PDF: Orofacial pain: basic mechanisms and implication for successful management

Orofacial Pain is the field of dentistry devoted to the diagnosis and management of chronic, complex, facial pain and oromotor disorders.


This specialty in dentistry has developed over a number of years out of the need for better understanding of a group of patients who somehow were not clearly suffering from dental pain disorders, but still did not seem to have a clearly defined medical problem.

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After a long period of treating patients based on the mechanicist aspect of the disease, our profession has realized the importance of basic knowledge and differencial diagnosis in order to proper manage these patients. 

This modification in the approach has caused severe changes in education as well as in clinical activities. Historically considered as a problem of occlusion, Orofacial Pain, including Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) has recently reached the status of "Specialty" in Brazil.

Therefore, this paper aims to discuss the main differences between musculoskeletal and neuropathic pain and the importance of basic knowledge to perform successful management.

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