Face pain is a general term and it covers any kind of pain which is felt in the mouth, jaws or the face. Face pain or Oral-facial pain is a common symptom having many a cause behind it. An overwhelming 95% of face pain is caused by dental reasons. The second most common reason is temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Other causes are pretty rare and deserve a full diagnosis from a doctor before jumping to conclusions. If you have any dental problems then you can consult with the dentist and they can prescribe you some medicines for this issue. Apart from that, if you feel some muscle pain on your face then you can also contact with your doctor for better treatment.
An overview of the condition:
Trigeminal neuralgia or face pain is an inflammation of the trigeminal nerve, and it causes a lot of pain as well as muscle spasms in the face. The attacks are intense and feel like an electrical shock is being administered. If you suffer from these issues then you should consult with the doctor and they can do some MRI or scan on of your painful areas and identify the exact problem.
The symptoms of face pain:
As stated above, patients often say that they have a sensation like pins and needles which later turn into jabs of burning pain, or electric shocks and these attacks can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. Even normal day to day activities can trigger off an episode of face pain. A lot of patients are sensitive to certain trigger zones in the face which are near the lips, nose, eyes, and ears or inside the mouth. They avoid eating, talking, kissing or drinking. There is another form of this disorder exists where there is a constant and dull burn or ache in the face, this condition is more difficult to treat.
How would you recover from your face pain?
At the time the patient experiences facial pain, normally a primary care doctor or a dentist is first consulted to pin down the problem. If it requires further evaluation, it is recommended that a neurologist or a neurosurgeon be consulted. They will examine your face and touch various trigger areas to determine exactly where the pain is taking place because the pain spreads from a source.
The doctors need to find out which branch of the trigeminal nerve is affected. It is very rare that an underlying cause of face pain is serious. But to rule out possibilities of multiple sclerosis or tumors, an MRI or Magnetic Resonance Scanning is done. The diagnosis is made after carefully weighing the symptoms, as this condition can be quite debilitating.
Treatments for the face pain:
There are a variety of treatments for face pain which include medication, needle procedures like acupuncture, surgery, or even radiation.
- Medication: Over the counter drugs are not effective, nor are they recommended. Anticonvulsants like Trileptal, Dilantin, Lyrica or Neurontin do a good job. Muscle relaxants like baclofen are a good recourse as well but you will need a doctor’s prescription because of side effects like drowsiness and confusion.
- Surgery:This is done when medication does not arrest or relieve the problem. The aim is to stop the blood vessel from compressing the trigeminal nerve, and sometimes it is cut to in order to stop it from sending pain symptoms to the brain. The procedure will be performed under general anesthesia and usually require 2-3 days of stay in the hospital.
MVD or microvascular decompression pads the blood vessel with a sponge and this sponge remains in the brain post operation. It has been seen that MVD succeeds in providing instant relief in about 95% cases of face pain.