Facial Pain: The Basics

Facial Pain: The Basics


Facial pain simply refers to any form of pain on any part of the face. Areas affected by facial pain also include the eyes and mouth.

Facial pain
Photo Credit: WebMD

What causes facial pain?

Following is a list of possible causes of facial pain

Types of facial pain

  • Facial pains come in varying degrees. This is directly related to the cause. For instance, one will feel some aching pains under the eye sockets and across the cheekbones if the problem is related to sinusitis.
  • Facial pains resulting from mouth-related problems tend to cause throbbing pains on one side of the cheeks. Some of such problems include abscess, toothache or cavity. A dentist should be consulted for this. Ulcers and abscesses also cause painful throbs.

For injuries and headaches, the pains seem to be stabbing, while increasing the tempo of the aches and throbs. These are not exclusive symptoms. One should be able to explain to the doctor the magnitude of pains felt as well as the location.

Is facial pain an emergency?

Yes, if the pains are sudden and emanated from the left arm or chest, as this might signal a heart attack. But other than that, you should not be bothered. Just make sure to visit the doctor and follow through the treatment options.

Diagnosing face pains

To properly diagnose facial pains, the following details should be provided to the doctor:

  • The exact location of pains.
  • Frequency of pains.
  • Nature of pains (aching, throbbing, stabbing).
  • Other symptoms (if applicable).
  • If need be, an MRI scan, X-ray or other imaging tests may be conducted to diagnose issues relating to tissues, muscles, and bones.
  • A sample of blood might also be taken to test for possible infections.
  • Eye tests might be conducted if the pains have to do with the eyes.

Additional tests might be mandatory to ascertain if the pains are associated with heart problems.

Facial pains caused by Eye pain

For facial pains caused by eye problems, you will need to see an eye doctor for necessary tests, for example, a tonometry examination. With this, glaucoma can easily be detected.

When the heart causes face pains

To ascertain if the pains are connected to the heart, an electrocardiogram has to be done. The electrical activity of the heart read will help identify abnormal heartbeats or attack.

Learn More: Understanding ECG

How to treat facial pains

The treatment options for face pains depend on the diagnosis. Sinusitis is best treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, it could go on its own untreated.

Shingles, which is a viral infection, demands antiviral drugs such as acyclovir to get rid of the rashes that accompany it. If shingles is accompanied by nerve pains, you may need to take drugs to take care of that especially.

The dentist would recommend you take antibiotics for face pains caused by oral conditions. If need be, a root canal might have to be done or a bad tooth pulled out. Headaches and migraines can be treated with over-the-counter medications. If there is no positive outcome, more serious medication might have to be prescribed.

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