Physiological mechanisms of neuropathic pain: the orofacial region

Int Rev Neurobiol. 2011;97:227-50. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-385198-7.00009-6.


Neuropathic pain in the orofacial region is the clinical manifestation of trigeminal nerve injury following oral surgeries such as tooth extraction, dental implantation or tooth pulp treatment. Normally non-noxious touching of the facial skin or oral mucosa elicits strong pain named allodynia, and normally noxious stimulation causes intolerable pain named hyperalgesia in the trigeminal neuropathic pain patients. Although the mechanisms underlying trigeminal neuropathic pain have been studied by many researchers, the detailed mechanisms are still unknown. In this chapter, we are focusing on trigeminal neuropathic pain, and describe our recent studies using animal models of trigeminal neuropathic pain. We also present the clinical assessment of trigeminal neuropathic pain patients to develop the appropriate treatment of trigeminal neuropathic pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Neuralgia / complications
  • Neuralgia / pathology*
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology
  • Trigeminal Ganglion / pathology
  • Trigeminal Ganglion / physiopathology
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia / complications
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia / pathology*
  • Trigeminal Nuclei / pathology
  • Trigeminal Nuclei / physiopathology*