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My Face Hurts — What Does It Mean?

My Face Hurts — What Does It Mean?

Facial pain is a common discomfort that can range from a minor annoyance to a debilitating condition. It can affect any part of your face, including the mouth and eyes. 

Our board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management specialist, Ronak D. Patel, MD, and the team at Regenerative Spine and Pain Institute understand the importance of identifying the cause first.

Common causes of facial pain

While many cases of facial pain are innocuous and can be attributed to common causes like injuries or headaches, certain instances may signal a more serious medical issue, such as: 

Dental problems

Dental issues like cavities, infections, or gum disease can lead to sharp, localized pain. In addition, abscesses that cause a collection of pus under your tooth or gums can cause throbbing pain in the affected area.


Sinus infections or inflammation can result in pressure or aching pain across your cheekbones and beneath your eyes.


Migraines, tension headaches, or sinus headaches can radiate pain to your face, often described as a dull, throbbing ache.


Facial trauma, even minor bumps or injuries, can cause immediate pain and discomfort, varying in intensity depending on the severity of your injury.


Oral infections, ulcers, or open sores can lead to throbbing pain at the site of infection.

Skin abscesses, characterized by a collection of pus under your skin, can also cause localized pain and swelling.

Less common causes of facial pain

It’s also important to know about other factors that can cause pain in your face. They might include:

Nerve damage

Damage or compression of your facial nerves can result in facial pain. Conditions like trigeminal neuralgia can cause severe, shooting pain.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders 

TMJ disorders can lead to jaw pain, earaches, and facial discomfort, often due to clenching or grinding your teeth.

Eye problems

Eye conditions, such as glaucoma or eye strain, can cause referred pain to your face, particularly around your eyes.

When to seek medical attention

While many cases of facial pain can be attributed to common and less serious causes, pay attention to the nature and persistence of your pain. You should schedule an appointment with our team if you experience any of the following:

While many cases are benign and can be managed with home remedies or dental care, persistent or severe facial pain should prompt a visit to our practice for an evaluation — especially since the pain can be caused by a variety of factors, and its intensity and duration can vary widely. 

Timely evaluation can help identify the underlying cause and lead to appropriate treatment. Don't hesitate to seek our medical advice if you're concerned about your facial pain.

Call our practice in Plainsboro Township and Manalapan, New Jersey, today at 609-269-4451, or click here to book online at any time.

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