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Facial Pain

If you've begun to experience shooting pains in your face as you put on your blusher or floss your teeth, you may have trigeminal neuralgia. The condition may be mild at first, with short bouts of pain. However, as time goes on, the attacks may come unprovoked or in response to even a mild breeze as it blows against your face.

Dames Over Fifty

Woman get this condition more often than men and it's usual for trigeminal neuralgia to affect the over 50 crowd. While you may become concerned at the progression of the symptoms, you should take reassurance from the fact that there is a wide variety of treatments available, for instance medication, injections, and as a last resort: surgery.

Trigeminal neuralgia may come with one or more of the following symptoms:

*Unexpected bouts of pain that come in response to touching the face, speaking, chewing, or brushing the teeth

*Pain that lasts a very short amount of time, no longer than several seconds

*Pain that lasts long periods, up to months or even longer, which may be interspersed with pain-free periods

*Pain in areas controlled by the trigeminal nerve branches, such as the forehead and eyes, or more commonly: the cheek, teeth, gums, lips, and jaws

*Pain on only one side of the face

*Pain focused in one area or covering a larger area

*Mild twinges occurring every so often

*Severe attacks of shooting pain which feel somewhat like electric shocks.

*Attacks worsen in frequency and in intensity as time elapses

Compressed Nerves

The trigeminal nerve is responsible for carrying sensation from the face to the brain. In the case of trigeminal neuralgia, the nerve, located at the base of the brain, becomes compressed by arteries or veins so that its function is disrupted, causing the nerve to malfunction.

While there is an age component to trigeminal neuralgia, sometimes the condition is related to multiple sclerosis or other conditions in which the protective myelin sheath of the nerves is compromised. In rare cases, a tumor can be the cause of trigeminal neuralgia. Often, however, the cause of a specific case of the condition remains undetermined.

Common Triggers

Here are the most common triggers responsible for bouts of pain in trigeminal neuralgia:

*A mild breeze

*Applying makeup

*Brushing your teeth




*Patting the face



Should you experience facial pain as described above, and pain relievers don't seem to provide you any respite, it's time to visit your health care provider.