Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a nerve disorder. It causes a stabbing or electric shock-like pain in parts of the face.
Tic douloureux; Cranial neuralgia; Facial pain - trigeminal; Facial neuralgia; Trifacial neuralgia; Chronic pain - trigeminal; Microvascular decompression - trigeminal
The pain of TN comes from the trigeminal nerve. This nerve carries the sensations of touch and pain from the face, eyes, sinuses, and mouth to the brain.
Trigeminal neuralgia may be caused by:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) or other diseases that damage the protective covering myelin of the nerves
- Pressure on the trigeminal nerve from a swollen blood vessel or tumor
- Injury to the trigeminal nerve, such as from trauma to the face or from oral or sinus surgery
Often, no cause is found. TN usually affects adults, but it can occur at any age. When TN affects people younger than 40, it is often due to MS or a tumor.