I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 30 Dec 2023 - 5 Jan 2024

2024 Jan 04

BMC Oral Health




Chronic temporomandibular disorder pain patients with a history of neuropathic pain treatment: a narrative research on their diagnosis and treatment history.


Baggen JHM, Koevoets AC, Koutris M, Steegers MAH, Lobbezoo F


The aims of this qualitative research were (1) to gain more insight in the diagnostic and treatment history of patients with chronic temporomandibular disorder (TMD) pain; (2) to get a deeper understanding of possible factors that are involved in the possible delay in setting a TMD-pain diagnosis and receiving appropriate treatment; and (3) to get a deeper understanding of the perspectives and experiences of chronic TMD-pain patients on the possible improvement of various aspects of their diagnostic and treatment journey.MethodsIn this narrative research, semi-structured interviews took place with patients who experienced chronic orofacial pain (OFP) for at least three years before getting diagnosed with, and treated for, TMD pain by an OFP specialist in an interprofessional setting.ResultsIn total, ten patients were interviewed in-depth. Patients experienced their chronic OFP in different ways, but all reported a significant impact of their pain on their quality of life. All patients visited numerous health care professionals before their TMD diagnosis was set. Among others, they underwent anti-neuropathic pain medication therapies and invasive surgeries, which did not significantly reduce their chronic OFP. The interprofessional TMD-pain treatment reduced the suffering of the chronic OFP substantially, also 6 months after the start of therapy, and improved the quality of life for all patients. In most of them, the OFP intensity was also decreased.ConclusionChronic TMD-pain patients with a history of neuropathic pain treatment may experience a long journey until receiving the appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This stresses the need to improve the implementation of chronic TMD-pain guidelines.