The Changing Face of Trigeminal Neuralgia

A Narrative Review

Stine Maarbjerg MD, PhD; Rafael Benoliel BDS (Hons)


Headache. 2021;61(6):817-837. 

In This Article

Features in TN With Concomitant Continuous Pain

Patients with TN may describe two types of pain: paroxysmal attacks of short, sharp pain and a background pain that may last from hours to days.[13,33] Background pain may be described as dull, throbbing, aching, and burning,[68] and is of varying intensity with a mean VAS of 4.6.[13] Some patients with TN with continuous pain also report longer attacks of paroxysmal pain. Continuous pain may be triggered in about 50% of cases, typically by chewing, cold wind, talking, touch, or toothbrushing.[13] In one recent series, bilateral pain was significantly more common in TN with background pain.[13] Patients with TN with background pain are younger and more often female than in purely paroxysmal TN.[13] Continuous background facial pain is a clinical predictor of poorer treatment response.[53,69–71]