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Orofacial Pain: A Guide for the Headache Physician

Authors

  • Martina K. Shephard BDent(Hons), MBBS(Hons), FRACDS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Oral Medicine Unit, Eastman Dental Hospital, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
    • Address all correspondence to M.K. Shephard, Oral Medicine Unit, Eastman Dental Hospital, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust, London WC1X 8LD, UK.

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  • E. Anne MacGregor MD, FFSRH,

    1. Centre for Neuroscience & Trauma, Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK
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  • Joanna M. Zakrzewska MD, FDSRCS, FFPMRCA

    1. Eastman Dental Hospital, UCLH NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
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  • Conflict of Interest: No authors report a relevant conflict of interest.

Abstract

Orofacial pain represents a significant burden in terms of morbidity and health service utilization. It includes very common disorders such as toothache and temporomandibular disorders, as well as rare orofacial pain syndromes. Many orofacial pain conditions have overlapping presentations, and diagnostic uncertainty is frequently encountered in clinical practice. This review provides a clinically orientated overview of common and uncommon orofacial pain presentations and diagnoses, with an emphasis on conditions that may be unfamiliar to the headache physician. A holistic approach to orofacial pain management is important, and the social, cultural, psychological and cognitive context of each patient needs to be considered in the process of diagnostic formulation, as well as in the development of a pain management plan according to the biopsychosocial model. Recognition of psychological comorbidities will assist in diagnosis and management planning.

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