Facial pain refers to any type of pain that you experience in any part of your face, including the eyes and mouth. You usually feel the pain because of a headache or an injury, but it could also be an indication of a rather serious medical condition. It is therefore important to identify the underlying cause of your facial pain.
Right Side of Face Hurts: Causes and Treatment
It can be quite annoying to deal with pain in any part of your face, and here are some possible causes of your facial pain.
You develop this condition when your nasal cavities swell because of an infection. Sometimes, only one of your sinuses becomes inflamed, which causes pain only on one side of your face. It is possible to have pain in your forehead, in your upper jaws and teeth, on your nose, or between your eyes. You may develop a severe headache as well.
To relieve your symptoms, you may consider using a nasal decongestant spray, such as oxymetazoline or phenylephrine. This is a short-term treatment option though. You can also take OTC medicines that contain decongestants and antihistamines to relieve sinus infections. Allegra, Zyrtec, Sudafed, and Claritin are some of the most popular medicines to take in this case.
2. Deviated Septum
If your right side of face hurts, a deviated septum can be the culprit. The cartilage and bone called the nasal septum divides the nasal cavity in half, but sometimes, it is crooked or off center, making breathing difficult. You may have a deviated septum if you have repeated or recurrent sinus infections. Some other common symptoms of deviated septum include the following:
- Facial pain
- Loud breathing with snoring
- Postnasal drop
Medications may help relieve the symptoms of a deviated septum. Sometimes, medications do not produce desired results. This is when your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure called septoplasty that helps improve this condition.
3. TMJ Disorders
The temporomandibular joint acts as a hinge and connects the temporal bones of the skull with your jaw. It helps you move your jaw up-and-down and side-to-side, which enables you to chew, talk, and yawn. Any problems with these muscles that control your jaw are called TMJ disorders. Some common symptoms of these disorders include the following:
- Tenderness and pain in your jaw
- Aching pain in your ear
- Pain in the temporomandibular joints
- Difficulty chewing
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can relieve pain and swelling. Using mouth guards or oral splints may also help. Some patients also respond well to physical therapies like moist heat and ultrasound. Rarely, you need surgical procedures, including arthrocentesis, modified condylotomy, TMJ arthroscopy, and open-joint surgery for relief.
4. Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN)
You may have TN if your right side of face hurts. TN causes intermittent, shooting pain in the face. The condition affects the largest nerve in the head called the trigeminal nerve. This causes a severe, electric shock-like pain that hits you suddenly and often lasts several seconds. You may experience the pain around your lips, nose, eyes, forehead, and scalp. Symptoms may appear when you brush your teeth, swallow something, or put on makeup. Sometimes, feeling a slight breeze can also trigger the symptoms.
- Your doctor may prescribe anti-seizure drugs such as gabapentin or carbamazepine to treat trigeminal neuralgia. Some medications such as clonazepam and divalproex sodium also prove effective, especially when taking in combination with other medications.
- Neurosurgical procedures are often recommended in case medications do not work. These procedures involve relieving pressure on the nerve.
- You may also benefit from alternative medical therapies, such as chiropractic adjustment, acupuncture, meditation, and self-hypnosis.
5. Temporal Arteritis
There are large and medium arteries in the head that help supply oxygenated blood to the brain. Temporal arteritis causes inflammation of these arteries. This serious disorder can lead to facial or jaw soreness, especially while chewing. Other common symptoms include the following:
- Tender scalp
- Severe head pain in the temple area
- Vision loss
- Unexplained weight loss
- Double vision or sudden loss of vision in one eye
Your doctor may give you a high dose of corticosteroid drug to treat your condition. You may have to take medications for a couple of years to get desired results, but your doctor may lower the dose after the first month of your treatment.
7. Bell's Palsy
The condition weakens the muscles in the face and often leads to paralysis in the area. It happens due to inflammation of the facial nerve. Diabetics and people recovering from a viral infection are more likely to develop this condition, but it can affect anyone. The most common symptoms include:
- Weakness or total paralysis on one side of the face
- Increased sensitivity to sound, especially on the affected side
- Difficulty making facial expressions
- Pain in and around the ear on the affected side
- Changes in the production of saliva and tears
- Decreased ability to taste
Antiviral drugs and corticosteroids usually help treat the condition. Physical therapy also helps. Your therapist may also teach you certain exercises and massage techniques to improve your paralysis. What's more, plastic surgery proves beneficial in some cases.
Note: See your doctor immediately for a clear diagnosis when the right side of face hurts.