Pain in the Face

Face | Rheumatology | Pain in the Face (Symptom)


The facial pain may be dull and throbbing or an intense, stabbing discomfort in one or both sides of the face or forehead. The pain that starts in the face may be caused by a nerve disorder, an injury or infection in a structure of the face. This type of pain may also begin elsewhere in the body.


Sometimes face pain occurs for unknown reasons, but there may be several causes. These causes include: the presence of an abscessed tooth (continuous throbbing pain on one side of the lower face aggravated by eating or touching), cluster headache, herpes zoster (shingles) or infection herpes simplex (cold sores), the lesion on the face, migraine, fibromyalgia, sinusitis or sinus infection (dull pain and tenderness around eyes and cheekbones that worsens when bending forward), the painful tic syndrome and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), also called tic douloureux, is a condition that is characterized by intermittent, shooting pain in the face and it is caused by a blood vessel pressing on the nerve near the brain stem.

Diagnosis and Treatment

To diagnose trigeminal neuralgiamagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to determine whether a tumor or multiple sclerosis is irritating the trigeminal nerve. Trigeminal neuralgia can be treated with antiseizure drugs. Some antidepressant drugs also have significant pain relieving effects.