Trigeminal Neuralgia

What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

The head consists of 12 pairs of cranial nerves. Amongst these are the Trigeminal nerves which allows a person to feel facial sensations. A disorder to any of the three nerve branches - Ophthalmic Branch, Mandibular Branch, and Maxillary Branch, results in intense facial pain and is termed as Trigeminal Neuralgia. Trigeminal Neuralgia affects the facial nerves and causes ongoing intense pain, from the forehead to the jaw. It is similar to the feeling of electric shock like pain. The pain could be on one side or both. In case, if it happens both sides, it is called as Bilateral Trigeminal Neuralgia.

The causes for Trigeminal Neuralgia could be anything, from an irritation in the nerve to a pressing blood vessel. A stroke, accident, or a surgery could also injure the nerves, resulting in Trigeminal Neuralgia.


Some people confuse Trigeminal Neuralgia pain to a dental problem. The main symptom is brief periods of shooting pain. Other common signs and symptoms include:

  • Triggering of pain as a result of brushing, washing the face, shaving, or applying makeup. Sometimes a light breeze can also trigger the pain.
  • Momentary pain.
  • Pain several times in a week or a day.
  • The pain is mostly felt in the cheeks, teeth, gums, jaw, and lips.

How is it diagnosed?

At Medanta, a medical diagnosis is repeatedly done by the doctors to find out the root cause of the pain.


How is it treated?

The most effective treatment can only be known after complete diagnosis. The two most common treatments are medication and surgery.


  • Microvascular Decompression

    Taking out the blood vessels affecting the nerves.
    Gamma Knife Radiosurgery: Use of radiation on the trigeminal nerve.
    Rhizotomy: Destroying the nerve fibres.

When do I contact the doctor?

You should immediately see a doctor as soon as your symptoms of pain begin to worsen, and you start having it on frequent intervals. Based on the intensity of pain, the doctor will carry out the treatment.

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