People with persistent pain in their teeth or mouth often turn to their dentist for help. Nothing shows up during your regular exam, and your x-ray looks normal. Dental pain is a type of orofacial pain and can often be treated by dental procedures. But orofacial pain can also be caused by nondental pain disorders that resemble pain in your teeth, mouth or face.
Headache has been described as the most common medical complaint known to man. There are hundreds of different types of headache and facial pain disorders, including migraine and cluster headache. Due to their prevalence, these disorders are responsible for almost three quarters of neurological-related disability. New treatment approaches are desperately needed, but a lack of research investment has hampered progress. This is why we have made headache and facial pain a priority research area.
This article explores headache and chronic facial pain disorders that commonly present to the chronic pain clinician. Headache has been described as the most common medical complaint known to man. This includes migraine, tension-type headache TTH , cluster headache CH , and the trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias, none of which is associated with demonstrable organic disease or structural neurological abnormality. Pain in the head and neck is mediated by afferent fibres in the trigeminal nerve, nervus intermedius, glossopharyngeal, and vagus nerves, and by the upper cervical roots via the occipital nerves. Lesions or dysfunction of these nerves or central pathways may produce pain localized to the innervated area.
Having a headache may not all be in your head. A new study in the journal Neurology finds that up to 10 percent of people with headaches also experience facial pain. Arne May , a neurology professor at the University of Hamburg in Germany. These include migraine and cluster headache. Participants self-reported data.