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Facial pain is common and can occur for various, minor reasons, such a headache or a sinus infection. However, if you suffer from chronic or severe facial pain, you may be experiencing a nerve or vascular condition.

Facial pain can range from mild to severe. It can be sporadic or persistent and affect men and women of any age. It is important to be aware of the different types of facial pain, what causes facial pain, and how it can be treated. If you are concerned about facial pain, our team can help. 

Types of facial pain conditions

Some people experience atypical facial pain—a chronic condition involving ear, cheek, and jaw pain that does not have a clear cause. But in many cases, facial pain can be tied to certain conditions, including: 

With this rare condition, pain shoots along the glossopharyngeal nerve, located deep inside the neck. It affects the back of the tongue, tonsils, and middle ear. 

This chronic condition causes intense facial pain. It usually only affects one side of the face and can be triggered by simple everyday activities such as smiling or chewing. 

A chronic neurological condition, hemifacial spasms are spasms that occur on one side of the face. 

Vascular compression is a group of conditions in which a small blood vessel exerts pressure on a cranial nerve to cause symptoms. Vascular compression is an important cause of trigeminal neuralgia, in which a small blood vessel exerts pressure on the trigeminal nerve and produces intense facial pain.
A doctor gives patient some support

Symptoms of a facial pain condition

The symptoms you experience will vary greatly depending on the condition you have. However, common systems are:

  • Bursts of pain around the head and neck region
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Muscle spasms

Diagnosing a facial pain condition

If you experience facial pain, your doctor may do one or more of the following to arrive at a diagnosis:

  • Physical exam: Your doctor will check and affected area and ask about any pain or tenderness.
  • Neurological exam: Your doctor can examine the function of the nerves in your brain and motor skills, while assessing reflexes and pain tolerance.
  • Imaging: Imaging tests, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, can detect structural abnormalities and help your doctor rule out other possible causes.

At the Advanced Neurosciences Center, we specialize in facial pain conditions. We can help you find the answers you need, whether you’re searching for a diagnosis or want a second opinion.

What causes facial pain?

The causes of facial pain are often unknown; however, a few potential causes are:

  • Trauma injury: A previous surgery or injury could cause pressure on a specific nerve in the head or neck, resulting in a facial pain condition.
  • Secondary condition: A facial pain condition can develop due to another condition, such as multiple sclerosis.
  • Tumors: Facial pain may occur when a tumor develops in the head or neck and presses on the nerves. These tumors are usually benign. Learn more about tumors in the head and neck.

The root cause of your facial pain will help guide treatment options. It’s important to see a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms.

Treatment for facial pain conditions

If you are diagnosed with a facial pain condition, the treatment you and your doctor discuss will depend on your specific condition and circumstances. Possible treatments include medication, injections, and surgery. At the Advanced Neurosciences, our team is highly skilled in using the latest technology and techniques to develop a customized treatment plan based on your unique needs. You don’t have to live in pain. Your team is ready for you. 

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