Facial pain can be the result of a local condition affecting a facial structure, or a consequence of a disorder of the internal nerve system, or a symptom of fear and psychological tension. The diagram below may help you find out what kind of facial pain you are suffering from.

Move the mouse over the symptoms in order to see what the problem might be.

  Sinus inflammation TN Tooth abscess abscess TMJ Herpes zoster
Fever or general feeling of illness Possible No Possible No Possible
Swollen glands under the chin or in the throat or neck Possible No Yes No Yes
Pain increases when bending forward Yes No Yes No No
Pain increases if you tap your teeth Possible No Yes No No
Stabbing, electric shock-like pain No Yes No No Possible

TN: Trigeminal neuralgia

TMJ: Temporo-mandibular joint (the joint of the jaw just in front of the ears)

These are the most frequent causes for "facial pain". Your doctor will be able to make a correct diagnosis by means of additional tests and examinations. The most important examinations are:

  • A blood test to check for infection;
  • An X-ray of the face, to determine whether or not there is an inflammation of the sinuses
  • An X-ray of the temporo-mandibular joint will reveal any conditions of the joint tissue
  • A CT scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) examination of the face and/or brain can show if there is something wrong with the facial nerves

Below you will find the most frequently occurring conditions that cause "facial pain":

Frequent Sporadic Rare
Sinus inflammation Cluster headaches Multiple sclerosis
Trigeminal neuralgia Temporal arteritis Atypical facial neuralgia
Tooth abscess Salivary glands Tumour within the skull
TMJ dysfunction Arthritis of the neck vertebrae Glaucoma / Iritis
Herpes zoster Jaw bone condition Glossopharyngeal neuralgia
Ear inflammation Angina pectoris Migraine