJ and the mucous membrane of the mouth as well as the anterior two-thirds of the tongue (the posterior one third is supplied by the glossopharyngeal nerve). It also supplies the muscles of mastication which are the medial and lateral pterygoids, temporalis, and masseter. It also supplies some smaller muscles namely the tensor veli tympani, tensor veli palatini, mylohyoid, and the anterior belly of digastric.” – Mandibular nerve
This nerve is crucial in dental practice and for orofacial pain specialists to understand. It is the nerve that is commonly anesthetized as it enters the mandibular foramen to provide complete nerve block if procedures are to be undertaken on the lower teeth or related structures, or in trigger point injections to releave facial and neck pain.
Studies suggest that often patients with TMJ-D and neuropathic pain, if the medially displaced disk during jaw-opening movement occurs, it may directly damage the mandibular nerve or its branches at the oval foramen level by exerting intermittent compression, traction, or friction. The mechanical influence of the disk could then alter the nerve bundles causing neosynapses (so-called ephapses) and cross-talking phenomena. These may may fire and elicit—continuously and antidromically referred pain to the trigeminal spinal nucleus of the brain stem. It is a reasonable explanation of the neuropathic pain and sensory symptoms that affect some patients with TMJ-D or related jaw issues.