How to Identify Trigeminal Neuralgia
Trigeminal neuralgia is almost entirely characterized by pain. The pain may start mild but worsens over time. It often comes in attacks, where you experience bouts of pain that’s common for a while, then it subsides, sometimes for months or even years. Over time, pain attacks become more frequent and severe.
Symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia include:
- Pain on one side of the face
- Sharp, electric pain in the cheek, jaw, eye, or forehead
- Numbness or tingling in the face
- Pain in response to minor triggers like:
- Touching skin lightly (even the wind might do it)
- Brushing teeth
- Jaw activity
- Absence of ear and joint TMJ symptoms
Trigeminal neuralgia affects only the trigeminal nerve, so its symptoms all relate to excessive sensation (pain), sensitivity to touch, or minimal nerve sensation (numbness or tingling). While jaw activity can trigger both trigeminal neuralgia and TMJ, TMJ will have more symptoms related to the jaw (limited motion, noises, etc.) and ear (tinnitus, vertigo, etc.).