What Causes Facial Pain?

Discussion Dental caries are one of the most common infections. It is usually caused by Streptococcus viridans. Dental caries are also quite preventable with brushing the teeth at least twice a day with a fluoridated dentifrice, use of dental floss, and preventative dental appointments with application of fluoride varnish and sealants as appropriate. Fluoridated water supplies also help. A review can be found here. Facial pain is often acute, self-limited and etiologies that may be obvious such as trauma or infection. Facial pain can also overlap with cranial pain (mainly headache), neck pain (often lymphadenopathy or muscle strain), or deeper pain (e.g. dental, pharyngeal or otalgia). Children (and adults too) may have problems distinguishing the location of their pain and may have many different words or behaviors which may indicate pain or discomfort. Psychological problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder may also potentially manifest as facial pain. Also as the nerve fibers for pain and pruritis travel together, these different sensations can occur together or be confused with each other. In a 2009 Dutch study, the incidence overall of facial pain was 38.7/100,000 people years looking mainly at an adult population. In their under 18 year population, cluster headache and atypical facial pain were the most common diagnoses. Atypical facial pain is defined as pain that does not fulfill other diagnostic criteria (such as those below) or has a functional definition of d...
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