Neuralgia is severe pain caused by injury or damage to a nerve. The glossopharyngeal nerve is the ninth (IX) cranial nerve, which arises from the brainstem inside the skull. It supplies sensation to the back of the throat and tongue and portions of the ear (Fig. 1).Sound familiar?
When the glossopharyngeal nerve becomes irritated, an attack of intense electric shock-like pain is felt in the back of the throat, tongue, tonsil or ear. You may initially experience short, mild attacks, with periods of remission. But neuralgia can progress, causing longer, frequent attacks of searing pain.
About 10% of people also have potentially life-threatening episodes of heart irregularities caused by involvement of the nearby Vagus nerve, the tenth (X) cranial nerve. These symptoms are:
- slow pulse
- sudden drop in blood pressure
- fainting (syncope)
There are apparently all kinds of surgical procedures they will try on patients to alleviate this.
But I am guessing a whole lot of it is due to infectious activity in the mouth.