Trigeminal Neuralgia

ExitCare ImageTrigeminal neuralgia is a nerve disorder that causes sudden attacks of severe facial pain. It is caused by damage to the trigeminal nerve, a major nerve in the face. It is more common in women and in the elderly, although it can also happen in younger patients. Attacks last from a few seconds to several minutes and can occur from a couple of times per year to several times per day. Trigeminal neuralgia can be a very distressing and disabling condition. Surgery may be needed in very severe cases if medical treatment does not give relief.


  • If your caregiver prescribed medication to help prevent attacks, take as directed.

  • To help prevent attacks:

  • Chew on the unaffected side of the mouth.

  • Avoid touching your face.

  • Avoid blasts of hot or cold air.

  • Men may wish to grow a beard to avoid having to shave.


  • Pain is unbearable and your medicine does not help.

  • You develop new, unexplained symptoms (problems).

  • You have problems that may be related to a medication you are taking.