Orofacial pain is pain that occurs in the mouth, jaw, face, or head, and is often related to a condition such as temporomandibular disorder (TMD). However, it can pose diagnostic challenges as patients may be unsure what is causing their pain. This is where it is important to seek medical advice. Getting a proper diagnosis can be the first step towards managing your pain and ensuring a new, pain free existence.
Common Causes of Orofacial Pain
Below are the most common conditions that can cause orofacial pain:
● Dental issues: As the most common cause of orofacial pain, the pain will usually improve as the underlying condition is treated.
● Temporomandibular disorder (TMD): TMDs are the most common non-dental cause of orofacial pain. It typically affects the jaw muscles on one side of the face as well as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the jawbone to the skull. Early diagnosis and treatment have proven to be extremely effective in managing pain caused by TMDs.
● Dry Eye Disease (DED): DED is a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects the tear ducts. It can cause visible disturbances and even blindness in serious cases. If you experience both dry eyes and orofacial pain, it is possible you have DED.
● Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS): As suggested by its name, BMS is characterized by a burning sensation in the mouth. This usually affects the tip of the tongue and the pain can affect other areas as well. The pain caused by BMS is usually considered moderate to severe.
● Migraines: Whether your migraines are caused by a condition such as TMD or they occur in isolation, the pain can be confused with dental pain or other orofacial pain if it is localized in the face.
Diagnosing the Cause of Orofacial Pain
It can be difficult for doctors to diagnose the cause of your orofacial pain without a description. You should let your doctor know the following:
● Where the pain is localized
● How long it lasts
● How the pain feels like
● Whether it is intermittent or consistent
● If there are any symptoms that commonly accompany the pain
Treatment Options for Orofacial Pain
If you suffer from orofacial pain, the good news is that you do not have to live with it. There are treatment options available.
● Medications: Many patients may have tried painkillers and medications to manage pain, however they may only work as a short-term solution.
● Therapeutic Botox: If your orofacial pain is caused by a condition such as TMD, Botox can be injected into the muscles around the TMJ to improve and restore muscle function.
● Cold laser treatment: This new and innovative treatment is painless and non-invasive, making use of light photons to penetrate the TMJ. While a full range of 6 to 12 treatments is recommended, most patients report an improvement after just 2 to 3 sessions.
Why Choose Head Pain Institute® for Orofacial Pain Treatment?
At Head Pain Institute®, we employ a team of head and orofacial pain specialists who come with a combined experience of more than eight decades. In addition, we hold a Diplomate status from the American Board of Orofacial Pain (ABOP). We have successfully performed more than 12,000 procedures with our state-of-the-art treatment techniques and equipment, giving our patients a chance at a new, pain-free existence.