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What if I Have Face Pain Diagnosed as Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Do you have sharp, continuous pain that affects one side of your face? Does it happen particularly inside your teeth and come and go? Cold wind, chewing, brushing your teeth, and other activities may trigger fleeting pain or lead to a constant dull ache. When these symptoms occur on one side of your face, you may receive a diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia. Learn more about what this condition is and possible treatments that can alleviate the symptoms or receive the underlying causes.

What Is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia affects the fifth cranial nerve, which is widely distributed throughout your head. This condition is associated with a nerve lesion or injury.

The most common form, called type 1 causes sporadic, extreme bursts of pain resembling a shock or burning sensation. Each volley can last a few seconds to two minutes, and you may experience several of them in succession for up to two hours. In the most common form of trigeminal neuralgia, referred to as type 2 or atypical trigeminal neuralgia, you may feel burning, aching, stabbing at a lower intensity but more constant rate. You can also experience both forms at the same time.

Depending on the severity of the pain, it can be moderately to severely debilitating both mentally and physically.

Diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia?

If you have debilitating face pain, you’ve probably already seen your general practitioner. A diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia often centers around the type of pain you have:

  • Type: sudden, shocking pain
  • Location: the trigeminal nerve affects certain areas of your face
  • Triggers: light stimulation such as eating, talking, or wind against your cheek can trigger associated face pain

Treatment for Face Pain Due to Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Whenever possible, our doctor will recommend nonsurgical treatment options. However, in certain circumstances, surgery may be necessary. Here are some of the treatment options commonly recommended for face pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia:

  • Over-the-counter medications as recommended by your doctor.
  • Antibiotics to treat oral or sinus infections.
  • Your doctor may recommend or prescribe Botox injections or medicine for temporary relief.
  • Microvascular decompression to move to remove the nerves or blood vessels causing the pain.
  • Gamma knife radiation to disable the nerve and alleviate pain.

To find out more about your treatment options regarding trigeminal neuralgia, call Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic at (601) 366-1011. You can also request an appointment online. We’ll find a solution that works for you.