Facial pain that isn't due to a tooth or jaw problem may be a result of damage to the trigeminal nerve. If you're experiencing unexplained facial pain, the surgeons at CarePoint Neurosurgery and Spine can help. They are experts in using advanced techniques like microvascular decompression and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery to treat facial pain. The practice has nine locations in Colorado, including Lone Tree, Englewood, Castle Rock, Denver, Wheat Ridge, Colorado Springs, Parker, Yuma, and Lamar. To schedule a consultation, call CarePoint Neurosurgery and Spine.
There are several possible causes of facial pain, from dental problems and sinus infections to temporomandibular disorder (jaw pain). The most common cause of facial pain from a neurological cause is trigeminal neuralgia.
Classic trigeminal neuralgia is pain from your trigeminal nerve, which transmits sensory information from your face back to your brain. The cause is most often damage to the protective coating (myelin) on the trigeminal nerve due to irritation or compression (usually by a blood vessel).
Trigeminal neuralgia causes sudden, severe bolts of pain across your face when you perform everyday tasks like brushing your teeth, shaving, or putting your makeup on. These attacks start infrequently but often become more severe and long-lasting over time.
Examples of other neurological causes of facial pain include:
Postherpetic means the pain results from herpes zoster (shingles), which can cause facial nerve pain.
Secondary symptomatic trigeminal neuralgia is facial pain due to multiple sclerosis.
Trigeminal neuropathic pain is a result of accidental damage to the trigeminal system. The injury could be due to facial trauma, oral or ENT (ear, nose, and throat) surgery, or stroke. Pain may be dull or burning and is usually continual.
A combination of numbness and pain that results from procedures such as neurectomy or rhizotomy. Pain is constant, and you may also experience sensations such as burning, tingling, stinging, or aching.
To effectively treat your facial pain, the team at CarePoint Neurosurgery and Spine first needs to determine the cause. An accurate diagnosis is important, as using a procedure like a neurectomy (which can be an effective option for classic trigeminal neuralgia) could worsen other types of facial pain.
CarePoint Neurosurgery and Spine's highly skilled team has the diagnostic experience and technology to ensure you receive the proper treatment. For trigeminal neuralgia, this could include:
To find out more about treatment options for your facial pain, call CarePoint Neurosurgery and Spine to make an appointment.