Causes and triggers of trigeminal neuralgia
The causes of trigeminal nerve pain are still being investigated, but what we do know is that the face has trigeminal nerves that split into three branches that can transmit sensations of pain from the face, mouth and teeth to the brain. This works much like the sense of touch. When someone touches your face, the nerve senses this and transmits the sensation to your brain so that you feel the touch.
Medical science tells us that most cases of trigeminal neuralgia are caused by blood vessels pressing on the root of the trigeminal nerve. As a result, the nerve transmits pain signals. With multiple sclerosis it is believed that the myelin sheath – the protective covering surrounding the nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord – becomes damaged. When this happens, nerve impulses slow or may even stop, causing neurological problems. Some medical experts also suspect that a tumor pressing on the nerve could cause the signs and symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia. Dental or surgical procedures that damage the nerve or an infection are also possible causes.
The early signs of trigeminal neuralgia are abrupt. They seem to come out of nowhere, taking people by surprise. Since the pain is unexpected at first and it is intense, sufferers can become distraught.