- OKAYAMA UNIV MED SCHOOL
Orofacial pain is often difficult to diagnose and treat. However, there have been few reports on the clinical observation of dental patients with orofacial pain. We retrospectively investigated the characteristics of 221 dental patients who had suffered from persistent orofacial pain. Data were collected from the outpatient medical records in our clinic over the past 12 years. More than half of the patients (53.8%) had suffered with pain for more than 6 months from pain onset until the first visit to our clinic. The main diagnoses were neuropathic pain (30.3%), myofascial pain (23.5%), psychogenic pain (20.4%), odontogenic toothache (17.2%), and others (7.7%) such as temporomandibular disorders and glossitis. The treatments included pharmacotherapy, splint therapy, and others such as nerve block, dental treatment, physiotherapy, and/or psychotherapy. Excluding the patients (52 of 221 initially enrolled patients) with unknown responses to treatment, 65.7% showed remission or a significant improvement in pain in response to treatment. Although only a small group of patients had odontogenic toothache, the rate of improvement was highest for this disorder. In conclusion, early consultation with a dentist is useful to prevent chronicity of odontogenic pain and to make a differential diagnosis in patients with orofacial pain.
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