Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN)

What is Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN)?

Trigeminal Neuralgia, also known as TN or TGN, is a condition that affects a person’s trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for providing sensation to the face. This disorder is characterized by sudden and severe episodes of facial pain, most commonly around the mouth, nose, and eyes, but it can affect any part of the face as well. The pain is so severe it is often described as an electric shock, and is usually triggered by activities such as brushing teeth, eating food, drinking liquids, touching the face, and even talking. These episodes of pain can last seconds, minutes, or even hours, and often occur in clusters.

Common Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia

The most common symptom of Trigeminal Neuralgia is recurrent and sudden attacks of facial pain. These attacks can range from mild to intense and usually last a few seconds to a few minutes. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Burning or stabbing pain.
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch, air or pressure.
  • Pain in one side of the face.
  • Pain that is triggered by activities such as eating or brushing teeth.
  • In some cases, muscle twitching in the face or jaw.

Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia

The exact cause of Trigeminal Neuralgia is not always known. In some cases, the condition is caused by an underlying condition such as a tumor or multiple sclerosis. In other cases, the nerve can become compressed or irritated due to repeated pressure on the nerve from tumors, teeth issues, arthritis, or other causes.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN)

If you suspect you may have Trigeminal Neuralgia, it is important that you visit your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and medical history to determine the cause of the pain. They may also order imaging scans such as an MRI to look for any underlying causes.

Treatments for TN vary depending on the severity of the condition and each patient’s individual needs. Medications are the most common treatment, but they can be accompanied by other treatments such as nerve blocks, surgery, or nerve stimulation. It is important to speak with your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.