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Trigeminal Neuralgia Is an Early Symptom of MS

December 2, 2015

Trigeminal Neuralgia is a type of nerve pain that is very painful, and attacks can last for days, weeks and sometimes even months. It affects the fifth cranial nerve, trigeminal, which is responsible for the sensation in the face involved with biting and chewing. It is the largest of the cranial nerves and gets its name from the fact that each nerve has three major branches.

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, trigeminal neuralgia is known as an early sign or symptom of multiple sclerosis. They go so far as to say that MS is “usually the cause” of trigeminal nerve pain in young adults.

Research shows that 5% of patients who are suffering from trigeminal nerve pain have MS and that patients with MS are 20 times more likely to develop trigeminal nerve pain. Trigeminal Neuralgia affects both sides of the face. The symptoms of this condition are abrupt and can come out of nowhere, simply by touching or stretching the face:

  • Periodic episodes of severe, shooting pain that feels like an electric shock
  • Spontaneous attacks of pain triggered by chewing, speaking, brushing teeth or even touching the face
  • Pain lasting from a few seconds to several minutes
  • Constant aching, burning
  • Pain attacks lasting days, weeks or even months
  • Pain that goes into the gums, lips or possibly the eyes and forehead as well
  • Attacks that become more frequent over time and more intense over time
  • Pain affecting one side of the face at a time