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Papers of the Week

2020 Mar 04

J Oral Sci

Modulatory mechanism underlying how dietary constituents attenuate orofacial pain.



Physiological pain protects the body and its systems from damage, but pathological pain has no obvious biological role. Complementary alternative medicine (CAM) agents are being increasingly studied in the treatment of clinical pain, and some dietary constituents (polyphenol, carotenoids, and fatty acids) and supplements may modify pain pathways. Because these substances modulate neuronal excitability-including the trigeminal pain pathway via various voltage-gated ionic channels and transient receptor potential and ligand-gated channels, dietary constituents could contribute to CAM as therapeutic agents for attenuating orofacial noxious sensory information. This review summarizes the current understanding of the mechanisms by which dietary constituents might attenuate excitability of trigeminal nociceptive neurons implicated in blocking pain, particularly in relation to the authors' recent experimental data, and discusses the development of functional foods and the contribution of dietary constituents in the relief of clinical dental pain without the side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.