Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain. If you have trigeminal neuralgia, even mild stimulation of your face — such as from brushing your teeth or putting on makeup — may trigger a jolt of excruciating pain.
You may initially experience short, mild attacks, but trigeminal neuralgia can progress, causing longer, more frequent bouts of searing pain. Trigeminal neuralgia affects women more often than men, and it's more likely to occur in people who are older than 50.
Because of the variety of treatment options available, having trigeminal neuralgia doesn't necessarily mean you're doomed to a life of pain. Doctors usually can effectively manage trigeminal neuralgia with medications, injections or surgery.
Aug. 10, 2012
- NINDS trigeminal neuralgia page. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/trigeminal_neuralgia/trigeminal_neuralgia.htm. Accessed April 13, 2012.
- Bajwa ZH, et al. Trigeminal neuralgia. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed April 16, 2012.
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html Accessed May 16, 2012.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2012. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Mosby; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/183930156-4/0/2088/674.html#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05609-0..00029-0--sc0175_13740. Accessed May 16, 2012.
- Gronseth G, et al. Practice parameters: The diagnostic evaluation and treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (an evidence-based review): Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the European Federation of Neurological Societies. Neurology. 2008;71:1183.
- Krafft RM. Trigeminal neuralgia. American Family Physician. 2008;77:1291.
- PainAid. American Pain Foundation. http://painaid.painfoundation.org/. Accessed May 31, 2012.