During our dental college days we used to be taught in details about the trigeminal neuralgia and its management. Our great teachers used to tell us that this condition is often ignored and goes undiagnosed.
In Trigeminal neuralgia, the facial pain is very severe and neuralgic and patient think that it is due to his bad teeth. These patients somehow find some dentists, at times quacks, who start pulling out their healthy teeth one by one till these patients are rendered totally toothless.
Then these patients narrate this tale that due to this excruciating pain, they got their all the teeth removed but there is no relief.
There are effective way to tackle this pain due to trigeminal neuralgia by various means…medicines, surgery, injection etc.
This thought caught me yesterday after a young man in his early twenties came to me with severe pain in his teeth for the last 7-10 days. He told me that pain is so severe that he is unable to sleep.
I noticed these scars on his face. Since i found his teeth and gums in perfectly healthy condition, i was curious to know about these blister scars on his face.
He told me that about 15 days ago he got severe pain in his ears for about a week which was followed by the blisters on the face which were very painful. While travelling in train, he covered these blisters with his hanky. He noticed that it became all wet and he thought it was the cause of problem. I reassured him.
After that, those blisters started to heal.
Looking at the distribution of the blisters on his face, I suspected that he suffered from Herpes zoster. This condition is viral in nature and it involves the body area supplied by a particular nerve, in this case it was facial nerve.
He just took some medicines from here and there and some injection from some neighborhood doctor. Somehow he passed time till the teeth start aching very badly and he came to me.
He was referred to physician who also suspected Herpes zoster and prescribed some medicines for nerves, nerve-tonics type of medicines along with some strong pain-killer so that he could sleep during night.
This is one of the complications of herpes zoster infection – after the infection, the residual nerve pain continues for variable periods of time — may be weeks, months and years even. He has been advised and reassured accordingly.
This post is just to remind that self medication is dangerous and whenever there is some health issue, it is always prudent to consult a qualified doctor so that proper treatment can be given to ‘nip the evil in the bud’.