Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a disorder of the trigeminal nerve (fifth cranial nerve) that causes severe, shooting pain along one side of the face. It senses touch, pain, pressure, and temperature. It also helps make saliva and tears.
In TN, pain usually lasts for a few seconds and may come and go for days, weeks, or months. It may go into remission or stop completely for months or years. Over time, though, the attacks usually become more frequent and more severe. Attacks can be brought on by chewing, washing, shaving, touching, or even a breeze on the face.
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