Orofacial Pain


Orofacial Pain J. M.Zakrzewska ( Ed .), Oxford University Press , Oxford ; 2010 , ISBN 978-0199236695 , 208 pp., Price £29.95

This book is aimed at pain specialists treating facial pain, dentists, postgraduate pain trainees and neurologists. The information may be too detailed for undergraduate students and allied healthcare professionals, but will provide them with good guidance for managing patients with orofacial pain.

As mentioned by the editor, the management of orofacial pain has improved tremendously over the years and it remains essential to increase awareness so the approach is consistent. It was interesting to note that 7% of the population in the UK suffers from orofacial pain and under half seek medical advice.

The list of authors, including an epidemiologist, a dentist and psychologists and neurosurgeons, is impressive and has been carefully chosen from various specialities and from different countries. It enhances the truly multidisciplinary approach needed in treating this difficult group of patients.

It is a small book that can be easily carried and would be useful to have in the clinic drawer. The information is clearly presented with easy to read text. The tables are helpful for the differential diagnosis of headaches, and trigeminal autonomic cephalgias. The chapters on examination and history have a good table on cranial nerve examination that trainees will find quite useful. However, the spider diagrams were not easy to comprehend; the information could have been better presented in a table or bullet format. The chapters on trigeminal neuralgia, neuropathic pain and trigeminal autonomic cephalgias were excellent. There are some good references and internet links at the end of every chapter for further reading on the subject. There are very good diagnostic criteria and advice for rare forms of facial pain, e.g. SUNCT and glossopharyngeal neuralgia. This book acknowledges the importance of self-management and psychology, though briefly. I found the final chapter, linking phenotype to genotype, less helpful to clinicians. Maybe the expectations were higher after reading the previous chapters.

Overall this is a very good book with comprehensive data to assist in the diagnosis of orofacial pain and its management. It would prove valuable to the target audience and is certainly worth its price.