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Papers of the Week

2020 Apr 06

Swiss Dent J


Facial pain – an interdisciplinary challenge


Gierthmuehlen M, Gierthmuehlen P, Hugger A, Gierthmuehlen J, Tuerp J C
Swiss Dent J. 2020 Apr 06(4):321-327.
PMID: 32242649.


Acute pain has a warning function and is necessary to survive. Conversely, chronic or recurrent pain is a pathological entity itself and has tremendous impact on the quality of life of the patients . Facial pain is very common and can have various causes. The trigeminal nerve innervates the face, and tumours along its intracranial way as well as peripheral injury can lead to facial pain. Also, infections and systemic diseases, like multiple sclerosis, may cause pain in the face, so can vascular compressions of the trigeminal or glossopharyngeal nerve. Detailed pain history is crucial in order to rule out other than dental reasons for facial pain before invasive dental therapy is initiated. A multidisciplinary approach and additional imaging modalities might be necessary to find the optimal treatment for the patient.