Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a condition that causes sudden and severe pain in parts of the face.
TN is caused by a problem with the trigeminal nerve, which is a nerve that runs from the brain to the face.
TN causes sharp and stabbing pain in the cheek, lower face, or around the eye. The pain lasts a few seconds to a few minutes, and usually happens on only one side of the face. TN can also cause muscle spasms in the face that happen at the same time as the pain. Most people with TN have repeated episodes of pain.
Often, certain movements or activities make the pain attacks happen. These can include:
- Touching the face
- Brushing the teeth
- Cold air on the face