Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a common, debilitating neuropathic face pain syndrome often resistant to therapy. The familial clustering of TN cases suggests that genetic factors play a role in disease pathogenesis. However, no unbiased, large-scale genomic study of TN has been performed to date. Analysis of 290 whole exome-sequenced TN probands, including 20 multiplex kindreds and 70 parent-offspring trios, revealed enrichment of rare, damaging variants in GABA receptor-binding genes in cases. Mice engineered with a TN-associated de novo mutation (p.Cys188Trp) in the GABAA receptor Cl channel y-1 subunit (GABRG1) exhibited trigeminal mechanical allodynia and face pain behavior. Other TN probands harbored rare damaging variants in Na+ and Ca+ channels, including a significant variant burden in thea-1H subunit of the voltage-gatedCa2+channel Cav3.2 (CACNA1H). These results provide exome-level insight into TN and implicate genetically encoded impairment of GABA signaling and neuronal ion transport in TN pathogenesis.