Facial Pain

WHAT IS FACIAL PAIN?

Facial pain usually is similar to a headache but can be more intense and focused on the facial region. The pain may be centered on the mouth, on either side, or near the eyes or nose. In some cases, the pain may emanate from the jaw. Untreated facial pain can become a chronic condition. The level of pain may fluctuate from time to time. If the pain is caused by nerve damage, it can be piercing and you will not find relief without proper treatment.

WHAT ARE THE LIKELY CAUSES AND HOW IS FACIAL PAIN DIAGNOSED?

Facial pain can be a result of a dental condition, i.e. TMJ, or occur because of migraine, where the pain radiates from the head down to the face. The facial pain can also be neuropathic, caused by trigeminal neuralgia.

Generally, the root cause of facial pain is difficult to diagnose but the symptoms can be controlled with proper treatment. Your doctor will check your face and ask you to tilt your neck or head, or open and close your mouth, to determine the intensity of the pain and how it responds to different movements. Based on this, the doctor will determine the root cause.

HOW DO I MANAGE FACIAL PAIN?

There are a number of treatment options available depending on the root cause of the pain. In case of a nerve blockage, needles are used to keep the brain from responding to it, hence eliminating or reducing the pain.

In case the facial pain is a result of trigeminal neuralgia, the treatments usually recommended include trigeminal block, where radio frequency is used to deliver an electric shock to the affected area on the face, which helps reduce the pain. Another option is the Ganglion block, where certain nerves are numbed using a swab place inside the nasal cavity. In case of successful reduction or elimination of pain, the treatment is continued for a few months till the pain goes away permanently.