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Suffering From a Lingual Nerve Injury or Trigeminal Nerve Damage?

The trigeminal nerve sends sensations from the upper, middle and lower areas of the face to the brain through its three branches. The nerve also serves the oral cavity. Damage to the maxillary (middle branch) or mandibular (lower branch) can cause pain in the facial area. The upper branch (ophthalmic nerve) serves the front of the head, forehead and most of the scalp.

The trigeminal nerve can be injured at any point, and the site of the injury determines where pain will be felt. The disorder can be limited to one branch of the nerve, or it can include the other branches. Typically, only one side of the face is affected, but sometimes both sides can cause pain, usually at different times. Even rarer is the occurrence of pain on both sides at the same time. This is called bilateral TN.

Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia

Sharp facial pain can be an indication of trigeminal neuralgia. Pressure on the trigeminal nerve triggers the pain. Pressure can be caused by blood vessels pressing on the nerve, or a tumor or growth exerting pressure or damage to the myelin sheath, which is the protective insulation of the nerve.

Multiple sclerosis patients may have trigeminal nerve damage as a result of the myelin sheath breaking down. Those who have been diagnosed with MS in early adulthood are at an increased risk for trigeminal neuralgia.

The trigeminal nerve may also become damaged as a result of certain dental procedures, such as wisdom tooth extraction, dental implant placement or other oral surgery procedures. Sinus surgery, trauma to the face or damage as a result of a stroke are other possible causes of nerve damage.

This condition is uncommon. It can affect children, but it is more prevalent in the older population, particularly in women. Each year, about 12 new cases are identified per 100,000 people.

Trigeminal Neuralgia and Lingual Nerve Repair Specialist

Dr. Gregory Levitin of the Vascular Birthmark Center is a board-certified otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon with expertise in treating trigeminal neuralgia. Early diagnosis and treatment can lead to pain relief.

An examination of the affected area, along with neurological testing, are required to rule out other causes of facial pain. The patient’s medical history and symptoms are taken into consideration when making a diagnosis. There are several conditions that mimic the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia, and an accurate diagnosis is important for determining effective treatment.

Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia

The pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia can be quite severe. Attacks may be mild at first with short bouts of pain. Over time, they increase in number and intensity, with episodes lasting from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. Symptoms include:

  • Attacks of pain in areas served by the trigeminal nerve: the forehead, eye, cheek, jaw, lips, gums, teeth and chin
  • Pain that is triggered by brushing or flossing the teeth, touching the face, chewing gum, speaking, applying makeup, etc.
  • Sudden attacks of facial pain that may stop for some time then resume
  • Attacks that worsen over time
  • Constant aching or feeling of burning, followed by painful spasms
  • Sharp pain that feels like an electric shock

Trigeminal neuralgia may resolve on its own in a few months; however, if it fails to improve or over-the-counter pain relievers are no longer effective, treatment may be necessary to stop the pain. Contact Dr. Levitin for a thorough evaluation and consultation. The most effective treatment can be given with early diagnosis.

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Our Patient Reviews
The Vascular Birthmark Center: Gregory M. Levitin, MD

4.8 / 5.0

Based on 27 reviews

Abril M.

Dr. Levitin is very knowledgeable, compassionate and professional. Five years ago, I needed to find information about a birth mark that my newborn daughter started to grow a couple days after birth. I was afraid, I did not feel like I got any clear information about it through my insurance; also, they did not offer any course of treatment for it. I started to look for information, the birthmark was growing each day, information was scarce and I just got more scared. Finally, I found a video in Youtube from a grandmother who was very grateful after finding treatment for her grand daughter through The Birthmark Foundation. It was a huge blessing to me and my family. I found Dr. Levitin, I contacted him thinking he probably would not even answer. I was wrong, he kindly answered promptly, got in touch with me and soon he had a plan : ) I went to see him at the Birthmark Center in Los Angeles. He explained everything in a way that it was so clear to understand, no question I made was insignificant and his answers were each very informative. I really never have had an experience with a doctor who explains and speaks in such a way. I left his office knowing that my daughter was in the best hands and the best care. I first thank God for the Birthmark Foundation, a great organization with the highest quality of doctors. Also, a very special thanks to Dr. Levitin for all his help and kindness, for listening to my concerns and answering each and every question. And last, but no least, to the Birthmark Foundation Center in Los Angeles : ) I hope many children can find help/care in this place as I found it for my daughter. Thank you forever.

Ryan E.

I will be telling tales of the good doctors compassion till time comes to an end. Because of Dr Levitin, I have more confidence in my every day life. He was fast, knowledgeable, precise and all with a disarming sense of humor. Two thumbs up!

Carla M.

I wanted to show you how much better Hailey's tongue looks and let you know her speech has already improved so much!!! Her speech teacher is thrilled!!!! Thank you so much for everything you did for her. You are an excellent surgeon with a great bedside manner- we are forever grateful to you!!! We are so appreciative!

Danielle L.

we are forever grateful for Dr. Levitin. My daughter Lena had surgery to remove her hemangioma that was located on her forehead at just 6 month old. she healed beautifully and we couldn't be happier with how minimal her scar is, even almost 4.5 years later. Dr. Levitin is caring, compassionate, and such a great doctor/surgeon overall. He had our daughter's best interest and I knew she was in good hands. I highly recommend him any chance I get!


My name is Chris and I was recently treated for an AVM on my forehead by Dr. Gregory Levitin of New York (New York Eye and Ear Infirmary). Thankfully, I live within a few hours of NYC. In brief, I would like to say that Dr. Levitin is very capable doctor with a lot of experience with AVMs. He responds quickly to e-mail, texts, and phone calls. He accepts insurance. He takes a "team approach" and will be your "QB" and involve other specialists as necessary. In my particular case they were Dr. Raj Shrivastava (Mt Sinai) and Dr. Raphael A. Ortiz (Lenox Hill) in NY. I recommend contacting Dr Levitin for a consultation if you suspect you have an AVM. All 3 Drs are just good people. When I spoke to them, they treated me like like an equal. I felt like they were advising me as a close friend or family member. Like many that suffer with AVMs I was at first mis-diagnosed. What was thought to be a just a simple cyst turned out to be an AVM. Surgery to remove the cyst made the AVM about 5x bigger. My treatment entailed a few MRIs and CAT scans to determine what was going on and the treatment plan. This was followed by consultation with the 3 Drs mentioned above and finally a 2-day procedure. On day 1 Dr Ortiz embolized the AVM. On day 2 Dr Levitin and Dr Shrivastava removed the AVM from my skull and put some metal mesh there to fill the "hole". It has been 6-months since the surgery and so far I have not had any recurrence. In honor of Vascular Birthmark Awareness Day and to thank these Drs for all they have done for me, I just want to give everyone a solid reference. Finding the right doctor for this type of stuff makes all the difference.

Valle S.

I just discovered this page i have also a birthmark I always experiences bully because of this. I don't know what kind of birthmark is this if it is harmful ? I hope Dr. Levitin notice this message in this way I think he can help me :) :) #DrLevitin

Alicia M.

This year marks the 10th that I contacted VBF for help. Since then I have been under the care of Dr. G Levitin and Dr. R. Ortiz, they are my guardian healing angels! Thanks VBF for not only helping me but also for letting me be a volunteer in the foundation whenever I am needed. A Big Hug to all from MIAMI... Alicia

Alexander G.

Totally positive experience. Dr. Levitin is a great professional. He has diagnosed and treated my nose breathing problem, significantly improving my quality of life. Office staff is very professional. Appointments always kept on time. Strongly recommend.