Facial Pain can be caused by any one of the many nerves or structures that make up the face. This type of pain can be caused by one of the three branches of the trigeminal nerve. Each of the three branches affects a different aspect of the face. This nerve communicates sensory information to the brain. Inflammation or irritation of this nerve is called trigeminal neuralgia.
Pain in the facial area can also be caused by a bundle of nerves directly behind the nose called the sphenopalatine ganglion. Irritation to this bundle can cause headaches or pain primarily located in the front of the face.
Irritation of the occipital nerves may also cause pain that usually originates from the back of the head, but that can radiate to the face.
The causes of some types of facial pain are unknown. Called atypical facial pain, this condition usually occurs in one side of the face and is present for most of every day.
Patients experiencing dental pain should visit a dentist to have the source of the pain removed, treated or injected.
Migraine pain is usually treated with a combination of prophylactic and abortive medications (for more information, please visit the Headaches section).
Neuropathic facial pain may be treated with procedures such as trigeminal nerve blocks, occipital nerve blocks and sphenopalatine ganglion blocks. Spinal cord stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation treatment has been proven to be extremely effective for treating this type of pain. A physician may prescribe an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant or occasionally an opiate or opiate-like medication as part of your treatment.