Nomenclature and Differential Diagnosis

  • Rabia Tari
  • Konstantin V. SlavinEmail author


Chronic facial pain that requires medical attention may be observed in 38.7/100,000 people per year. Diverse disciplines are involved in its treatment: pain medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, dentistry, and maxillofacial surgery. Unfortunately, it appears this diversity of care providers negatively affects the facial pain terminology. Both rare/unclassified or invalid facial pain conditions and well-established but improperly assigned terms like trigeminal neuralgia are used in the literature and in clinical practice. Clear definition of distinct features of the facial pain disorders may help in early establishment of the right diagnosis. If these disorders are left uncategorized, it becomes difficult to properly analyze scientific data and impossible to create much needed clinical evidence. In this chapter, we review and summarize the nomenclature of commonly used classifications based on relevant literature, with main goal of facilitation of simple and reliable differential diagnosis of facial pain.


Chronic facial pain Trigeminal neuralgia Classification Differential diagnosis Atypical facial pain Neuropathic pain Orofacial pain Management Algorithm 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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