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Facial Pain: Common Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Facial Pain: Common Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Have you ever experienced a sharp, jabbing pain on one side of your face? Does your face tingle or hurt when you brush your teeth or put makeup on? 


Facial pain is generally a common symptom of an injury or headaches. However, it may also be the cause of an underlying serious medical condition like chronic sinusitis. Here’s why your face might be paining.


Why Do You Feel a Tingling Sensation on Your Face?




While experiencing any form of facial pain, you may have different sensations on your face depending on what is causing it. More often than not, it may be due to nerve damage, muscle weakness, or headaches. Symptoms you may experience are:


  1. Short periods of stabbing, shooting and tingling pain.
  2. Pain during activities like brushing your teeth, washing your face, shaving, or putting on makeup. 
  3. Pain that can last a few seconds up to several minutes.
  4. Recurrent attacks, followed by periods of lull.
  5. Pain generally on one side of your face.
  6. Frequent, worsened attacks over time.
  7. Pain mostly in your cheek, jaw, teeth, gums, and lips.


If chronic facial pain persists in young adults, seek immediate medical attention.





Some of the common causes of facial pain are:


  1. Headaches like migraines, cluster headaches and sinusitis
  2. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) that cause pain and movement problems in jaw joints and muscles
  3. Dental problems or dental abscess (a pus buildup on the tissues of a tooth)
  4. Sialadenitis, a rare infection of the salivary glands


However, sometimes, facial pain may also be caused due to severe nerve damage in your face. This condition is called Trigeminal Neuralgia or tic douloureux.


Trigeminal Neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal, or 5th cranial nerve that is responsible for carrying sensations from your face to your brain. The trigeminal nerves further branch out into three to perform specialised functions. The disorder can affect any of the three nerve branches, thereby causing pain only on one side of your face.


In Trigeminal Neuralgia, a blood vessel may be damaging your trigeminal nerve, or you may have a medical condition called Multiple Sclerosis. It may also be caused due to tumour or tangled arteries that put pressure on your nerves, or due to an injury or surgery that has caused nerve damage.


Trigeminal Neuralgia may initially exhibit short and mild attacks. However, it is a progressive condition and can worsen over time, especially in women above the age of 50. A family history of high blood pressure may also put you at risk.


Summary: Trigeminal Neuralgia is a chronic pain condition in your facial nerves that can cause electric-shock like pain on one side of your face.


Home Remedies to Manage Facial Pain




Most mild facial pain or facial tension can be managed with some simple home remedies. You can:


  1. Apply an ice pack to the affected area for 10-20 minutes. 
  2. Change your sleeping position and keep your head elevated to aid mucus and fluid drainage from the face.
  3. Gargle with warm salt water three times a day to relieve dental pain.
  4. Try neuropathy and essential oils that may help reduce pain from inflammation or nerve damage.



Medanta Medical Team
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