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Headache Disability in Orofacial Pain Patients

Authors

  • William E. Dando DMD,

  • Morris A. Branch DDS,

  • John P. Maye PhD


  • From the Orofacial Pain Center, Naval Postgraduate Dental School, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD.

Address all correspondence to Dr. Morris A. Branch, Orofacial Pain Center, Naval Postgraduate Dental School, National Naval Medical Center, 8901 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD 20889.

Abstract

Objective.—To retrospectively examine the reported history of and the disability caused by headaches in patients presenting for evaluation and treatment of orofacial pain.

Background.—More than 81% of patients with the chief complaint of pain in the orofacial region concomitantly report pain in other body locations. Among the comorbidities frequently reported with orofacial pain are a variety of different headaches types, including migraines, tension type headaches, and chronic daily headaches. The extent of the disability caused by those headache complaints in a large patient population is unknown.

Methods.—The Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) is administered to all patients as a part of the initial assessment at the Orofacial Pain Center. This investigation is retrospectively examined the reported history of and the disability caused by headaches in patients who presented for evaluation and treatment of orofacial pain in the Orofacial Pain Center, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD, between the dates of 1 September 2003 and 1 December 2004.

Results.—In the present study 261 (61.3%) patients reported a headache complaint and 100 (38%) fulfilled the criteria for migraine with or without aura. MIDAS scores were reported by 55.3% of 426 patients with the mean score of 23.68. There were no significant differences in MIDAS scores in relation to the presence or absence of an intracapsular disorder. Patients with masticatory and/or cervical myalgia demonstrated significantly higher MIDAS scores when compared to patients without myalgia.

Conclusions.—These findings clearly demonstrate the necessity for evaluation of headache and related disability in orofacial pain patients.

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