What is the Trigeminal Nerve?

Serving Patients in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Lawton, and Norman, OK

The trigeminal nerve is the nerve responsible for nearly all of the sensation in your face and head. Because the trigeminal nerve runs through the jaw, it is this nerve that is most impacted by TMJ.
Pressure placed on the trigeminal nerve may produce symptoms including jaw pain, headaches, and even generalized facial pain.
The trigeminal nerve has three branches:


  • Mandibular – supplying sensation and dictating movement in the jaw, tongue, and surrounding areas of the mouth 
  •  Maxillary – supplying sensation to the nasal cavity, sinuses, and palate 
  •  Ophthalmic – supplying sensation to the eyes and nasal cavity, as well as to the skin of the eyelids, eyebrows, forehead, and nose

Of these three branches, the mandibular is the largest. It is also the only one that controls movement, and the branch most disturbed by TMJ.

When jaw misalignment places pressure on the mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve, the maxillary and ophthalmic branches may relay pain sensation to the areas they supply. Unless pressure is relieved from the trigeminal nerve through proper TMJ treatment, there can be no long-term relief from these symptoms.
If you are suffering from TMJ in Oklahoma City or surrounding areas of Oklahoma, please contact Dr. Terry Bass, DDS today to schedule a neuromuscular dentistry evaluation.