Orofacial pain is categorized as any pain that originates in the head, neck, ears or oral cavity. It could start slow, with a dull throbbing ache, or it could affect you in a major way, restricting your ability to talk and chew.
The wide range of reasons for orofacial pain combined with different symptoms in each individual case makes it complex to diagnose, but once your oral surgeon arrives at a conclusion, your orofacial pain can be reduced and hopefully eliminated — you just need a qualified, experienced professional handling your case.
Your Pain’s Many Possible Causes
Sometimes orofacial discomfort is easy to identify, such as when it’s a result of facial trauma. If you’ve been in auto accident or you’ve had a sports injury, your oral surgeon can trace the effects of the impact.
Other less obvious causes include nerve damage or a nerve disorder, involuntary muscle contractions and migraines.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is another possible cause of your discomfort. A dysfunctional jaw joint can cause reverberating pain throughout the face and neck, especially during jaw movement. Whether it’s due to a displaced disc or a degenerating joint, effectively treating TMJ is necessary, either through a fitted oral appliance or surgical correction.
Sometimes pain is the result of a muscle strain that’s proving difficult to heal. This is harder to diagnose, as many other conditions must be eliminated to ensure a more serious problem isn’t causing the pain.
Finally, sleep disorders could be another cause of orofacial pain. If you clench or grind your teeth at night, this can cause tension headaches and muscle pain that lasts throughout the day.
It Starts with a Comprehensive Diagnosis
Because there are so many potential causes, it’s important to have a health assessment when you have constant orofacial pain. Providing a full medical history, undergoing imaging tests, having a full physical examination — all these measures are necessary for an accurate diagnosis.
It’s not enough to simply identify the cause of the pain — you need treatment too. Depending on the extent of your condition, you may benefit from a range of treatments, from therapy to surgery.
Get Care from Our Knowledgeable Team
At Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we take your orofacial pain seriously. You don’t have to accept living with even mild discomfort. We are dedicated to quickly diagnosing and treating the underlying cause, freeing you to live your life without constant pain. Schedule an appointment with our experienced oral surgeons today — call now to arrange your visit.