Trigeminal neuralgia involves the trigeminal nerve. It is a painful chronic condition characterized by severe, recurrent pain in the face, usually just on one side. This pain can come from something as simple as a mild stimulation of the face, such as brushing your teeth.
The trigeminal nerve is the largest of the 12 cranial nerves. It's responsible for transmitting sensory information from your brain to the skin of the face, the sinuses, and the mucous membranes. Along with carrying sensation from your face to your brain, the trigeminal nerve also stimulates jaw muscle movement. There are two separate trigeminal nerves -- one either side of the face -- and trigeminal neuralgia tends only to affect one of them.
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