The number of conditions that are responsible for your facial pain are many. Whether its headache or something outside the head that is causing your facial pain – the following top 6 causes will let you know what exactly is causing your facial pain.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Pressure created on the trigeminal nerve by a blood vessel or growth of tumour or damage caused to the protective covering of the nerve (myelin sheath) can disrupt the trigeminal nerve and make it out of sorts. A person having this problem may experience a sharp, shock-like or burning facial pain – which sometimes can become very extreme. The typical episode may last for about 2 to 3 minutes and may also affect eye, nose and the lower parts of the face. The pain can persist long, but can be managed with drugs or surgery.

Sinusitis

Sinuses when get infected due to viral or bacterial infections or due to inflammation and swelling of the nose due to allergic rhinitis or nasal polyps do not drain mucus normally into the nasal passages. They become inflamed, swollen and congested. This may result in facial pressure, pain, fullness and nasal obstruction. Sometimes, migraine symptoms mimic sinusitis symptoms. Therefore, when you are unsure of what is causing your headache, then take your doctor’s help.

What are the causes of sinusitis?

Sinusitis may result owing to several causes, such as viral infections – common cold, inflammation and swelling of the nose due to allergic rhinitis; nasal polyps – growth in the lining of the nose; and alterations or changes in the nasal cavity – deviated septum.

Migraine

Migraine is different from headache as it is associated with many symptoms and facial pain is one such symptom. Usually migraines are associated with throbbing or pulsating pain in the temple, forehead, or one or both the sides of the head. The symptoms of migraine can last for up to a few hours to a couple of days. Some individuals also experience typical neurological symptoms like aura – appearance of blind spots or zig-zag wavy patterns and blurry vision; sensitivity to light, sound and some odours. Your physician can diagnose your problem and if the cause of your facial pain is due to migraine, then treats it with medication, changes in sleep and diet.

Deviated Septum

Deviated septum is a term used to describe a condition in which the nasal septum (the bone and cartilage that separates nasal cavity) has become off centre. Which means, the nasal septum is displaced to one side. A deviated septum can be due to several causes including congenital, trauma or injury to the nose and normal aging process. In most of the cases, people with deviated septum may have sleeping and breathing difficulties. People suffering from deviated septum may have stuffy nose, nosebleeds, sinus infections, snoring and breathing difficulties. This condition can also cause your facial pain. If you think that you have this problem, then it is better to consult an ENT specialist and get it diagnosed properly for a prompt and comprehensive treatment.

TMJ Problems

When you eat something or chew your food or try to force on something which is a bit hard, you feel hurt to eat. You feel as if you have your jaws locked or popping or getting out of place. If you experience these symptoms you may have temporomandibular joints (TMJs) issues. These joints link your lower jaw to your skull.  If you grind your teeth or chew too hard, you will injure your TMJ. The injury can be caused due to an accident as well. The pain emanating from the joint can radiate to your face. The problem can go away on its own – but when it does not go, you need to consult your head and neck surgeon – who may recommend night guards, splints, physical therapy, surgery or medicines.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer progresses slowly causing havoc inside your mouth by spreading to cheek lining, roof of the mouth, tongue, gums, soft floor of the mouth and lips. The sores, inflammation, swelling and pressure that build up due to the growth of the tumours can cause pain, which may also affect the facial region. The warning signs of oral cancer include the following: a sore or an ulcer that doesn’t heal for more than 2-3 weeks & progressively increases in size; difficulty in chewing, swallowing or pain on movement of tongue, loosening of teeth, inability to open the mouth wide enough and an unusual persistent lump in the neck or along the jaw.

Remember, oral cancer is extremely malignant and even slightest delay can lead to the cancer spreading to lymph nodes (becomes metastatic) making the prognosis difficult.