Is Facial Pain Causing You Misery?


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There are many reasons why you could be suffering pain in your face: A few of the most common ones are:

  • Dental problems – including bite disorders and tooth decay
  • Neuralgia
  • Earache
  • Eye problems
  • Neck problems
  • Nasal problems
  • Sinus problems
  • TMJ disorders
Let’s look at the first two.

Bite me

Did you know that 1 in 8 Americans have such severe, regular headaches that it affects their normal lives. An amazing 80% of those are caused by muscle tension. Many of these are caused by having a bad ‘bite’ – or the way your teeth meet together when you close your mouth.

So how can your bite give you a headache?

It’s all to do with the muscles. Muscles start to hurt if they have been tight for any length of time. The headache may surround your head, like a band or it can be on only one – or both – sides of your head. The sort of pain is usually a dull ache and can be helped with aspirin.

How do I know if my headache has a dental cause?

  • You may feel pain behind your eyes
  • Your jaw muscles may feel tired when you wake up in the morning
  • You may grind your teeth
  • Your jaw may make a clicking or popping sound
  • Your head and scalp may feel tender or even painful when touched

Having pain in your face can be miserable. The medical name for this is Trigeminal neuralgia (TGN) and it means extreme pain from a nerve.

This is an intense, piercing, stabbing pain in the face, which comes and goes. It gets its name from the trigeminal nerve. There is a trigeminal nerve on each side of your face and each of those splits into three. Their job is to take feelings of pain (as well as the feeling of being touched) to your brain – from the face, teeth and mouth.

In 97% of cases, it only affects one side of the face. It’s commonly felt in the jaw and cheek but it can also affect your eye or forehead – although this is less common. The initial stabbing pain can last for a few minutes, hours at a time or even days and is then often replaced by a prolonged, dull ache.

The face becomes extremely sensitive and the gentlest touch, even a draught, can trigger the pain. Trigeminal neuralgia sufferers often stop washing their face, stop shaving and even stop eating to try and avoid triggering the pain. The reason for TGN is not really understood – but it is thought that blood vessels press on the nerve, causing pain. Those mainly affected are women and generally people over 50 – although children have on occasion been known to suffer with it.

What can I do about it?

There are no diagnostic tests for TGN but your Doctor will know what it is when you describe it – as the symptoms are quite distinctive. Over-the-counter painkillers won’t help with this. An anticonvulsant drug (like the sort used to treat epilepsy) is often used. This can be very helpful as it slows down the nerve impulses and thus reduces the pain. It takes two or three days to work. In persistent cases, an operation can be performed to relieve the pressure on the trigeminal nerve.

For more vital information on sinus headache relief with tips and ideas, visit , a resource rich site with helps and articles on the causes and treatment of headaches.


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