Orofacial Pain and Headache: A Review and Look at the Commonalities

Uncommon Headache Syndromes (J Ailani, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Uncommon Headache Syndromes


Headache and facial pain – in particular, temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) – are very prevalent conditions in the general population. TMDs are defined as a collection of symptoms and signs involving masticatory muscles, the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), or both. The pain reported by TMD patients is typically located in the muscles of mastication, in the preauricular area, or in the TMJs. In many cases, headaches and facial pain will occur in the same patient. Much of the research relative to the relationship of these disorders focuses on statistics of association and prevalence data. This review will provide a brief description of the types and classifications of orofacial pains (OFPs), as well as point to relevant research describing the commonalities and potential comorbid nature of these maladies. Finally, several recent papers describing morphologic changes to the brain in headache and TMD individuals will be discussed in an effort to stimulate further research into the potential common pathophysiologic mechanism that may explain the comorbid nature of these disorders.


Temporomandibular joint disorders Orofacial pain, Migraine Headache Comorbid Pain Dental Neurovascular Musculoskeletal Sleep bruxism Trigeminal Glia 


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Texas Center for Head, Face & TMJ PainPlanoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Periodontics Stomatology CenterTexas A&M University Baylor College of DentistryDallasUSA

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