FACIAL PAIN is Often a Sign of a TMJ Problem
Pain is defined as a perception of an unpleasant physical and or emotional experience.
There are many sources of facial pain.
The most common source of facial pain is that of an odontogenic source.
The following sources should be investigated:
- supporting bone
- burning mouth syndrome
- dry mouth
When the teeth are NOT the cause of facial pain (non-odontogenic), then the following sources should be investigated:
- Muscle sources: due to sprain, spasms or direct trauma to a muscle and also muscle pain from a referred source or dysfunctional joint
- Cervical (Neck): upper cervical spine misaligment can cause facial pain due to the convergence between the cervical spine nerves and the trigeminal system.
- Nerve: This would include nerve injury, Multiple Sclerosis, neurological disease or entrapment
- Vascular or Glandular: due to vessel disease and/or gland dysfunction
- Arthritis: including TMJ arthritis
- Neoplastic: including tumors or any tissue obstruction to the nerve and vascular system
- Referred pain: sinus disease and even cardiac disease
Therefore when a patient presents with facial pain, we must consider ALL possible sources prior to making a definite diagnosis and beginning treatment. The proper diagnosis will not only help alleviate the pain but could also save a life.