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What is Facial pain / Trigeminal neuralgia?

What is Facial pain / Trigeminal neuralgia?

By facial pain means pain in the face or eye sockets, sinuses, oral cavity or teeth. The most common form of facial pain are the so-called trigeminal neuralgia, a nerve pain in the face large sensory nerve. There are also a number of other more uncharacteristic pain conditions that are collectively known as atypical facial pain.


Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by unilateral, very sharp shooting pain in the face, often in cheek, forehead or less in the jaw region. Pain attacks can last for several seconds and feel like electric shocks. The pain is not accompanied by other symptoms. The condition can be provoked by the consumption of cold and hot food or drinks, chewing, brushing, shaving, washing, immersion or the like. The condition may occur numerous times in a day in some cases more than 100 times, but rarely at night. In difficult periods omitted food and fluid intake, since any attempt to eat or drink causes pain. It is also significant that there are often one or more specific points on the face, the so-called trigger points from which pain can be induced, and one fails therefore shaving, washing and the like in this area. 
In contrast, the constant atypical facial pain, burning, stabbing or stabbing pain in a much localized area. These can usually not triggered by a specific action or touch. 

How does the disease?

Trigeminal neuralgia has a periodic cycle of daily pain onset of one or more months. Then blades condition gradually and can then recur at long intervals – often without any set pattern. Some patients, however, constant, frequent seizures and may be in real medical treatment for life. 
Atypical facial pain can have a highly variable pattern over time depending on the underlying cause.

Who gets the disease?

Trigeminal neuralgia usually starts after 50 years of age and is slightly more women than men.  

Atypical facial pain can start in all age groups and occur most commonly in adult women. The state has begun after a dental treatment, another intervention in the face region or an accident, but causality is often difficult to clarify. 

Facial pain / Trigeminal neuralgia

What causes facial pain / trigeminal neuralgia?

The reason for trigeminal neuralgia is unknown, but in each case, a local pressure on the nerve to cause pain, especially when the disease has started at an early age. This pressure can be caused by an accident, a tumor, an enlarged blood vessel or other causes of nerve for example, by multiple sclerosis. It is believed that the nerve insulation, called myelin sheath that surrounds the nerve fibers themselves are affected, so it appears that local short circuits in nerve conductivity. Since the trigeminal nerve are the facial nerve and great feeling virtually contains all the facial pain lanes, it is very sensitive to external influence. 
The cause of atypical facial pain is not known. 

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Studies by facial pain / trigeminal neuralgia

A thorough conversation and a neurological examination is needed to rule out other causes of facial pain. By atypical or early onset of trigeminal neuralgia is made MRI of the brain and the nerve. An MRI performed to rule out other causes. 

Special conditions in children

It can be difficult to find out whether infants have pain because they cannot describe the pain or tell you where it hurts. In neonates and premature infants pain can prove know they thrive poorly, have vomiting and sweating. From 1 age can ear pain is indicated when the child cries out to the ears and pulls his legs up under him. 
Pain shows in children usually know they are crying, whining, has reduced eating fancy and throwing up. For more serious conditions, the child lying still with his head bent backwards, legs drawn up. 
The main agent for treating pain in children is paracetamol. For children with severe pain, the doctor uses a combined treatment according to the same guidelines as for adults. 

Treatment of facial pain / trigeminal neuralgia

Acute Treatment 

Common painkillers and morphine preparations usually have little effect. If you are very affected, you will be admitted for hospital treatment.  

If there is a local cause of pain, such as a tumor or nerve damage, you may need surgery. The usual treatment consists of different types of epilepsy medication. This type of medication has a stabilizing effect on the nerve and dissuasive. Slow escalation recommended most often because of the rapid increase in dose can occur side effects of fatigue and dizziness. It can cause problems if you have frequent seizures and cannot take food or liquid. In such cases, the hospital will be considered. 

There are no specific treatments for atypical facial pain. 


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