Trigeminal neuralgia is a sudden, severe facial pain, often described as a sharp shooting pain or like having an electric shock in the jaw, teeth or gums. It is one of the worst pains known to man, likened to the severity of labour pains. It typically occurs in short, unpredictable attacks that can last from several seconds up to two minutes. The attacks stop as suddenly as they start. Due to their unpredictable nature, this is a condition that is not only difficult to deal with physically, but also, psychologically, and can be extremely isolating. In most cases trigeminal neuralgia (or TN) affects part or all of one side of the face, with the pain usually felt in the lower part of the face. Very occasionally it can affect both sides of the face, although not usually at the same time. It can be so sore that eating, chewing or even touching the affected area can be excrutiatingly painful.
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