Neuralgia describes pain in an area innervated by a certain nerve. Pain is caused by the nerve or the brain without an exterior damage. Neuralgia can potentially affect every nerve. The most common form of neuralgia is trigeminal neuralgia.
Nervus trigeminus is a facial nerve with sensory (perception of being touched) and motory (control of facial muscles) functions. It has its origin in the brainstem and proceeds through the skull base. Nervus trigeminus splits up into three branches for the innervation of face and skull. In case of trigeminal neuralgia, mostly only one of these branches is predominantly affected:
- forehead and eyes
- cheek, upper jaw and corresponding teeth
- lower jaw