Facial pain is a lesser-known symptom of facial palsy, but it can be just as debilitating as other symptoms. While the facial nerve does not have pain sensors, certain conditions, such as Ramsay Hunt syndrome, can cause extreme pain and tenderness. People with Bell’s palsy may also experience pain in or around the ear during the early stages of recovery. Pain can also be caused by stiffness or tightness in the facial muscles, which can be treated by a physiotherapist or speech and language therapist specializing in facial palsy.
- Trigeminal Neuralgia: A condition where the trigeminal nerve, which supplies sensation to the face, mouth, gums, and teeth, experiences sudden, intermittent attacks of pain on one side of the face or in the mouth and teeth.
- Postherpetic Neuralgia: A form of chronic facial pain that follows an attack of shingles.
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction: A condition where the jaw joint or jaw muscles cause pain.
Treatment for facial pain will depend on the cause and can include specific painkillers designed to treat nerve pain, botulinum toxin injections, and referral to a specialist dentist or doctor. If you are experiencing facial pain, you must see your GP for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Advice & Solutions
Good oral hygiene is critical, as people with facial pain are at higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Regular tooth brushing after meals and six-monthly dental checks will be essential.
If facial pain affects your ability to chew and prepare food, adding extra gravy, sauces, or butter is recommended to help with lubrication.
Keep a bottle/glass of water with you so you can take frequent sips: this will help keep your mouth moist. Avoid sipping drinks containing sugar, as this will contribute to tooth decay.
Dehydration will worsen your facial pain symptoms, so make sure you drink plenty of water or drinks that do not contain caffeine or alcohol.
Avoid or reduce the amount of alcohol and caffeine as these cause dry mouth. Try decaffeinated tea or coffee products as substitutes.
Smoking also causes dry mouth, so it is recommended to stop smoking altogether or at least limit the amount you smoke.
You may also need to check with your doctor whether any medication you take causes dry mouth or facial pain as a side effect.
Get proper diagnosis
It’s important to note that while facial pain can be a symptom of facial palsy, it can also be caused by other conditions. A proper diagnosis is essential to determine the cause and provide appropriate treatment.
In addition to seeing your GP, consulting with a specialist dentist or physiotherapist specializing in facial palsy can also be beneficial. They can provide additional support and treatment options to help manage your pain and improve your overall quality of life.
Overall, it’s essential to properly manage facial pain to improve your overall quality of life. From seeking proper medical treatment, maintaining good oral hygiene, and making lifestyle changes, various options are available to help alleviate symptoms.
If you are interested in consulting with a healthcare provider or physical therapist specialized in facial paralysis, you can visit the web page “Consultation” to schedule an appointment.