Trigeminal neuralgia affects the nerve that carries facial sensations such as pain, pressure and temperature to the brain. It is caused by damage to the protective sheath that insulates the nerve.
Symptoms include a sharp shooting pain, usually on one side of the jaw.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
We will conduct a neurological examination to determine the location and cause of the pain. An imaging study such as an x-ray, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans may help us examine the trigeminal nerve and its branches and identify a tumour or other causes of pain.
Treatment usually involves medications such as anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants, anti-seizure or antidepressant drugs. If these are ineffective, glycerol may be injected at the root of the nerve. Microsurgery or radiosurgery can shift or remove the blood vessels or tissue causing damage to the trigeminal nerve.