Orofacial Pain (OFP) is the specialty of dentistry that encompasses the diagnosis, management and treatment of pain disorders of the jaw, mouth, face and associated regions. The specialty of OFP is dedicated to the evidenced-based understanding of the underlying pathophysiology, etiology, prevention, and treatment of these disorders and improving access to interdisciplinary patient care.
These disorders as they relate to orofacial pain include but are not limited to temporomandibular muscle and joint (TMJ) disorders, jaw movement disorders, neuropathic and neurovascular pain disorders, headache, and sleep disorders.
What is Orofacial Pain?
The field of Orofacial Pain is concerned 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. Such as postoperative pain or pain associated with malignancy. or may be syndromes in which pain constitutes the primary problem. such as TMJ disorder pain, neuropathic pains, or headaches. The diagnosis of painful syndromes may rely on the interpretation of historical data: a review of laboratory studies. imaging, behavioral, social, and occupational assessment: interview and examination b the orofacial pain provider. The orofacial pain provider serves as a consultant to other dentists and physicians but is often the principal treating health care provider and may provide care at various levels. such as direct treatment, and prescribing medication. prescribing rehabilitative services. performing pain-relieving procedures. counseling of patients and families, providing direction of a multidisciplinary team. providing coordination of care with other healthcare providers and providing consultative services to public and private agencies according to optimal healthcare delivery to the patient suffering from a painful disorder.
Orofacial Pain Emcompasses
Orofacial pain is evolving: the scope of the field is enlarging. At the present time the orofacial pain encompasses:
- Temporomandibular Joint disorders
- Masticatory musculoskeletal pain
- Cervical musculoskeletal pain
- Neurovascular pain
- Neuropathic pain
- Sleep disorders related to orofacial pain
- Orofacial Dystonias
- Intraoral, intracranial, extracranial, and systemic disorders that cause orofacial pain