One disease affecting the trigeminal nerve is trigeminal neuralgia. A person experiencing trigeminal neuralgia may suffer an episode of facial pain that can last as long as two minutes. The cause of this disease is not currently known, but it may have to do with blood vessels putting pressure on the trigeminal nerve as it leaves the brain stem. The vessels pressure on the nerve may cause the myelin sheath to deteriorate, which would affect the nerve’s ability to generate action potentials and may lead to the facial pain.
A person suffering from Type 1 trigeminal neuralgia often experiences sharp facial pain half of their day. Those affected by type 2 also experience pain half the time, but their pain is described more as a burning. This disease can have many triggers including something as benign as applying makeup or brushing your teeth. Surgery, anticonvulsants, and migraine medication are possible treatments for trigeminal neuralgia.