Management of pain in patients with temporomandibular disorder (TMD): challenges and solutions

J Pain Res. 2018 Mar 16:11:571-587. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S127950. eCollection 2018.


Thanks to advances in neuroscience, biopsychosocial models for diagnostics and treatment (including physical, psychological, and pharmacological therapies) currently have more clinical support and scientific growth. At present, a conservative treatment approach prevails over surgery, given it is less aggressive and usually results in satisfactory clinical outcomes in mild-moderate temporomandibular disorder (TMD). The aim of this review is to evaluate the recent evidence, identify challenges, and propose solutions from a clinical point of view for patients with craniofacial pain and TMD. The treatment we propose is structured in a multi-modal approach based on a biobehavioral approach that includes medical, physiotherapeutic, psychological, and dental treatments. We also propose a new biobehavioral model regarding pain perception and motor behavior for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with painful TMD.

Keywords: biobehavioral; biobehavioral orofacial pain; disability; motor behavior; multimodal approach; review; temporomandibular disorders.

Publication types

  • Review