Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain disorder that creates nerve pain by affecting the trigeminal nerve. This nerve is one of the most distributed nerves located in the head, and is one of twelves that is attached to the brain. The Trigeminal nerve has three branches, these conduct sensation in the face and mouth, which is why trigeminal neuralgia pain is so widespread throughout the face. Trigeminal neuralgia is considered to be a form of neuropathic pain, which means it is related to a nerve injury or lesion. Though this condition most often affects women and individuals over 50, it can happen at any age. It’s estimated by the Nation Institute of Neurological Disorders that 12 out of every 100, 000 people are affected per year by trigeminal neuralgia. If you are curious about the disorder, or have begun to experience pains, here are some trigeminal neuralgia symptoms you should be aware of.

Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms

Trigeminal neuralgia symptoms can include:

  • Severe bouts of shooting or stabbing pain that may feel like electricity conducted through the face.
  • Pain brought on by touching, speaking, chewing, or otherwise interacting with your face in an everyday manner.
  • Pain like the above lasting for a couple seconds to as long as a couple minutes without relief.
  • Bout of pain that occur frequently sometimes lasting several days, weeks, or even months. There may be periods of no pain during these times.
  • Feelings akin to aching or burning that turns into spasms of pain.
  • Pain as mentioned above that occurs in the jaw, mouth, and cheek areas, more often than in forehead and upper areas.
  • Pain that only affects one side of the face, while leaving the other pain free; however, pain on both sides can occur.
  • Pain that increases in frequency over time when left untreated.
  • These are the most common trigeminal neuralgia symptoms. If you feel you are experiencing any of the above, talk to your healthcare professional to seek a formal trigeminal neuralgia diagnosis.

    Trigeminal Neuralgia Causes

    Trigeminal neuralgia symptoms can be caused when the nerves function is hindered or damaged. It could be caused by contact with a blood vessel, which puts pressure against the trigeminal nerve at the base of the brain. This can cause the nerve’s function to be disrupted creating the pain.

    It can be brought on by health issues or by normal aging. Some individuals who experience trigeminal neuralgia symptoms, have the disorder brought on by a stroke, facial trauma, or surgical injury.


    Pain from trigeminal neuralgia can be triggered by mundane things such as:

    • Eating and drinking.
    • Brushing your teeth.
    • Talking or touching your face.
    • Washing your face, shaving, or putting on makeup.
    • Smiling
    • Wind

    Even the smallest things can set off a bout of pain, which is why seeking help can be critical to bettering your quality of life.


    Trigeminal neuralgia is a painful, and sometimes debilitating condition, if you believe you are experiencing symptoms related to trigeminal neuralgia, consult your doctor first and foremost. The condition can be treated with medication, or with surgery in some cases. Your doctor will be able to assess what you need, so that you can begin to live a pain free life.

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