This condition presents with facial pain. This usually involves the cheek and jaw and less likely the forehead. This is caused when the fifth cranial nerve (Trigeminal nerve) is compressed by a bloodvessel in the brainstem. It can also be caused by tumours compressing the nerve. Pain can be precipitated by chewing, talking and touching the face. The pain can be severe and debilitating. Often patients would be misdiagnosed with a dental problem.
Treatment for trigeminal neuralgia is usually with medication (Tegretol)
If this fails an injection of the nerve can be done.
Surgery is reserved for resistant cases and involves a craniotomy. The nerve and the blood vessel is separated and a Teflon patch is positioned between the nerve and the blood vessel.
This procedure has a high success rate.