Trigeminal neuralgia is associates with chronic pain in the trigeminal nerve. It gives the sufferer a sudden burning sensation and extreme pain in the face area. Trigeminal neuralgia affects women more often than men, and it’s more likely to occur in people who are older than 50. 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.
- Pain affecting one side of the face at a time, though may rarely affect both sides of the face.
- Spontaneous attacks of pain or attacks triggered by things such as touching the face, chewing, speaking and brushing teeth.
- Constant aching, burning feeling that’s less intense than the spasm-like pain.
- Episodes of severe, shooting or jabbing pain that may feel like an electric shock.
- Episodes of several attacks lasting days, weeks, months or longer — some people have periods when they experience no pain.
- Pain focused in one spot or spread in a wider pattern.
- Attacks that become more frequent and intense over time.
- Bouts of pain lasting from a few seconds to several minutes.
Although the exact cause is not known, trigeminal neuralgia is often thought to be caused by compression of the trigeminal nerve or an underlying condition affecting this nerve.