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Providing expert support to people affected by neurological problems

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Common questions about chronic face pain

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain is long-term pain that has lasted more than three months. People can feel chronic pain anywhere in their body including the mouth or face. Very often there are no visible problems or causes.

What is chronic face pain?

People with chronic face pain experience pain because of changes to the way the nerves in the face transmit pain signals. The nerves can become extremely sensitive and pain signals do not switch off the way they should. Unlike other types of pain, this ongoing pain is not due to infections or injuries, even if an infection or injury was the cause of the initial pain. The pain is transmitted to the brain and can be affected by a variety of factors including mood, thoughts, and activities.

How can chronic face pain affect everyday life?

Chronic face pain can affect many different aspects of people’s lives. It can make everyday life difficult to manage, affect people’s mood and cause unhappiness and depression.

Each person with chronic face pain is affected differently but common problems include:

  • Stopping enjoyable activities
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Feeling unhappy
  • Finding it hard to speak, take part in conversations and socialise
  • Worrying about the future
  • Losing self-confidence
  • Feeling more worried, angry or low in mood than before

Nerves and structures in the head that are involved in face pain

Diagram showing nerves and structures in the head that are involved in face pain

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