Trigeminal Neuralgia Specialist

David Newell, MD

Cerebrovascular, Spinal, and Brain Tumor Neurosurgery located in Bellevue, WA

If you’re suffering from intense facial pain in your cheek, jaw, or teeth, you may have trigeminal neuralgia. With more than 25 years of experience in neurology, David Newell, MD is a nationally and internationally recognized specialist offering treatments for neurological conditions like trigeminal neuralgia. You don’t have to live with nerve pain, call Dr. Newell’s Seattle, Washington, practice or schedule an appointment online.

Trigeminal Neuralgia Q & A

What is trigeminal neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia, or tic douloureux, causes intense episodes of facial pain lasting anywhere from just a few seconds to several hours.

This type of facial pain is often due to conditions, like multiple sclerosis, that irritates or put pressure on the trigeminal nerve or a neighboring blood vessel. In rare cases, a tumor is to blame. In many cases of trigeminal neuralgia, however, the exact trigger isn’t always known.

Trigeminal neuralgia is more common in middle-aged and senior women, and it typically begins around 40 years of age.

What are the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia?

You have 12 cranial nerves: the trigeminal nerve is the largest, and it provides sensory information to your face. When you have trigeminal neuralgia, you typically feel pain on one side of your face in your cheek, jaw, teeth, gums, lips, eye, and/or forehead.

The pain is generally sharp and incredibly severe. It’s often described as burning, crushing, or exploding, or as electrical shocks of stabbing pain. Trigeminal neuralgia symptoms can sometimes be triggered by chewing, touching the area, or even a light breeze.

How is trigeminal neuralgia diagnosed and treated?

If you’ve been experiencing facial pain, Dr. Newell reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs a thorough physical examination. To reach a diagnosis, he might also evaluate your teeth or temporomandibular joint and recommend an MRI of your brain.

There are several treatment options available for trigeminal neuralgia. Dr. Newell typically starts with conservative treatments like medications to reduce or block your pain. If your symptoms don’t respond to these methods, Dr. Newell may recommend minimally invasive surgery.

Microvascular decompression surgery

This treatment relieves pressure on your trigeminal nerve caused by a blood clot. Dr. Newell performs this minimally invasive procedure through a small opening behind your ear.


Radiosurgery, or Gamma Knife® surgery, is another minimally invasive procedure that uses high doses of radiation to damage your trigeminal nerve in order to reduce or eliminate pain.

To ensure you find relief from your trigeminal neuralgia symptoms, Dr. Newell works closely with you to outline the most effective treatment strategy for your condition.

Call David Newell, MD or schedule an appointment online to find relief from your trigeminal neuralgia.