Trigeminal neuralgia is inflammation of the trigeminal nerve, causing intense facial pain. It is also known as tic douloureax because the intense pain can cause patients to contort their face into a grimace and cause the head to move away from the pain.
Trigeminal neuralgia is associated with a variety of conditions. Trigeminal neuralgia can be caused by a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve as it exits the brain stem. This compression causes the wearing away or damage to the protective coating around the nerve (the myelin sheath). Pain varies, depending on the type of Trigeminal neuralgia, and may range from sudden, severe, and stabbing to a more constant, aching, burning sensation. The intense flashes of pain can be triggered by vibration or contact with the cheek (such as when shaving, washing the face, or applying makeup), brushing teeth, eating, drinking, talking, or being exposed to the wind. The pain may affect a small area of the face or may spread. Bouts of pain rarely occur at night, when the affected individual is sleeping.
Related Journals of Trigeminal Neuralgia