Trigeminal neuralgia is marked by inflammation of the trigeminal nerve, which sends branches to the forehead, cheek and lower jaw, and causes severe, stabbing pain in the lower face and jaw. Atypical trigeminal neuralgia shares a number of trigeminal neuralgia symptoms and is a form of the condition. OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine, located in the Fort Worth, Arlington and Dallas, Texas area, offers a variety of pain management treatments designed to alleviate the excruciating pain associated with both forms of trigeminal neuralgia.
What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve and causes intense, electric shock-like pain in the lower face and jaw area. Certain patients may also experience pain around the nose and above the eye. Trigeminal neuralgia and atypical trigeminal neuralgia, a form of the condition, pain is typically limited to one side of the face.
The trigeminal nerve is the fifth cranial nerve and branches off into three sections, the forehead and eye region, the cheek and the jaw. When the nerve becomes irritated from an injury, age or other cause, patients experience an attack of intense, searing pain. Patients may experience pain in repeated waves that can last over an hour. As the condition progresses, the attacks of pain can become more intense, longer and more frequent.
What are Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms?
Common trigeminal neuralgia symptoms include:
- Pain first experienced along the lower or upper jaw
- Electric shock-like, stabbing, searing, intense pain in areas supplied by the trigeminal nerve, such as the cheek, jaw, lips, gums and teeth
- Attacks of pain lasting for an extended time frame
- Pain located on one side of the face
- Pain triggered by brushing teeth, applying makeup, shaving, speaking, laughing, chewing, drinking or touching the face
Atypical trigeminal neuralgia has very similar symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia, causing patients to experience stabbing, burning, searing pain in the cheek, jaw, lips, gums and teeth.
What are the Treatment Options for Trigeminal Neuralgia and Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Both forms of trigeminal neuralgia can be treated with a variety of pain management options. Many patients will begin alleviating trigeminal neuralgia symptoms with the use of medications. A pain physician typically prescribes medications designed to lessen or block pain signals, including anticonvulsants, muscles relaxants and Botox injections.
If medication is not effective, surgery may be considered to alleviate the pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia and atypical trigeminal neuralgia. Surgical options include microvascular decompression, stereotactic radiosurgery and balloon compression.
If you want to learn more about trigeminal neuralgia and atypical trigeminal neuralgia, or the most common trigeminal neuralgia symptoms, please contact the OPTIMAL Pain & Regenerative Medicine team, proudly serving the greater Fort Worth, Arlington and Dallas, Texas area.