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Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain. If you have trigeminal neuralgia, even mild stimulation of your face — such as from brushing your teeth or putting on makeup — may trigger a jolt of excruciating pain. Trigeminal neuralgia initially may start as short, mild attacks but progress to longer, more-frequent bouts of searing pain. Doctors usually can effectively manage trigeminal neuralgia with medications, injections or surgery.