Before starting off with Orofacial pain let us see what pain is? Pain is an extremely unpleasant experience (may be sensory or emotional) that may lead to tissue damage. Orofacial pain is the pain that starts from oral cavity and radiates to the head and neck region.
Orofacial region is the most complex of all the human body parts that perform all the essential functions of the body like breathing, olfactory (smell), optic (visual functions), masticatory functions, swallowing and communication.
Looking at the above functions, it is quite understood what the patient might feel after s/he is encountered with Orofacial pain.
Person, who has undergone endless number of dental procedures, have seen number of doctors for treatment, have taken endless number of medications, have undergone multiple tests or have been exposed to X-rays, MRIs are very much prone to Orofacial pain.
Other causes of Orofacial pain are
1. Stress and tension
2. Insomnia (sleep disorders)
3. Person with familial problems like divorce, sudden death of near or dear ones.
4. Employment problems
5. Climatic changes
6. Various Dental and Periodontal Diseases
Medical causes of Orofacial pain
1. Inflammation or injury to the tissues
2. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
3. Various neuralgias
4. Headache or migraine
5. Masticatory muscle disorders like myofacial pain, myospasm, neoplasias etc.
6. Articular disorders like ankylosis, fractures, osteoarthritis etc.
The various symptoms that point towards having Orofacial pain are:
1. Spontaneous and variable pain for more than four months.
2. Pain may follow any surgery, illness, dental treatment or any trauma.
3. At the start, it begins with a pain in tooth, especially canines and premolars.
4. Pain in increased by physical activity.
5. Chest pain can be experienced at times.
6. Tooth ache alleviates after taking nitroglycerin.
The prime focus of doctors is to establish a correct etiological factor leading to Orofacial pain and then working on that. Generally, Orofacial pain treatment requires multidisciplinary treatment approach.
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