Pain in the face or forehead can be dull and throbbing or intense and stabbing. One or both sides may be affected.
What causes it
An infection, injury, or nerve problem may cause pain in the face. There is also the possibility that the pain in the face originates somewhere else in the body.
- Infected tooth (ongoing throbbing pain that worsens with food or touch)
- Cluster headache
- Shingles or cold sores caused by herpes zoster
- Facial injuries
- The pain syndrome associated with myofascial tissue
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome
Face pain may have no known cause.
Tests may include:
- A dental x-ray (if there is a suspicion of a problem with the teeth)
- A heart scan (if heart problems are suspected).
- Glaucoma screening (if suspected)
- Sinus X-rays
If nerve damage is suspected, neurological tests will be performed.
The treatment you receive will depend on the cause of your pain.
Painkillers can provide temporary relief. You should contact your dentist or primary care provider if the pain persists.
- In addition to face pain, chest, shoulder, neck, or arm pain may also be present. This could be a sign of a heart attack. Call 999 or your local emergency number.
- If there is throbbing pain, which is more intense one side of the face, and the pain is aggravated by eating. Consult a dentist.
- If there is persistent pain, no explanation, or other unexplained symptoms accompanying the pain. See a doctor.
To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.
To learn more about face pain, please click on https://www.healthline.com/health/face-pain
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych