Causes of facial pain

From a specific area of the face

Facial pain is normal and usually the issue of headaches and injuries. Still, other causes of facial pain include nerve conditions, jaw, and dental problems, and infections.

Facial pain can arise from a particular area of the face, or it may spread from another part of the head.

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Doctors often describe facial pain into one of many types, including:
  • Dental pain, which relates to problems with the teeth and gums
  • nerve pain, or neuralgia, which links to diseases that alter the facial nerves
  • temporomandibular pain, which links to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the tissues of the jaw
  • vascular pain, which occurs due to problems with blood vessels and blood flow

In this article, we explore some general causes of facial pain. We also discuss when to see a doctor, diagnosis, and self-care.

Headaches

People who experience recurring headaches should consider seeing a doctor. Treatment varies depending on the type of headache but can include making suitable lifestyle changes and taking certain medications to prevent painful episodes and reduce symptoms.

Injuries
  • Facial pain can usually link to current or prior injuries, especially those that harm the nerves in the face.
  • Examples of facial injuries can cover cuts and blows from falls, collisions, violence, and accidents.
  • Rarely, surgery to the face, such as from cosmetic procedures, can cause nerve damage that leads to facial pain.
  • Symptoms of injuries to facial nerves can also include tingling, numbness, and even paralysis in or around the affected area.
TMJ disorders
  • The TMJ is where the jawbone, or mouth, attaches to the skull. There are two TMJs, one on each side of the head. “TMJ disorders” is the generic term for diseases that cause pain and movement problems in the jaw joint and muscles.

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