Some people experience severe, intermittent pain in the face that could be related to the facial nerve. There are 12 nerves (called cranial nerves) deep within the brain. The fifth cranial is responsible for sending messages to the face, including pain, temperature, and sensation. In some people, there is pressure or sensitivity of the 5th cranial nerve that results in severe, intermittent pain in the cheeks/forehead or behind the eye- this is commonly referred to as trigeminal neuralgia.
Trigeminal neuralgia occurs more often in women than men, and is more commonly diagnosed after the fourth or fifth decade of live (though it can occur in younger persons).
The pain is often described as sharp/sudden/severe/stabbing or electric shock. The pain can occur at any time, but is often triggered by cold wind/brushing teeth/chewing/ or talking. Some people report pain when swallowing.
Treatment for trigeminal neuralgia can include medications, injections or surgery.
The specialists at the Neurosurgery Center of Colorado can help to diagnose and treat Trigeminal Neuralgia.