Trigeminal neuralgia is a term used for facial pain which begins in the trigeminal nerve. It usually occurs in people over the age of 50 and affects women more than men. However, it is more common in people who have multiple sclerosis (MS).
We’ve put together a list of facts about trigeminal neuralgia with help from familydoctor.org and the MS Trust UK.
- There are two trigeminal nerves running down each side of the face. Each trigeminal nerve has three main branches: the upper branch reaches to the scalp and forehead, the middle branch to the nose, cheek and upper jaw and mouth, and the lower branch reaches the lower jaw and mouth.
- Damage to the myelin sheath protecting the nerve is what causes pain for MS sufferers.
- Pain may be triggered by everyday activities such as eating, brushing teeth, talking, head movement, breeze, air conditioning, hot or cold food, or may come up spontaneously without any trigger.