Face Pain – Trigeminal Neuralgia

Face Pain – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Facial pain is a common phenomenon that can be felt in any part of the face including the eyes and mouth. While most cases are triggered by a headache or injury, facial pain can also be the result of a more serious condition including infection or nerve damage. Chronic facial pain, or trigeminal neuralgia, is a disorder that is related to the trigeminal nerve which runs from the base of brain to the face. Individuals with this condition may experience an extreme burning or an electric shock-like pain sensation which is usually limited to one side of the face. Fortunately, this condition can be managed with a combination of different treatments including medication, injections and surgery.

The Causes of Face Pain

From minor problems to serious conditions, facial pain can be caused by a number of different reasons. Fortunately, patients can expect the facial pain symptoms to subside once a specific diagnosis is made and a treatment plan is prescribed. Some common causes of facial pain may include:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Current or past injuries like falls or accidents
  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Dental abscess
  • Sinusitis or an inflammation of the sinuses
  • Various conditions and diseases including trigeminal neuralgia, multiple sclerosis and lupus

The Symptoms of Face Pain

The type of facial pain symptoms you may experience depends on the cause. However, individuals with this condition may feel some of the following symptoms:

  • Facial weakness and numbness
  • Dull, throbbing pain around the mouth due to oral infection
  • Pressure or aching pain across the cheekbones and under the eyes due to sinusitis
  • Short periods of sharp pain affecting one side of the face due to trigeminal neuralgia

Treatment Options for Face Pain

A doctor can recommend the type of treatment option you need after determining the cause. In most cases, non-surgical treatments may be all that is needed to relieve symptoms. However, there are some circumstances where surgical intervention may be required. Here are some treatment options for facial pain:

  • Over-the-counter medications can help relieve pain caused by headaches or migraines.
  • Antibiotics can help clear infections in the mouth or sinuses.
  • If pain is caused due to a dental problem, a dentist can clean and fill a cavity, perform a root canal or even extract a tooth, if required.
  • Microvascular decompression procedure to remove or relocate blood vessels that are disturbing facial nerves.
  • Gamma knife radiation which is used for damaging the trigeminal nerve to reduce or eliminate pain altogether.

When you visit Dr. Lewis at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic, he can help you identify the underlying cause of your facial pain and determine which treatment option is right for you. Taking into consideration what nerves are involved, your general health and ultimately what your preferences are, he can create a tailored treatment program that targets the specific condition and send you on the road to recovery. He has been treating trigeminal neuralgia since 1989 and has taught several courses on it to other neurosurgeons. At JNC we offer a comprehensive program for face pain that includes medications, micro vascular decompression of the trigeminal nerve, gamma knife radiosurgery, and cortical brain stimulation.

Contact us today to learn more about face pain or to schedule a consultation. We’ll find a solution that works for you. Call us at (601) 366-1011.