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Understanding Facial Pain on One Side and Its Meaning

Woman holding a painful cheek

Facial pain on one side of your face can be stressful and disruptive to your normal life. There are a number of conditions and ailments that can cause this pain and each requires a unique approach.

In this guide, we’ll explore what causes jaw pain on one side and what you can do about facial pain if you experience it regularly.

What Are The Causes of Facial Pain on One Side?

Let’s outline some of what causes jaw pain on one side:


One common cause of facial pain on one side is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ). The TMJ is responsible for jaw movement, and its dysfunction can lead to pain in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles.

Grinding teeth, stress, jaw misalignment, or injury are often contributing factors. Treatment may involve pain medications, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, and in severe cases, surgical intervention.


Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses which can cause facial pain. When they become blocked fluid builds up and causes pressure. It’s generally caused by infections or structural issues with the sinuses. Treatments include antibiotics, decongestants, and antihistamines.

Sinus Headache

Facial pain on one side may also be triggered by a sinus headache. These headaches result from sinus inflammation and are often accompanied by symptoms like nasal congestion, runny nose, and sensitivity to light.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial Pain Syndrome or MPS causes muscle knots in your face due to overuse of muscles or injury. Treatment is usually injections and physical therapy to help remove the knots and relax the muscles.


Pharyngitis, commonly known as a sore throat, can cause referred pain to the face, particularly on one side. Viral or bacterial infections are typical causes of pharyngitis. Treating the underlying infection with rest, fluids, and appropriate medications can alleviate facial pain.

How Do You Treat Facial Numbness and Pain on One Side of Your Face?

There are a variety of treatment options for facial numbness which include:

Consulting a Professional - If the facial pain on one side has become severe enough to interrupt your daily activities, it’s time to do something about it. Receiving an accurate diagnosis is essential to managing your pain.

Pain Medications - It’s important that you keep yourself comfortable so you can continue with your life as normal. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help.

Physical Therapy - Physical therapy techniques, including exercises and stretching, can target specific muscles and reduce tension, alleviating facial pain.

Final Thoughts

Facial pain on one side has a number of causes related to sinus problems, headaches, and infections. Receiving a proper diagnosis is essential so you can improve your quality of life. Learn more about our services and how we can help get you back to feeling normal again!

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TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Raleigh-Durham

  • 1150 NW Maynard Rd, Suite #140
    Cary, North Carolina 27513
  • (919) 323-4242
  • Monday: 9am – 5pm Tuesday: 9am – 6pm Wednesday: 9am – 5pm Thursday: 9am – 6pm Friday: 9am – 1pm Sat - Sun Closed We always have someone to answer the phone from 9-5pm every day
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