Orofacial Pain Management in Greenville and Greenwood, SC

Managing Oral & Facial Discomfort

Orofacial pain is a field of dentistry that focuses on pain or discomfort in the head, neck, jaws, face, or mouth. Difficulty moving the mouth, neurovascular pain, and pain caused by systemic issues such as cancer are all examples of orofacial pain conditions.

Misaligned jaws and sleep disorders, amongst other causes, can result in a great deal of pain for some patients. You may require treatment for an orofacial condition if you experience headaches, neck pain, ear pain, dental pain, jaw joint pain, sharp or stabbing sensations, or burning sensations on the head or face.

Each case has a unique cause, and our oral surgery experts help determine this cause as well as design a custom treatment plan that is specific to each patient. Dr. Mary Charles Haigler specializes in treating these types of conditions. We encourage you to contact our Greenville (Verdae) and Greenwood offices in South Carolina if you are experiencing facial discomfort. Our team looks forward to finding the source of and alleviating your pain so that you can live comfortably.

Meet Our Specialist

Dr. Mary Charles Haigler is one of two doctors in South Carolina who is board-certified by the American Board of Orofacial Pain. She believes in providing every patient with individual care and attention to achieve optimal results.

Common Causes of TMJ/Orofacial Pain

Oral and facial pain can be caused by diseases, disorders, or nervous system dysfunction. Dr. Haigler is certified by the American Board of Orofacial Pain (ABOP) and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain (AAOP). Her certifications and expertise in orofacial pain management and focus around patient care form comprehensive exemplary treatment. She will evaluate your condition and determine the cause, as well as design a treatment plan unique to your needs.

Common causes of oral and facial pain include:

  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders. The jaw joint works hard to properly bite, chew, and speak. There could be a muscular problem or an issue with the disc that cushions the joint.
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia. This nerve disorder causes brief, sharp, shooting electrical pain by actions that shouldn’t hurt, such as lightly touching your face or chewing.
  • Migraines. Migraines can cause pain around the face, causing patients to confuse it with another orofacial issue. The combination of a TMJ disorder and a headache can also be mistaken for a different type of problem, as it can cause pain to radiate across the head and face.
  • Sleep Disorders. Obstructive sleep apnea causes airflow disruptions during sleep and is associated with many negative health issues, such as heart problems and high blood pressure. A sleep disorder can also cause bruxism, or teeth clenching, during sleep. This puts a lot of pressure on your teeth and jaw, potentially causing soreness throughout the day
  • Facial Trauma. Any traumatic injury has the potential to cause nerve damage or incorrectly heal, resulting in ongoing facial pain. This includes blows to the head or face, lacerations, broken facial bones, or teeth being knocked out.

Treatment for Oral & Facial Pain

Every patient is different, and treatments will vary. Orofacial pain specialists, like Dr. Haigler, are trained to uniquely evaluate the oral and facial structures to determine the cause of pain. During this evaluation, Dr. Haigler will use several methods to determine your diagnosis, which may include advanced 3D imaging and an oral examination.

Treatment for these conditions will depend on the complexity of your case. Some conditions, such as TMJ disorders or sleep apnea, have nonsurgical approaches to try first, including physical therapy or mouth guards. Surgery can correct jaw misalignment and correct disc misalignment in the temporomandibular joint. Surgery is also ideal for patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea who have not found relief from continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines.

Your surgeon will outline the details of your procedure upfront, so you know exactly what to expect. Our highly skilled team is always available to answer questions. Oral surgeons are trained to safely administer all forms of anesthesia, and we offer these during any type of procedure.

We Are Here for You

Learn more about TMJ/orofacial pain management, schedule an appointment, and more. Contact Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery today.