Face and Jaw Pain
Trigeminal neuralgia causes extreme, sporadic, sudden burning or shock-like facial pain that lasts anywhere from a few seconds to as long as two minutes per episode whereas Atypical Facial Pain is persistent and has few, if any, periods of remission.
Atypical Facial Pain (ATFP)
Atypical Facial Pain (ATFP): also known as atypical facial neuralgia, chronic idiopathic facial pain, or psychogenic facial pain, is often confused with trigeminal neuralgia but it is different in that it is persistent and has few, if any, periods of remission. Pain is usually localized to one side of the face and can be described as sharp, dull, crushing, aching, burning, pulling or squeezing. There are many possible causes of ATFP, and diagnosis is usually reached through a process of elimination.
External Resource: The Facial Pain Association
Trigeminal Neuralgia: also known as prosopalgia or Fothergill’s disease, is a chronic pain condition that affects the Trigeminal Nerve, which carries sensation from the face to the brain. When contact between a normal blood vessel and the trigeminal nerve at the base of the brain occurs, this contact can put pressure on the nerve and cause it to malfunction. Pain may be felt in both sides of the face and around the cheeks, eyes, ears, lips, teeth, nose, and scalp. It can occur as a result of aging or as a result of another medical condition.
External Resource: The Trigeminal Neuralgia Association