What isTrigeminal Neuralgia?
The trigeminal nerves are connected to our face and are responsible for carrying sensation from the face to the brain. Each side of our face has a dedicated trigeminal nerve. This nerve has three branches going to the chin, midface, and forehead.
Trigeminal Neuralgia is a condition that causes severe pain in these facial nerves. It usually happens on one side of the face. The pain can last for days becoming chronic and can be triggered by even minor activities like brushing your teeth. There are two types of TN:
Typical (Type 1): Pain arises in short spans followed by pain-free periods. The pain is extremely severe and can last from seconds to minutes but the cycle can continue for hours.
Typical (Type 2): Pain is constant in this type of TN but is less intense with respect to typical trigeminal neuralgia.
What causes Trigeminal Neuralgia?
There can be a spectrum of reasons why Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) pain is triggered. A tumor might encroach upon the nerve putting pressure on it and causing pain. Multiple sclerosis, which damages the myelin sheath of the nerves, is also a cause for the pain. Sometimes, an injury and trauma to these facial nerves might trigger pain in them.
Trigeminal neuralgia pain can be triggered by day-to-day tasks like brushing your teeth, shaving, eating your food, washing your face, talking, and even smiling.
Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia
Pain is the major symptom of Trigeminal Neuralgia and can get triggered by the most minor of activities. The symptoms for trigeminal neuralgia can include:
Severe stabbing pain that has a throbbing nature.
Pain attacks that might last from seconds to minutes to even days.
TN generally affects only one side of the face.
Pain in the areas connected to trigeminal nerves like lips, chin, eyes, forehead, and teeth.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia
At Dunes Pain Clinic, our medical experts will conduct physical and neurological exams to diagnose the nerve that is in pain. Your ears, eyes, and temporomandibular joints might be examined. Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI is conducted to get a clear picture of the nerve condition in the face. These various tests are done in order to rule out any possibility of underlying diseases like postherpetic neuralgia, migraines, and peripheral neuropathy.
Once the tests and examinations are performed, the doctors proceed towards the treatment. Expert physicians at Dunes Pain Clinic use a variety of treatments to cure TN ranging from non-invasive to minimally invasive surgical procedures.
Medications: To provide relief from pain and discomfort analgesics like aspirin, anticonvulsants like oxcarbazepine and phenytoin, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants might be used.
Surgical Procedures: Minimally invasive surgical procedures like radiofrequency thermal lesioning, nerve blocks and rhizotomy can be used to relax the pain and discomfort.
Alternative Techniques: Yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and deep breathing are unconventional therapies that prove to be effective in controlling the discomfort due to TN pain.
Forming the best combination of therapies and treatments, our experts will try to reduce your trigeminal neuralgia pain as much as possible. Call us now for a pain-free life!