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ABQmom

pain--under my cheekbone--what could this be?

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Starting in mid January, I had pain/pressure in my jaw joint. About a week after it started I got sick, and was told I had a sinus infection and that was probably the source of my facial pain. I took antibiotics that cleared up everything but the pain.

 

Six weeks later and still in pain, I had my sinuses X-rayed--my sinuses were declared clear.

 

I went to the dentist--no teeth problems, no TMJ.

 

About week 7, the pain moved to under my cheekbones. Some days are worse than others as far as the pain. I don't even know what doctor to go to next, but the pain under my cheekbones has persisted until now. Pain relievers do not help.

 

What in the world could this be? I've searched the internet and have come up with nothing. What doctor could diagnose this? I'm pretty discouraged with the pain today.

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Has anyone discussed migraine or trigeminal neuralgia with you? At this point, I'd try to find a pain specialist who can review all the possibilities.

 

I had what I though were tension headaches for years, with neck, head, back, and sinus pain. Turns out they are migraines and the triptan-type drugs are a godsend. I can't believe that I suffered for so many years and migraine was never discussed.

 

Good luck. I know how debilitating daily pain can be.

 

Janet

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:iagree: I just went through a similar problem except it was a chronic sinus infection. But my allergist thought it might be a migraine. She said for some people she was never able to get rid of their "sinus" pain because it was actually migraines.

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I thought Migraines were only headache pain. I usually don't have headaches, although since the pain started, I have had more frequent, mild headaches.

 

Or, are you saying that a pain specialist diagnosed this for you, as he could my pain as well?

 

I have seen trigeminal neuralgia on the net, but the pain description I've read doesn't seem to be the same. My pain is dull and more like pressure. Mmmm.... would a pain specialist diagnose TN?

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The only other thing I can think of is teeth grinding (bruxism). Any evidence of that? I didn't know I did it until a massage therapist pointed it out as I was falling asleep on her table and she was working on my head at the time. That may have been discussed when you had the TMJ disorder eval. That can certainly lead to facial and jaw pain.

 

But I encourage you to seek help from a pain specialist.

 

Peace.

 

Janet

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The only other thing I can think of is teeth grinding (bruxism). Any evidence of that? I didn't know I did it until a massage therapist pointed it out as I was falling asleep on her table and she was working on my head at the time. That may have been discussed when you had the TMJ disorder eval. That can certainly lead to facial and jaw pain.

 

But I encourage you to seek help from a pain specialist.

 

Peace.

 

Janet

 

ITA. I'm curious how they ruled out TMJ. I have pain in my cheeks and I definitely have TMJ...but not from grinding..just tensed up muscles during the day I think. I've benefited from the chiropractor and masseuse and ginger.

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I don't chew gum, I don't grind my teeth--I'm pretty sure that I don't, and my teeth show no signs of grinding.

 

My jaw does not pop or click--a classic sign of TMJ. The dentist put his fingers in my ears and had me open and close my mouth to check my jaw. The only symptom that I have that's in any way related to TMJ is the pain. I have a good bite as well.

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Well, try this . . . suck on a lemon wedge. When it makes you salivate, do you notice a bit of grit? If not, nevermind. If so, see if you have a blocked salivary gland. I'm reading "under the cheekbone" to be south, so to speak, of your cheekbone instead of behind it.

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Well, try this . . . suck on a lemon wedge. When it makes you salivate, do you notice a bit of grit? If not, nevermind. If so, see if you have a blocked salivary gland. I'm reading "under the cheekbone" to be south, so to speak, of your cheekbone instead of behind it.

 

Now, that is a new idea. I'll try it.

 

TxMom says sinus infection, but I have no drainage. My doc really didn't think that was what I had. I wish that were the answer!

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I have pain similar to this when I have a bad ear infection.

 

Mmm... do your ears hurt too or is it just the facial pain? My ears aren't hurting.

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Mmm... do your ears hurt too or is it just the facial pain? My ears aren't hurting.

 

I've had it happen where I only had pain in my jaw-ish area and not the ear. I think maybe it gets so swollen inside and is applying its own counter-pressure that it doesn't hurt in the ear at that point? Just my doesnt-play-a-doctor-on-the-internet theory though.

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I've had it happen where I only had pain in my jaw-ish area and not the ear. I think maybe it gets so swollen inside and is applying its own counter-pressure that it doesn't hurt in the ear at that point? Just my doesnt-play-a-doctor-on-the-internet theory though.

 

At this point, I'm all for theories! Maybe I need to see an ENT.

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Try taking some Quercetin - it is a supplement you can get at the health food / vitamin store (and probably even Wal Mart!) It helps to reduce inflammation/swelling. Sometimes if I've had a sinus infection or cold in the past, my tissues just get swollen and won't settle down. Quercetin helps (esp. during seasonal allergy season).

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I saw your post earlier this afternoon, but had nothing to suggest so didn't post. Then over dinner dh and I were discussing this and that ...and a topic came up that made me think of you.

 

About a year or more ago my dh made the switch from Sweet N Low to Splenda and starting having pain in his face such as you describe. When I told him that I had read that it often causes head aches he stopped taking it and the pain in his face went away. Are you using Splenda? I know that is rather far fetched.

 

Something else. Have you gone to the dentist lately? My dh once had a absess in one of his teeth down at the root (no cavity though..it was very strange) that gave him all kinds of pain. He went to the dentist, they did x-rays...found nothing. The pain continued and got so bad it was shooting down his arm. He went to the emergency room and they thought he was having a heart attack. They put him in the hospital ran all kinds of heart test...then later nerve testing ...*finally*(months and months later) he was on allllll sorts of pain meds and nothing was helping...an oral surgeon found that absess in his tooth. You could barely see it on the x-ray. But it was there.

 

I wonder if something like that could cause facial pain.

 

Anyway...far fetched ideas. But just thought I'd throw them out there.

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Try taking some Quercetin - it is a supplement you can get at the health food / vitamin store (and probably even Wal Mart!) It helps to reduce inflammation/swelling. Sometimes if I've had a sinus infection or cold in the past, my tissues just get swollen and won't settle down. Quercetin helps (esp. during seasonal allergy season).

 

Thanks for the tip. I would like to try that.

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I saw your post earlier this afternoon, but had nothing to suggest so didn't post. Then over dinner dh and I were discussing this and that ...and a topic came up that made me think of you.

 

About a year or more ago my dh made the switch from Sweet N Low to Splenda and starting having pain in his face such as you describe. When I told him that I had read that it often causes head aches he stopped taking it and the pain in his face went away. Are you using Splenda? I know that is rather far fetched.

 

Something else. Have you gone to the dentist lately? My dh once had a absess in one of his teeth down at the root (no cavity though..it was very strange) that gave him all kinds of pain. He went to the dentist, they did x-rays...found nothing. The pain continued and got so bad it was shooting down his arm. He went to the emergency room and they thought he was having a heart attack. They put him in the hospital ran all kinds of heart test...then later nerve testing ...*finally*(months and months later) he was on allllll sorts of pain meds and nothing was helping...an oral surgeon found that absess in his tooth. You could barely see it on the x-ray. But it was there.

 

Thanks for your reply Rhonda.

 

I don't eat or drink anything with artificial sweetners, so it can't be that.

 

I have wondered about my teeth-- maybe the dentist missed something. At this point, I'm guessing whatever the problem is--it's probably far fetched, so thanks for the ideas.

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It could be a blocked saliva gland that has been infected. Do a Google search and you'll find lots of information. The swelling (if it's like mine) would be more in the cheek but radiating back to the jaw joint. I had it diagnosed by my family doctor, but an ear nose and throat doctor would be the relevant specialist.

 

Best wishes

 

Laura

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I came across your thread while doing research for my own facial and tmj pain. I have been suffering with facial pain for over a year. It first started in the back of my gums where my wisdom teeth used to be and moved to my cheek and around my eye.. the pain got so severe at one point I couldn't get out of bed. My pain was only on the left side and eventually went from my eye to my neck.

 

I saw many doctors... including an ENT, GI, Physical Therapist, TMJ specialist, etc.

 

My advice would be to not discount TMJ. That is what I did at first and I believe all of my problems originate from the TMJ joint. It could be that your jaw is off and is restricting blood flow which can cause pain. The regular dentist cannot diagnose this. Google TMJ and Facial pain specialist for your area and make an appointment. Most of them don't take insurance but it is worth it just to find out. There are special tests and x-rays they can do. I saw 4 dentists that told me I didn't have TMJ before I saw a specialist. I was fitted for a hard mouthpiece which took away a lot of the pain.

 

My other recommendation might be to see a chiropractor. The muscles and bones in your neck can cause facial pain. This is part of my problem as well.

 

I also believe in massage. The less stressed about all of this you can stay the better and massage helps relax your body and muscles.

 

ONE MORE THING! I know this is long.. but the blocked and infected saliva gland mentioned above is also a possibility.. they can test that with a special ct.

 

I hope this helps! You have to try everything :)

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I have the same thing, on the right side of my face under the end of the jaw.

I also have a lump-in-the-throat sensation that is going for a bit less the a year now. I've checked the lamp in throat thing with ENT and my regular doctor they didn't find anything. And concluded that this is a result of a chronic post-nasal drip that I have.

The pain under the cheek-bode is sort of a new thing (was going for about 2 months). It's not sharp but annoying as hell. Also goes around the right eye and in to the right temple. Some times in to the neck.

Any ideas/suggestions?

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Are you taking anything for osteoporosis?

If you are taking an oral bisphosphonate drug (Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel) you are at small risk of osteonecrosis (bone death), which is characterized by jaw pain, swelling, loose teeth and exposed jawbone (it starts with jaw pain). I think there are less than 50 cases of osteonecrosis per year, but it is a risk that most are unaware of, although some dentists will ask their female patients about bisphosphonate drugs if they c/o pain.

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No, I'm 36 male actually, not taking anything like that. The only thing I take on a regular basis is a anti-acid prescription drug (pantoprazole).

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If by under you mean behind, that sounds like sinuses. One round of antibiotics doesn't always clear it up. I'm just getting over a sinus infection, and now trying to recover from the antibiotics. He gave me Bactrim, which is one of the stronger ones. But it DID kill the sinus infection.

 

One other thing you might want to do is try Mucinex D. You want the one with the D because that really gets the snot out. And drink lots of fluids. I've been taking that along with the bactrim and I swear, I've been blowing so much snot that I wonder where it's coming from!

 

Migraines are not always headaches. There are abdominal migraines, migraines where you see flashing lights and have other visual disturbances, and a myriad of other migraine things. Alot of my migraines are very light as far as pain goes, but my eyes hurt if there is much motion. I take Zomig and it's gone.

 

Good Luck!

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Oh you can have a sinus infection with no drainage! If your sinuses are blocked off then there would be no drainage. The trick is to get the sinuses to drain.

 

However, you said that your x-ray came out clear. I would think that would rule out the sinus infection unless you have one hidden from the x-ray.

 

Jan

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i had jaw pain and it turned out to be an abscess from a failed root canal. i needed antibiotics, root canal and tooth rebuilding. the antibiotics got rid of the pain, though.

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I have had face/neck/jaw pain on the right side since having dental work done on that side in June. It's driving me crazy. At one point it began shooting down my right arm and my arm would fall asleep. Dh (a family practice doc) has run blood tests and tried all sorts of things. Flexeril actually seemed to help for awhile, and massage and strenuous exercise have helped, too, but all the pain has been coming back in the last few days, and I am so discouraged. I've had the tooth re-x-rayed and it all looks normal. My dentist is great and I do trust him.

`

I've recently talked to two other friends though who had this kind of pain start after dental work. One had no relief until she finally had the tooth in question pulled, even though the tooth looked fine on x-ray. The other is still dealing with pain. On top of that, dh attended a face and neck class at a pain conference recently and one of the case studies was a woman my age (41) with face and neck pain that began after a root canal. The diagnosis was myofascial pain syndrome.

 

After reading all these posts I'm curious. Has anyone else here had this sort of pain begin after dental work???? I'm wondering if this is common.

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Well, try this . . . suck on a lemon wedge. When it makes you salivate, do you notice a bit of grit? If not, nevermind. If so, see if you have a blocked salivary gland. I'm reading "under the cheekbone" to be south, so to speak, of your cheekbone instead of behind it.

 

Had this..... OUCH.....

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parotid_gland

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Had you dental work a few weeks prior to the original pain? And did the dentist check your bite? I have a pain similar to the one you're describing and the problem was a new filling. The dentist filed it down a bit in the offending spot, and this fixed the bite problem.

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Try Traumeel. During an episode, rub the gel over the affected area and take some of the drops at the same time. Make sure you are not allergic to arnica or echinacea first.

 

This worked for me.

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How Do I Find Out if I Grind My Teeth?

 

Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw is a telltale symptom of bruxism. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night.

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist. He or she can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth.

 

Why Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?

 

In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear their teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.

Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, result in hearing loss, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.

 

What Can I Do to Stop Grinding My Teeth?

 

Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.

If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.

Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:

 

 

  • Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
     
  • Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
     
  • Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
     
  • Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
     
  • Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.

 

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ITA. I'm curious how they ruled out TMJ. I have pain in my cheeks and I definitely have TMJ...but not from grinding..just tensed up muscles during the day I think. I've benefited from the chiropractor and masseuse and ginger.

 

My husband has this problem too, and the pain is due to trigger points (tight muscle) located under the cheek bones. A chiropractor taught him how to release them himself. It was a godsend, and now he is nearly pain free without having to go to a masseuse on a regular basis.

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I have dull aching pain on and off in my cheek bones. My tongue has started tingling too. Pain meds do not help. I have been to 2 neurologists and neither one knows what is causing it. I also feel like my throat muscles are not strong enough for me to talk so it's a struggle to talk and I have trouble swallowing. I had slurred speech too.

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For the past 4 days I have had headaches, jaw ache and an ache under my cheekbones!!! I was just looking online to see what it could be and I came across your thread so I just made an account so I could reply!

 

...i thought I was going mad, i cant even call it an illness its just a Constant ache!! like the feeling you get when you're constantly having to smile at weddings for photos of something. It feels like i just need to rest my face, like avoid laughter and smiling and its kinda bringing me down.

 

The only time I forget about it is when I'm eating, when my jaw is moving it is like a distraction from the pain. I haven't yet been to the doctors.

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