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Atypical Facial Pain

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What do I need to know about atypical facial pain?

Atypical facial pain usually occurs on one side of your face. The pain is often constant, and may be aching, burning, throbbing, or stabbing. The pain may be felt in your nose, eye, cheek, temple, and jaw. You may also have headaches.

What causes atypical facial pain?

The cause of atypical facial pain is usually unknown. Facial trauma, infection, dental procedures, or sinus surgery may increase your risk for atypical facial pain.

How is atypical facial pain diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and examine you. An x-ray, CT, or MRI may be done to try to find the cause of your facial pain. You may be given contrast liquid to help the pictures show up better. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.

How is atypical facial pain treated?

There is no main treatment that works for everyone. You may need to try different medicines before you find one that works best for you. Medicines such as antidepressants, antiseizure medicines, or muscle relaxers may be used to decrease pain. Your healthcare provider may also recommend a mouth guard. A mouth guard may help to keep you from clenching or grinding your teeth while you are sleeping. Teeth clenching can worsen your facial pain.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

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When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.