Characteristics and natural history of three common facial pain syndromes

Takeaway

  • When adhering to therapy guidelines, treatment of patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is more effective than in patients with persistent idiopathic facial pain (PIFP) and neuropathic facial pain (NEUROP).

Why this matters

  • The poor understanding of facial pain syndromes currently leaves many patients underdiagnosed and undertreated.

  • The symptoms of facial pain syndrome resemble that of a common secondary toothache, leading patients to consult dentists. However, endodontic therapies are usually unwarranted.

  • When patients are referred to a specialist, treatment is typically inadequate due to a lack of understanding for most facial pain syndromes.

  • Research is required to characterize the three most common facial pain syndromes (PIFP, TN, and NEUROP) and observe their development over time.