Facial pain can be a usual pain that you feel in any part of your face. The pain you feel in your mouth and eyes also comes under the category of facial pain.
While facial pain is usually caused due to a headache or an injury in the past, it can be a symptom of a serious medical condition. However, many types of facial pains are harmless. So, don’t worry until you’re diagnosed with a serious problem.
In case your facial pain comes back very often and you believe that’s not normal, you should see a doctor.
Potential Causes of Facial Pain
While a facial pain could be due to any cause ranging from an infection to a facial nerve damage. The following are some common causes of facial pain among others.
- A headache
- A toothache
- An oral infection
- A facial injury
- An open sore or ulcer
- A skin abscess – a collection of pus underneath the skin
- An abscess – a collection of pus underneath the surface tissue in your mouth
These are some serious issues that can cause facial pain:
- A migraine
- A nerve disorder
- A sinus infection
- Herpes zoster or shingles
Most people who suffer through facial pain often describe it as a stabbing, cramp-like or achy. Sometimes, some other body pains spread to ears and head.
Different Types of Facial Pain
The type of facial pain you experience is directly linked to the exact cause. In case your pain is dull, throbbing and on one side of your face, it could be due to one or more problems in your mouth.
For example, a cavity, a normal toothache or abscess. For any such type of facial pain, you must see a dentist.
If your pain is in the front of your cheek bones and right below your eyes, it could be due to sinusitis, as abscesses and ulcers are often linked to the site of the sore. On the other hand, injuries and headaches are more like a stabbing sensation.
Since there are many causes of facial pain, you must talk to your doctor about the symptoms you’re experiencing like whether or not it’s bearable.
When Facial Pain Becomes An Emergency
Some types of facial pains don’t originate in the face and radiate from your chest or arm (left) to your face. If yours is this case, you must call your doctor, as it could be a symptom of a heart attack.
Although facial pain is not a medical emergency, in particular, it may call for a preliminary treatment if radiated from your chest or left arm.
In all other cases, you can take an appointment with your doctor and talk about the symptoms.
Facial Pain Diagnosis?
The diagnosis of facial pain depends upon how you describe the pain to your doctor. In other words, your description is the key to any pain you’re suffering through. Facial pain is no different.
Therefore, when you visit a doctor, make sure to tell them the following:
- Exactly which part of your face hurts
- Exactly where the pain is coming from or the origin point
- How often you feel the pain
- Any signs or symptom you experienced before
- How long the pain lasts
- What kind of pain it is
- What relieves the pain for you
Based on your description of the pain, your doctor may order an imaging test, such as an MRI or X-ray to diagnose it. These diagnostic tests are pretty much important when it comes to diagnosis of problems within the muscles, bones, and tissues.
Sometimes, doctors as their patients to provide a blood sample to perform various other tests like infections, typically when the pain is minimal.
These tests, s0metimes, reveal an eye condition. Your doctor may be worried if you have a heart disease; they may require you to undergo additional tests.
An Eye Condition Causing Pain
In some cases, doctors find an eye condition causing facial pain and then they send you to an eye specialist for a tonometry test. In this test, a numing drop is applied to both your eyes and then the doctor will place a small paper strip that contains an orange dye against your eyeballs.
Your eye doctor will also check your cornea and other parts for any damages, as these tests are effective when they need to check for ulcers and glaucoma.
Your Heart May Be The Cause
Your doctor will require you to undergo an Electrocardiogram (ECG), which is to check if your heart is causing some issue.
In this tests, small electrode monitors will be placed on your chest, legs, and arms, which are directly connected to the ECG machine to take a reading of the activity of your heart. ECG is very effective when it comes to diagnosing abnormal heart rhythms or a possible heart attack.
Treatment Options For Facial Pain
Based on the cause determined in the diagnosis, your doctor drafts a treatment for you. In most cases, the facial pain starts disappearing as soon as you start practicing the treatment plan after the diagnosis. An infection like sinusitis and the pain often clears up as you start taking the antibiotics.
On the other hand, the facial pain caused an infection like shingles that could be associated with rashes generally goes away with a few days or weeks (in some cases). It does persist for a few months in other cases.
If your pain is due to an oral infection, your dentist will prescribe you some antibiotics, by performing a root canal or pulling your affected tooth out.
The treatment for facial pain caused by migraine headaches or cluster headaches requires over-the-counter pain medication. However, OTC medication, sometimes, fails to treat facial pain. In such cases, your doctor has to prescribe a stronger medication to help you relieve the pain.
Facial pain can be severe, sometimes. It requires you to see a doctor at the earliest, typically when it does not go away or frequently comes back. Make sure to tell your doctor the exact symptoms to help them with a successful diagnosis.