Treatment Orofacial Pain – Dental Treatment

Introduction –Treatment Orofacial Pain

New treatments for orofacial pain have been developed in recent years. The specialty of Orofacial Pain deals with the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of orofacial pain disorders. Such disorders may have pain and associated symptoms arising from a discrete cause. These causes may include postoperative pain or pain associated with a malignancy, or may be syndromes in which pain constitutes the primary problem, such as TMJ disorder pain, neuropathic pains or headaches.

Orofacial pain medicine is evolving and the scope of the field is enlarging. New treatments are now available. For treatment of cluster headache, new drugs can now be administered via the intranasal route. In patients with chewing pain, the topical application of capsaicin, use of oral splints, jaw movement exercises are the most widely used treatment approaches. In case of neurogenic pain new anti-convulsants have been introduced in therapy, with fewer side effects than standard carbamazepine treatment. The latest pharmacological advances involve the use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs and opioids via the topical route, and the combination of different analgesics.

The diagnosis of orofacial pain:

The painful syndromes are diagnosed with the help of careful elicitation of history, review of laboratory studies, imaging, behavioral, social, and occupational assessment; interview and examination by the orofacial pain specialist. The orofacial pain specialist serves as a consultant to other dentists and physicians who are the primary care givers. But this specialist is often the principal treating health care provider and has a versatile role in therapy which includes:

  1. Direct treatment
  2. Prescribing medications
  3. Arranging rehabilitative services
  4. Performing specific pain relieving procedures
  5. Counselling of patients and families
  6. Co-ordinating the multidisciplinary team
  7. Coordination of care with other healthcare providers
  8. Consultation services

These functions are essential for optimal healthcare delivery to the patients suffering from a painful disorder.

At the present time the orofacial pain includes following syndromes:

  1. Temporomandibular Joint disorders
  2. Masticatory musculoskeletal pain
  3. Cervical musculoskeletal pain
  4. Neurovascular pain
  5. Neuropathic pain
  6. Sleep disorders related to orofacial pain
  7. Orofacial Dystonias
  8. Headaches
  9. Intraoral, intracranial, extracranial, and systemic disorders that cause orofacial pain

Treatment of neuropathic pain disorders may require considerable patience to eventually control the pain as this is a trial and error method of treatment. The first method of treatment, or even the second, may not be successful. Through careful scientific research, the new treatments are being discovered and more doctors are learning about these pain Disorders. Patient should not get discouraged if he or she does not get well immediately. Maintenance of close communication with the doctor in a cooperative manner is very important to obtain most effective and lasting results.

Maintenance of close communication with the doctor in a cooperative manner is very important to obtain most effective and lasting results.
Extensive research is being conducted on the safety and effectiveness of orofacial pain treatments. Most researchers and clinicians usually recommend reversible and conservative treatments for TMD.  Even in cases of long standing and severe TMD, invasive treatment is not required. Treatments designed to permanently change the bite or reposition the jaw with orthodontics or dental reconstruction are not usually necessary and should be undertaken with great care. If irreversible surgical treatment (permanent change) for TMD or orofacial pain is contemplated, getting a reliable second opinion is recommended. Specially trained dentists, physical therapists, psychologists and physicians are usually the best source for the proper diagnosis and management of TMD and Orofacial pain.

Often, patients suffering from an Orofacial Pain Disorder or Headache have undergone numerous dental procedures and have seen multiple Doctors and Specialists. These patients usually try various prescription and non-prescription medications for their ailment. They usually have undergone many medical tests, x-rays, CT scans, and MRI’s before being successfully diagnosed and treated.

Chronic type of orofacial Pain presents very challenging diagnostic problems that are typically complicated by a variety of psychological and distressing factors. Other problems may include sleep disturbances, employment and family breakdowns, marriage and relationship difficulties, and complex medical conditions.  Therefore, patients with Orofacial Pain often require multidisciplinary treatment approaches. A correct diagnosis of this syndrome requires time, understanding, and listening to the patients chief complaints and their thorough description of the pain history.

- Link of interest: Twitter Treatment Orofacial Pain – Dental Treatment.


This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.

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