The Trigeminal nerve is the fifth cranial nerve located within the brain, and is primarily responsible for transmitting sensations from the face to the brain. It is composed of three branches: the ophthalmic, maxillary, and mandibular. Each branch connects nerves from the brain to different parts of the face.
The trigeminal nerve is responsible for transmitting sensations to the mouth, teeth, face, and nasal cavity. It is also the nerve that controls the muscles used for chewing.
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is considered to be one of the most painful afflictions known to medical practice. TN is a disorder of the fifth cranial (trigeminal) nerve that causes episodes of intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain in the areas of the face where the branches of the nerve are distributed - lips, eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, upper jaw, and lower jaw.
"Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia" which is generally characterized by a less intense, constant, dull burning or aching pain, often with occasional electric shock-like stabs.
The initial treatment for neuropathic facial pain conditions is usually with anti-convulsive and/or anti-depressant drugs. Should these medications be ineffective or produce undesirable side effects, neurosurgical procedures are available (at least for TN) to relieve pressure on the nerve or to reduce nerve sensitivity. However, in many patients (particularly those in which the pain is chronic), no current treatment is effective, either permanently or in the long term.
TN is an example of neuropathic pain which is defined as pain caused by injury to or disordered functioning of the nervous system. In my case, I have Atypical TN. My pain is constant and aching. Occasionally, I get the electric shock-like stabs, but not too often. I attribute my pain to the injury that occurred to my 5th cranial nerve during my 5 years of dental and maxillofacial reconstruction. As per my previous posts, I find that the medication Gabapentin/Neurontin works for me to reduce my pain I have tried other drugs such as Tegretol which made me extremely naucious and dizzy, and various anti-depressants. But in the end, Gabapentin/Neurontin has worked the best for me.
What meds work for you and what meds have you tried that haven't worked to relieve your pain?