Trigeminal neuralgia symptoms may include one or more of these patterns:
- Occasional twinges of mild pain
- Episodes of severe, shooting or jabbing pain that may feel like an electric shock
- Spontaneous attacks of pain or attacks triggered by things such as touching the face, chewing, speaking and brushing teeth
- Bouts of pain lasting from a few seconds to several seconds
- Episodes of several attacks lasting days, weeks, months or longer — some people have periods when they experience no pain
- Pain in areas supplied by the trigeminal nerve, including the cheek, jaw, teeth, gums, lips, or less often the eye and forehead
- Pain affecting one side of your face at a time
- Pain focused in one spot or spread in a wider pattern
- Attacks becoming more frequent and intense over time
When to see a doctor
If you experience facial pain, particularly prolonged or recurring pain or pain unrelieved by over-the-counter pain relievers, see your doctor.
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.