In its common presentation, patients with classic trigeminal neuralgia experience episodic pain lasting from seconds to minutes. Patients with this acute classic form of the condition are managed with anticonvulsant treatment. Subsequent surgical intervention may be required, particularly where higher doses of medications fail to relieve the pain, and when vascular compression of the trigeminal ganglion is shown on magnetic resonance imaging. Classic trigeminal neuralgia is a well-recognized condition treated by medical practitioners.The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and the International Headache Society describe an additional form of trigeminal neuralgia. Leading researchers have used the term ‘atypical trigeminal neuralgia’ to describe the condition with persistent pain as its important distinguishing quality.2 However, no specific diagnostic criteria have been established for atypical trigeminal neuralgia, and to complicate matters, the terms secondary or symptomatic trigeminal neuralgia have been proposed to describe the condition.