Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a condition that affects one of the largest nerves in the head, the trigeminal nerve. TN is a chronic-pain condition and has been called one of the most painful conditions known to humans.
As the name suggests, the trigeminal nerve has three branches. More than one news branch can be impacted by trigeminal neuralgia and both sides of the face can be affected either at the same time or at different times. The upper (ophthalmic), middle (maxillary), and lower (mandibular) portions of the face carry sensations from the trigeminal nerve to the brain. The upper branch carries sensations to most of the front of the head, including the scalp and forehead. The middle branch carries stimulations from the cheek, upper lip, upper jaw, teeth, gums, and side of the nose. The lower branch supplies sensation to the lower jaw, teeth, gums, and bottom lip.
Because TN affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States, it has been listed as a "rare disease" by the National Institute of Health. It has been estimated that one in 15,000 people suffer from TN, but those numbers may be significantly higher than the actual rate due to frequent misdiagnosis.
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Please call 210-450-9060 to make an appointment or obtain a second opinion for TN.