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Fever - How to Take a Temperature (0-12 Months)


  • Pain in the face (cheek, chin, forehead, or jaw).

Causes of Face Pain

  • Infection: dental, sinus or ear infections can cause face pain and swelling.
    • Dental infections may also cause fever and swelling. Treatment of the infection will help resolve the pain. Your dentist may order antibiotics or take out the tooth, if needed.
    • Sinus infections cause pain and pressure in the sinuses (forehead, cheeks or under the eyes). These parts of the face may swell and be sore to touch. You may also have a fever and stuffy nose. Some infections go away on their own. Others need treatment.
    • Ear and mastoid infections cause pain in and around the ear. See your doctor for care.
    • Soft tissue infections cause redness, swelling and tender areas of the soft tissues in any part of the face. They can cause a fever. The cause can be a pimple, bug bite, or scratch or the cause might not be clear. Seek care right away if the infection is around the eye.
  • Mumps is a viral infection in the parotid gland that causes pain and swelling. It is less common today due to the mumps vaccine (MMR). The virus also affects the testes in males and can cause sterility.
  • Temporal Arteritis (serious; also called Giant Cell Arteritis) affects the temporal artery which is on the side of the head (your temple). It needs an urgent exam and treatment. Symptoms are:
    • severe headaches that happen often
    • sides of the head (temples) are sore to touch
    • pain while eating
    • double vision or vision loss
  • Neurological Pain can arise from a nerve that is too sensitive or irritated. A stinging or shooting pain may last seconds, minutes or be long term. It can be on one side or both sides of the face. Pain meds or surgery may help. Contact your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Salivary Gland Stones can block the ducts saliva flows through. This causes pain and swelling. It may cause a lump on the face that goes away on its own.
  • Tumors (serious) can grow in the salivary glands, sinuses, nose, nasal passages, mouth and brain. They can cause pain and/or swelling in the face.
  • Bone Pain (serious). Infection, cysts or tumors in the facial bones can occur and cause pain.
  • Arthritis can occur in the space where the lower jaw meets the skull. Pain is felt in front of the ear.
  • Depression or Stress can cause of facial pain that cannot be explained by any other reason.

When To Call

Call 911 Now

  • You think you have a life-threatening emergency

Go to ER Now

  • Loss of feeling or tingling in any part of the face
  • Jaw pain or toothache with sweating or weakness
  • Severe pain and/or swelling
  • A blistered rash near to the eye with or without pain in the area

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Fever or chills; feeling hot or shivery
  • Painful or tender lump around the face or neck
  • Pain and tenderness in the temple
  • Pain and/or swelling is increasing
  • Weak immune system. Examples are: diabetes, sickle cell disease, HIV, cancer, organ transplant, taking oral steroids, kidney problems.
  • You think you need to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Tenderness over the sinuses (in the forehead above the nose or below the eyes in the cheek)
  • Boil or infected sore
  • You think you need to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Contact Your Dentist Within 24 Hours

  • Face pain or swelling with a toothache

Contact Doctor During Office Hours

  • Jaw pain with chewing
  • Pain keeps you from work or other activities
  • Pain comes and goes
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Minor face pain, not involving the eye, nose or ear

Care Advice

What You Should Know about Face Pain:

  • There are many different causes of face pain.
  • It is often caused by an infection or injury. When the infection or injury is treated, the pain goes away.
  • Some causes of facial pain are serious and need to be treated quickly to prevent ongoing problems.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.

Pain Medicine:

  • To help with the pain, take an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
  • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil). Ibuprofen works well for this type of pain.
  • Use as needed but do not take more than the maximum recommended dosage as stated on the package.
  • If you are not sure what to take, ask a pharmacist.

Avoiding Triggers:

  • If you know what brings your pain on try to avoid it.
  • Get your teeth checked if you think it could be due to a tooth or gum problem.

What to Expect:

  • Pain from an injury or infection will go away after they are treated and healed.
  • Blood tests, x-rays, CT or MRI scans or tissue biopsies might be needed to try to find the cause of your pain.
  • You may need to see a specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

Call Your Doctor If:

  • Pain becomes severe
  • Swelling or redness occurs on any part of your face
  • Changes in your vision
  • Fever
  • You think you need to be seen
  • Your symptoms get worse

Remember! Contact your doctor if you or your child develop any "Contact Your Doctor" symptoms.

Schmitt Decision Logic LLC
Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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