Summary Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is characterized by sudden, recurrent, usually unilateral, severe brief stabbing pains in the distribution of trigeminal nerve. Although it is widely accepted that blood vessel or tumor compression contributes to paroxysms of TN, the pathogenesis of persistent background pain in atypical TN patient is unclear. Central sensitization is pain hypersensitivity caused by central neural plasticity. It is responsible for many temporal and symptomatic features of acute and chronic pain. We hypothesize that central sensitization might account for some symptoms of atypical TN. Based on this hypothesis, we postulate that early medical intervention predicts good outcomes in TN and medicines which are effective on central sensitization may be potential agents for the treatment of atypical TN.