Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic and painful condition characterized by the dysfunction of the trigeminal nerve that carries sensation from your face to your brain. This dysfunction can cause a jolt of excruciating pain when the face is stimulated, such as when you are brushing your teeth, shaving or applying makeup. Patients with trigeminal neuralgia may initially experience abbreviated, mild attacks that eventually turn into more lengthy and more frequent bouts of severe pain. This condition is caused by pressure that is put on the trigeminal nerve at the base of the brain. It can occur due to the natural aging process or as a symptom of multiple sclerosis and other disorders that cause damage to the protective covering around the nerve. Treatments include anticonvulsant and anti-spasmodic medications, Botox injections and surgical procedures such as microvascular decompression or gamma knife radiosurgery.