Prevalence of trigeminal neuralgia: A systematic review

J Am Dent Assoc. 2016 Jul;147(7):570-576.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.adaj.2016.02.014. Epub 2016 Mar 24.


Background: The aim of this systematic review was to answer the focused question, "What are the prevalence and the epidemiological characteristics of trigeminal neuralgia in the general population?"

Types of studies reviewed: This systematic review included observational population-based studies reporting the prevalence of trigeminal neuralgia (TN). The authors developed specific search strategies for LILACS, PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. The authors evaluated the methodological quality of the included studies using criteria from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Results: Among 728 studies, the authors selected only 3 for inclusion. Two studies were classified as having low risk of bias and 1 as having moderate risk. The sample size ranged from 1,838 to 13,541 adults. This review identified a higher prevalence of TN in women, ranging from 0.03% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01-0.08) to 0.3% (95% CI, 0.16-0.55). The maxillary and mandibular branches of the trigeminal nerve were the most affected. The proportion between women and men who had TN was 3 to 1, and those in the age bracket between 37 and 67 years were the most affected.

Conclusions and practical implications: The authors of this review identified a higher prevalence of TN in women older than 40 years that usually affected the maxillary and mandibular branches. Further research is required to validate the prevalence of TN in a well-structured, population-based study without a convenience sample.

Keywords: Review; prevalence; trigeminal neuralgia.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia / epidemiology*