Facial pain can occur in patients for a variety of reasons ranging from trauma and sinusitis to tumors and dental issues. However, unexplained or out-of-proportion facial pain occurs in a subset of patients and can cause significant discomfort that does not respond to conventional therapies.
Trigeminal neuralgia is the hallmark of facial pain syndromes, characterized by paroxysmal (disproportionate) pain in relation to light stimuli. This syndrome has been well characterized and there are numerous medical and surgical treatment options for patients with the appropriate diagnosis. In addition to trigeminal neuralgia, there are many other facial pain syndromes with other overlapping etiology ranging from post-viral conditions, multiple sclerosis, tumors, stroke, trauma and auto-immune diseases.