One-sided discomfort on your face could be facial nerve pain. Our nerves serve a vital purpose in alerting us when any part of our body is uncomfortable, is injured or has a  disease. Without them, we couldn’t remain in good health for long. But when they malfunction, they can themselves become a source of pain such as facial nerve pain also known as trigeminal neuralgia or tic douloureaux. The nerves that cause this type of pain that travels up from the brain stem through the skull into each side of the face. They both connect into your upper, middle and lower parts of your face and jaw. 

The slightest actions such as chewing, speaking, shaving or even the wind blowing on your face can trigger a painful episode. It may be challenging to determine the exact cause of facial nerve pain. This occurrence then signals pain at the slightest stimulation. It’s also associated with other inflammatory disorders like multiple sclerosis where the protective insulation around a nerve is damaged.

Before any treatment, you should undergo a complete examination with a specialist. This is meant to rule out any other facial pain causes like temporomandibular joint disorders or a dental abscess. Dr Sharan Naidoo can help you determine what treatment you need to relieve you from pain. You may also need to undergo a neurological examination to pinpoint the exact cause of your problem like a tumour or blood vessel pressing on the nerve in the affected area. 

There can be many causes of right facial pain. We have to think of the structures on our skin in the area and rule them out one by one for diagnosis. Anything that compresses the nerve’s base, like a blood vessel as a result of ageing, or a tumour or injury, can cause this. It is best to scan for other corresponding diseases. The possibly affected tissues or organs are situated on the side of our face include our sinuses, salivary glands, facial bones, and not forgetting the other organs near that area. These can all be affected by facial nerve pain too.

Possible causes of facial nerve pain 

  • The leading cause of facial nerve pain is blood vessels pressing on the root of the nerve. This pressure makes the nerve transmit pain signals that can be described as stabbing pains.
  • Multiple sclerosis typically appearing in the advanced stages.
  • A tumour presses against the trigeminal nerve, but this is a rare cause.
  • Physical damage to the nerve could be the result of injury, an or infection. 
  • A family history of facial nerve pain because the formation of blood vessels is inherited.