Orofacial Pain

Orofacial pain is a general term referring to any pain felt in the mouth, jaws and the face. Orofacial pain is a common symptom, and there are many causes. It is estimated that over 95% of cases of orofacial pain result from dental conditions, such as toothaches, pulpitis, and abscesses After dental pain, the second most common cause of orofacial pain is temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). Other causes can include postoperative pain or pain associated with a malignancy, neuropathic pains or headaches.

Types of Orofacial Pain

Musculoskeletal Pain

  • Temporomandibular Joint disorders
  • Masticatory musculoskeletal pain
  • Cervical musculoskeletal pain

Odontogenic Pain

Odontogenic pain is commonly referred to as a toothache. common causes are pulpitis (inflammation fo the pulp), tooth decay, abscesses, dental hypersensitivity, and gingivitis.

Vascular Pain

Vascular pain is caused by a biological response of vascular tissues to pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. The classical signs of acute inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process. Inflammation is not a synonym for infection, even though the two are often correlated.

Neuropathic Pain

Caused by damage or diseases that affect the somatosensory system, neuropathic pain may be chronic or episodic. 

Other Causes

  • Otolaryngologic Pain
  • Sleep disorders related to orofacial pain
  • Orofacial Dystonias
  • Headaches
  • Intraoral, intracranial, extracranial, and systemic disorders that cause orofacial pain
  • Primarily neuropathic, which occurs as a result of abnormal or damaged pain pathways, e.g. a surgical or traumatic injury to a peripheral nerve.
  • Primarily psychological, which is rare