Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for carrying sensations from the face to the brain. It is characterized by episodes of intense, stabbing pain in the face that can last for seconds to minutes. While the exact cause of trigeminal neuralgia is not fully understood, there are several possible factors that may contribute to its development.
Dr. Sina Rajamand and his team at Battle Born Brain and Spine in Reno can diagnose and treat Trigeminal Neuralgia so patients can enjoy a better quality of life. Let’s briefly explore some of the possible causes of this neurological condition.
Compression of the Trigeminal Nerve
One of the most common causes of trigeminal neuralgia is compression of the trigeminal nerve by a blood vessel or other structure in the brain. This compression can cause the nerve to become irritated and send pain signals to the brain. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve the compression and alleviate symptoms.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disorder that can damage the myelin sheath that surrounds the trigeminal nerve. When this happens, the nerve can become hypersensitive and send pain signals to the brain even in the absence of any external stimuli. MS-related trigeminal neuralgia may be treated with medications, such as anticonvulsants or nerve blocks.
Tumors in the brain or near the trigeminal nerve can cause compression or damage to the nerve, leading to trigeminal neuralgia. Treatment will depend on the type and location of the tumor, and may involve surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Trigeminal neuralgia may also have a genetic component, as it tends to run in families. However, the specific genes involved in the condition have not been identified. If you have a family history of trigeminal neuralgia, you may be at higher risk for developing the condition yourself.
In rare cases, dental procedures such as root canal treatments or tooth extractions may trigger trigeminal neuralgia. This may occur due to damage to the trigeminal nerve during the procedure, or due to inflammation caused by the procedure. If trigeminal neuralgia develops after a dental procedure, it should be evaluated by a doctor to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.
Reno, NV, Trigeminal Neuralgia Surgery
While the exact cause of trigeminal neuralgia is not fully understood, there are several possible factors that may contribute to its development. If you are experiencing symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia, it is important to see Dr. Rajamand for evaluation and appropriate treatment.
If conservative treatments like medications and Botox® injections are not effective, neurosurgery is necessary. Minimally invasive microvascular decompression can relocate or remove blood vessels that may be pressing on the trigeminal nerve, and place a cushion to prevent the condition from developing again.
With proper care, most people with trigeminal neuralgia can find relief from their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Contact Battle Born Brain and Spine in Reno today if you or a loved one are noticing symptoms consistent with trigeminal neuralgia.