Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia | Bansal Hospital

Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments


The condition known as atypical trigeminal neuralgia is an infrequent occurrence that has the potential to induce intense discomfort in the facial region. Common symptoms typically comprise acute and piercing pain extending from the mandible or cheek region to the frontal or temporal areas. 

The aetiology of atypical trigeminal neuralgia may exhibit heterogeneity. However, it is frequently linked to neural injury or constriction. The spectrum of treatments available for a particular medical condition may vary from pharmacological interventions to surgical procedures, contingent upon the gravity of the ailment. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of atypical trigeminal neuralgia and want an effective treatment, look no further than Bansal Hospital Bhopal! As the leading hospital in central India, Bansal Hospital offers state-of-the-art treatments for various medical conditions, including atypical trigeminal neuralgia. 

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia
  2. Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia Causes
  3. Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms
  4. Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment
  5. The Final Say 
  6. FAQs

Understanding Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia

Atypical trigeminal neuralgia, or type 2 trigeminal neuralgia or trigeminal neuropathic pain, is a neurological condition characterised by chronic facial pain. It is considered a variant of classical trigeminal neuralgia (type 1), but the pain experienced in atypical trigeminal neuralgia is typically more constant and less episodic. 

Individuals with atypical trigeminal neuralgia often describe aching, burning, or throbbing pain in the face. 

The pain may occur in the lower jaw, cheeks, temples, or forehead, affecting both sides of the face. Unlike classical trigeminal neuralgia, where specific trigger points can provoke intense shooting pain, atypical trigeminal neuralgia often lacks identifiable triggers. 

Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms 

The symptoms of atypical trigeminal neuralgia can vary from person to person, but they generally involve chronic facial pain that differs from classic trigeminal neuralgia. Here are some common symptoms associated with atypical trigeminal neuralgia:

1. Facial pain

Individuals with atypical trigeminal neuralgia often experience persistent facial pain that can be described as aching, burning, or throbbing. The pain may be constant or intermittent and is typically more widespread than in classical trigeminal neuralgia.

2. Distribution Of Pain

The pain in atypical trigeminal neuralgia can affect multiple branches of the trigeminal nerve, which supplies sensation to different facial areas. The pain may occur in the lower jaw, cheeks, temples, forehead, or any combination of these areas. 

3. Triggering Factors

While atypical trigeminal neuralgia may lack specific trigger points like classical trigeminal neuralgia, certain activities or stimuli can exacerbate the pain. Normal daily activities such as talking, eating, chewing, brushing teeth, or touching the face can trigger or worsen the pain.

Associated Symptoms

Some individuals with atypical trigeminal neuralgia may experience additional symptoms, including:

  1. Tingling or Numbness: The patient may feel tingling or numbness accompanying the facial pain. These sensations can be present in the affected areas of the face or spread to other regions.
  2. Headaches: Headaches, ranging from mild to severe, can coexist with facial pain in atypical trigeminal neuralgia.
  3. Increased Sensitivity: The affected face areas may become highly sensitive to touch, temperature changes, or other sensory stimuli.
  4. Muscle Weakness: In rare cases, atypical trigeminal neuralgia can cause muscle weakness or difficulty with facial movements.

Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia Causes 

The significant factors that may cause atypical trigeminal neuralgia are:

1. Nerve Damage

Trauma, compression, or trigeminal nerve irritation can lead to atypical trigeminal neuralgia. This nerve damage can be caused by various factors such as facial injury, dental procedures, brain tumours, or blood vessel abnormalities.

2. Nerve Inflammation

Inflammation of the trigeminal nerve or surrounding structures can trigger atypical trigeminal neuralgia. Conditions like multiple sclerosis, herpes zoster (shingles), or other viral infections can cause nerve inflammation.

3. Idiopathic Causes 

Sometimes, the cause of atypical trigeminal neuralgia remains unknown. This is idiopathic, atypical trigeminal neuralgia with no specific reason.

Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment 

1. Medications

Anticonvulsant drugs, such as gabapentin, pregabalin, or carbamazepine, are commonly prescribed to manage the pain associated with atypical trigeminal neuralgia. Tricyclic antidepressants, like amitriptyline, can also help control the pain.

2. Nerve Blocks

Injecting anaesthetic medication or steroids near the affected branches of the trigeminal nerve can provide temporary pain relief. These nerve blocks can help diagnose the specific nerve involved and serve as a therapeutic intervention.

3. Surgical Interventions

Atypical trigeminal neuralgia surgery may be considered when conservative measures are ineffective. Microvascular decompression (MVD), radiofrequency ablation, or nerve rhizotomy may relieve pressure on the trigeminal nerve or interrupt the pain signals.

4. Alternative Therapies

Some individuals may find relief through complementary and alternative therapies, including acupuncture, biofeedback, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

5. Psychological Support

Living with chronic facial pain can be challenging, and individuals with atypical trigeminal neuralgia may benefit from psychological support, such as counselling or support groups, to cope with the emotional and psychological aspects of the condition.

Expert Advice

A balanced diet involving vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can prevent atypical trigeminal neuralgia. These nutrient-dense foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support well-being. 

Additionally, incorporating anti-inflammatory foods such as fatty fish (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), leafy greens, berries, nuts, and seeds may help reduce inflammation, potentially alleviating pain.

It is also crucial to stay adequately hydrated by consuming sufficient water throughout the day. Additionally, some individuals may find it helpful to keep a food diary to identify potential triggers or patterns between their diet and symptom flare-ups.

The Final Say

Atypical trigeminal neuralgia is a neurological condition characterised by chronic facial pain that differs from classical trigeminal neuralgia. While the exact causes are not fully understood, it is believed to result from nerve dysfunction or damage. 

Although no specific diet directly treats atypical trigeminal neuralgia, a balanced diet, including various nutrient-rich foods and anti-inflammatory options, may support overall health and alleviate symptoms.

Furthermore, you may contact Bansal Hospital’s neurology department if you need any guidance related to this disorder. Their healthcare experts are always ready to guide you through dealing with illnesses.


  1. What are the symptoms of atypical trigeminal neuralgia? 

The symptoms of atypical trigeminal neuralgia typically include 

  1. Chronic facial pain 
  2. Aching
  3. Burning or throbbing
  4. Pain in the lower jaw, cheeks, temples, forehead, or a combination of these areas. 
  5. Tingling or numbness
  6. Headaches
  7. Increased sensitivity or muscle weakness
  1. What causes atypical trigeminal neuralgia? 

The causes of atypical trigeminal neuralgia include:

  1. Nerve damage
  2. Nerve inflammation
  3. Trauma
  4. Compression
  5. Viral infections
  6. Multiple sclerosis
  1. How is atypical trigeminal neuralgia treated? 

Atypical trigeminal neuralgia can be treated in several ways, including:

  1. Medications such as anticonvulsants and tricyclic antidepressants
  2. Nerve blocks or injections to numb the affected nerve
  3. Surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve or remove a blood vessel that may be compressing it
  4. Radiofrequency ablation destroys the nerve fibres causing pain

About Bansal Hospital

Bansal Hospital is a multispeciality hospital and is one of the leading, reputable and reliable healthcare providers trusted by patients and their families across the region. It has all the major departments, including cardiology, neurology, oncology, orthopaedics, gastroenterology, urology, liver transplant, bone marrow transplantation, nephrology, gynaecology and more. The hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and technology. It has a team of highly qualified and experienced doctors and medical staff who provide round-the-clock care to the patient.

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