What is trigeminal neuralgia?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition that causes severe and chronic pain in your face. The pain occurs because the trigeminal nerve, which runs between the face and brain, is not working properly. This malfunctioning can have a large affect on your life as the trigeminal nerve is responsible for relaying information from your face to your brain and controlling some facial movement. The pain is often described as stabbing, and it can be aggravated by daily tasks as simple as talking. It may last anywhere from a few seconds to well over a minute.

Trigeminal neuralgia is an inflammatory condition involving the trigeminal nerve, which results in severe facial lancinating pain, usually referred to the jaw or the cheek on one side. It can occur spontaneously or can be brought on by talking, eating, brushing the teeth or touching the face. The condition occurs more commonly in patients who are older than 50 years and in women. It may be mistaken for a dental disease and many patients undergo tooth extractions to root canals without any improvement before the correct diagnosis is made.

Trigeminal neuralgia is a form of facial pain, but not everyday ordinary facial pain. This is facial pain of such a severity that it’s been called the suicide disease. Before we had good treatments for trigeminal neuralgia, in rare cases, patients would commit suicide to get away from this horrible pain.

Trigeminal neuralgia is severe pain caused by compression of a nerve.

Trigeminal neuralgia is pain caused by damage to the trigeminal nerve. It is characterized by a stabbing pain in the face that can result from almost any facial movement. It tends to be extremely painful and can interfere with activities of daily living. Trigeminal neuralgia is frequently an initial symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS), and it is commonly confused with dental pain. Between 1.9 to 4.9 percent of MS patients experience it.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.