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

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