Peripheral and central mechanisms of orofacial inflammatory pain

Int Rev Neurobiol. 2011;97:179-206. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-385198-7.00007-2.


Many orofacial pain conditions involve inflammation of orofacial tissues and they range from acute pulpitis (toothache) and mucositis to chronic arthritic conditions affecting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This article reviews the peripheral and central neural mechanisms involved in orofacial inflammatory pain states, including the integral role that peripheral and central sensitization play in the pain features that characterize these states. It also outlines the recent evidence for the contribution of non-neural processes, especially those involving glial cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Facial Pain / complications
  • Facial Pain / pathology*
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism
  • Glutamine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Neuroglia / physiology
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Trigeminal Nerve / physiopathology*
  • Trigeminal Nuclei / pathology
  • Trigeminal Nuclei / physiopathology*


  • Glutamine
  • Glutamic Acid