Orofacial pain is a general medical term that is used to describe pain that may be experienced in any part of one’s face. Those parts include the face, mouth, scalp and jaws. If one of the structures that make up the face and oral cavity is affected by a medical disorder or disease, it can cause pain; sometimes to the face area from the ear or the scalp. Recent studies have shown that the most common source of orofacial pain is actually the mouth. While other causes of orofacial pain are rare, the second most common cause is related to temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).

In some cases, the pain that an affected individual experiences may arise from many sources. That’s why determining the cause of an orofacial pain disorder can be quite challenging at times. Today, the medical professionals that can diagnose and manage orofacial pain includes dentists, neurologists as well as ENT specialists. At Arcadia Dental, you can rest assured that we are well-versed in orofacial pain treatment and offer a broad range of affordable dentist services in Franklin.

Is Orofacial Pain Common?

You might be surprised to know that orofacial pain is a pretty common problem in today’s society. In the United States alone, research has shown that nearly a fifth of the adult population is affected by some type facial pain. However, a majority of those cases is caused by a dental problem like a toothache. As mentioned, TMD is the next common cause of orofacial pain and is often chronic in nature. You should note that orofacial pain can affect both genders at any age.

Understanding the Common Causes of Orofacial Pain

There is currently no standard systems – systems that are universally accepted – in place that can classify the causes of orofacial pain. However, orofacial pain treatment experts have managed to piece together the causes in the following order:

Emotional causes

  • Psychosomatic
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Oral cavity causes

TMJ

  • Dental abscess
  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Ulcers of the mouth
  • Teeth hypersensitivity
  • Gingivitis
  • Cancer of the mouth
  • Cracked tooth
  • Dental cavities

Neuropathic pain

  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Mental nerve neuralgia
  • Migraine
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD)
  • Headache
  • Glossopharyngeal neuralgia
  • Cluster headache

Diagnosing Orofacial Pain

As there are many structures around the mouth and face, the source of orofacial pain is not easy to diagnose. In most cases, individuals may go through many healthcare providers before a correct diagnosis is made. However, Arcadia Franklin is able to perform highly accurate diagnoses and pain examinations. We have done so for many years with advanced dental imaging techniques and interpretation technologies. Some elements of the examination process include a thorough physical examination, CT scans, X-rays and even MRI.

Managing Orofacial Pain

Before our dentists can administer the right treatment, we have to consider the cause. If orofacial pain is caused by TMD, you may receive a treatment that is geared towards limiting pain and restoring function of the jaw. If the problem lies in the teeth or gums, a dentist can manage your problems with ease.

To restore the function of the TMD, we also recommend physical therapy. This form of therapy helps strengthen the muscles that are needed for chewing, improve range of motions and decrease inflammation.

Worried if You Are Suffering from Orofacial Pain?

Even if you do, you are certainly not alone. What’s more, there is a myriad of treatment options out there, and one will definitely suit your needs. The dental professionals at Arcardia Franklin are always ahead of the curve and we will be able to diagnose your symptoms with ease. Don’t hesitate to contact us now to learn more about orofacial pain treatment or schedule an appointment!