What Is Trigeminal Neuralgia And What Are Its Causes?


Trigeminal neuralgia is also called tic douloureux and is a very excruciating facial pain. Typically, the pain affects the lower jaw and face, even though it affects the area above the eye and around the nose sometimes. The pain can be stabbing and is brought about by botheration of the trigeminal nerve. This nerve sends branches to the cheek, lower jaw, and forehead.


The pain can be easily triggered by minor actions like brushing teeth, smiling, or eating. It can start as mild pain, but when left untreated, it can worsen and can become unbearable. Even though the condition cannot always be cured, treatments are available, which can help alleviate the pain. Usually, anticonvulsive medications are used to treat this type of debilitating pain.


As per the reports, trigeminal neuralgia occurs in 150,000 people every year and is most common in people above the age of 50. As per the reports of the National Institute Of Neurological Disorders And Stroke, the chances of trigeminal neuralgia are double in women than in men and you need to visit a free womens clinic in your area if you are a woman who suffers from any type of pain on your face.


Causes And Symptoms Of Trigeminal Neuralgia

The exact cause of trigeminal neuralgia is still unknown to the scientific world, but the pain from the problem is linked to irritation of the trigeminal nerve. There are two kinds of trigeminal neuralgia, primary and secondary, and the primary type is believed to occur due to the compression of the trigeminal nerve.  


The compression can occur due to a contact between a healthy vein or artery and the trigeminal nerve at the base of the brain, which can result in pressure on the nerve and can make the nerve misfire. Secondary trigeminal neuralgia is caused due to pressure on the nerve from a cyst, multiple sclerosis, tumor, facial injury, or some other medical condition that can damage the myelin sheath of the nerve.


As per many patients, the pain begins spontaneously without any cause. Oftentimes, the pain is experienced along the lower or upper jaw making many patients think that they have a dental abscess, causing the pain. If you are a female suffering from any such pain, visit a free womens health clinic in your area to ensure proper treatment for the pain.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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