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Facial pain

Pain in the face can be because of a range of reasons, both known and unknown.


An injury to the face, such as cuts or by blows, is a common cause of facial pain. Facial pain is also seen a lot due to an infection. Sinusitis (inflammation of the air spaces in the facial bones) can create pain in the cheek bones and around the eyes. The onset of mumps can create pain in the cheeks before swelling is apparent; the pain is in front of and/or below the ears. Pain from a boil in the ear or nose can also be felt in the face.

Problems with the jaw and teeth are another frequently seen cause of facial pain. These problems include an abscess, severe dental decay, impacted wisdom teeth, or partial dislocation of the jaw.

Damage to any one of the nerves that supply the face can also incur extreme pain. Conditions resulting from nerve damage include the stabbing pain that precedes the rash of herpes zoster (shingles) and the intermittent shooting pain of trigeminal neuralgia, which mostly affects the lip, gum, cheek or chin on one side and is often brought on by chewing or touching the face.

A disorder elsewhere in the body could cause referred pain in the face. For example, in angina pectoris (chest pain due to impaired blood supply to the heart muscle), pain can also be felt in the jaw. When experiencing a migraine headache, pain can also arise on one side of the face. Facial pain that arises for no apparent reason can sometimes be a sign of depression.


Treatment relies on the underlying reason for the pain. Analgesic drugs can provide temporary assistance to relive the pain, but persistent or severe facial pain would require getting to the root of the problem.

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