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Severe facial pain can be caused by a nerve disorder called trigeminal neuralgia. The trigeminal nerves are crucial to providing sensation to the face. When these nerves are irritated or damaged, they can cause intense facial pain. At DOCS Health, we have a team of experienced neuro-spine surgeon specialists that can provide a diagnosis and trigeminal neuralgia treatment at our medical center in Los Angeles.

Causes and Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia

The pair of trigeminal nerves serve each side of the face and have three branches each. The three branches affect the forehead/upper eyelid, lower eyelid/nose/upper gums and jaw/lower gums. When the root of the trigeminal nerve is irritated, usually at the base of the skull, it can cause symptoms on one side of the face. Causes include genetics, hypertension, multiple sclerosis and tumors that impact the nerve.

Symptoms can occur in any of the three branches, but they are most common in the jaw, lips and lower gums. They usually only occur on one side of the face and in one area. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Stabbing or shock-like facial pain
  • Pain is triggered by touching or stimulation to the affected area on the face
  • Jaw or gum pain is common – often misdiagnosed as dental issues
  • Pain episodes can be followed by uncontrollable facial twitching

A trigeminal neuralgia diagnosis is the first step to determining the best treatment. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to identify tumors or MS damage that can affect the trigeminal nerves. Treatment includes using a variety of medications to control pain and facial twitching. If medications are ineffective, surgical options can be used to relieve pressure on the nerve to reduce pain.

If you have suffered from facial pain or were diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, contact us at DOCS Health. Our neuro-spine surgeon specialists offer trigeminal neuralgia treatment and surgery at our state-of-the-art medical clinic in Los Angeles.