Oral surgery II: Part 5. Chronic orofacial pain

Key Points

  • Discusses how the diagnosis of orofacial pain can be complex.

  • Provides some ideas are provided for differentiating neuropathic from inflammatory pain.

  • Outlines principles for the management of orofacial pain.


Chronic orofacial pain syndromes represent a diagnostic challenge for any practitioner. Patients are frequently misdiagnosed or attribute their pain to a prior event such as a dental procedure, ENT problem or facial trauma. Psychiatric symptoms of depression and anxiety are prevalent in this population and compound the diagnostic conundrum. Treatment is less effective than in other pain syndromes and thus often requires a multidisciplinary approach to address the many facets of these conditions.

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Figure 1: The trigeminal nerve.
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Correspondence to T. Renton.

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Renton, T. Oral surgery II: Part 5. Chronic orofacial pain. Br Dent J 223, 826–836 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2017.990

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