Face & Facial Pain

Face or facial pain as previously stated in other sections is most commonly caused by toothache and will be dealt with by your dentist. Toothache is sometimes difficult to localise to a particular tooth, but usually only for the first few days and then obvious signs will develop indicating plainly which tooth is at fault. Toothache does not go on indefinitely and hopefully in any case is dealt with by your dentist, so those who have weeks or months of unrelenting and basically unchanging pain are probably not suffering from toothache.

Other causes of facial pain are sinus infection cause by infection in the air filled cavities in the face and forehead (sinuses). Some of these are linked to the nose and when we have a so-called upper respiratory tract infection (cold of flu) infection may develop in the sinuses causing pain with a dull aching or throbbing quality, which may be notably aggravated when bending down and sometimes by footfall or the contact of our foot on the ground when walking or running. Acute sinus infection requires more than a sense of nose blockage for diagnosis and generally there will be a purulent nasal or throat discharge of infected mucous. Acute sinusitis typically resolves with or without treatment in two or three weeks and those who have a chronic sinusitis which is regularly present over extended periods will not have facial pain or headache associated with this. In other words chronic sinusitis is not a cause of facial pain or headache contrary to what many will think and self-diagnose sinus headache. Mostly “sinus headache” is actually migraine!

The most common cause of ongoing facial pain not caused by a toothache or acute sinusitis is pain referred from the jaw muscles. (See jaw muscle pain in Jaw Problem section) Headache can also occur as an exclusively facial pain with a times no headache as such. For example migraine, cluster headache, chronic and acute paroxysmal hemicrania and SUNCT are all occasionally seen to occur in the face of jaw area with dental treatment often carried out in the hope of relieving the pain but being unsuccessful in so doing.