Chronic orofacial pain

J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2020 Apr;127(4):575-588. doi: 10.1007/s00702-020-02157-3. Epub 2020 Mar 4.


While pain chronicity in general has been defined as pain lasting for more than 3 months, this definition is not useful in orofacial pain (OFP) and headache (HA). Instead, chronicity in OFP and HA is defined as pain occurring on more than 15 days per month and lasting for more than 4 h daily for at least the last 3 months. This definition excludes the periodic shortlasting pains that often recur in the face and head, but are not essentially chronic. Although the headache field has adopted this definition, chronic orofacial pain is still poorly defined. In this article, we discuss current thinking of chronicity in pain and examine the term 'chronic orofacial pain' (COFP). We discuss the entities that make up COFP and analyze the term's usefulness in clinical practice and epidemiology.

Keywords: Facial pain; Headache; Migraine; Myalgia; Neuropathic pain; Persistent pain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Pain* / classification
  • Chronic Pain* / diagnosis
  • Chronic Pain* / etiology
  • Chronic Pain* / physiopathology
  • Facial Pain* / classification
  • Facial Pain* / diagnosis
  • Facial Pain* / etiology
  • Facial Pain* / physiopathology
  • Headache Disorders* / classification
  • Headache Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Headache Disorders* / etiology
  • Headache Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Humans