Disorders We Treat


What is orofacial pain?

What is orofacial pain?

It involves pain whose origin is below the orbito-meatal line, above the neck, and anterior to the ears, including pain within a person’s mouth.

The Specialty of Orofacial Pain (OFP) is concerned with the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of OFP disorders. Such disorders may have pain and associated symptoms arising from a discrete cause, such as postoperative pain or pain associated with a malignancy, or may be syndromes in which pain constitutes the primary problem, such as TMJ disorder pain, neuropathic pains or headaches.

The diagnosis of painful syndromes relies on the interpretation of historical data; review of laboratory studies, imaging, behavioral, social, and occupational assessment; interview and examination by the orofacial pain specialist. We evaluate patients for TMJ disorders for non-surgical treatment plans.

The orofacial MN Head and Neck pain relief specialist serves as a consultant to other dentists and physicians but is often the principal treating health care provider and may provide care at various levels, such as direct treatment, prescribing medication, prescribing rehabilitative services, performing pain relieving procedures, counseling of patients and families, the direction of a multidisciplinary team, coordination of care with other healthcare providers and consultative services to public and private agencies pursuant to optimal healthcare delivery to the patient suffering from a painful disorder.

What does OFP mean?

Orofacial pain (OFP) is the main term used to explain causes, symptoms, and treatment of pain and/or dysfunction in the head and neck region. Multiple factors impact orofacial pain and are evaluated based on each individual’s patient’s history and needs. Symptoms may vary and include headaches, neck pain, ear pain, dental pain, facial burning or stabbing sensations, and jaw joint pain.

The early diagnosis of orofacial pain can be difficult and may require multiple examinations and histories provided by the patient. The patient’s pain history is essential and will indicate any further examinations required. The MN Head and Neck Pain clinic strongly supports conservative approaches that include self-management interventions, such as education, jaw posture relaxation, and cognitive or behavioral self-regulation. All have been shown to improve long-term outcomes for patients suffering from this condition.

What muscles produce orofacial pain?

A team of orofacial muscles works together. They include the tongue muscles and the branchiomeric muscles in the lower face. Their main jobs are chewing, swallowing, speech, and yawning. All orofacial muscles stem from the mesoderm of the pharyngeal arches; they are controlled by the cranial neural crest cells. Facial nerve pain is very real and can be quite painful.

What is neurovascular orofacial pain?

Neurovascular pains, more commonly recognized as headaches, are a cluster of pain disorders that are felt as cephalalgias, or simply “pains in the head”. Orofacial pain specialists classify them as a heterogeneous group of disorders that share a common anatomic area of presentation, the head. At the same time, they have somewhat unique pathophysiologic mechanisms. There are many types of FDA-approved oral appliances that may be used.

Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are a necessity for adequate assessment and management of patients with facial and neck pain.

What does orofacial pain encompass?

Orofacial pain is evolving; the scope of the field is enlarging.

At the present time the orofacial pain encompasses:

  1. Temporomandibular Joint disorders.
  2. Masticatory musculoskeletal pain.
  3. Cervical musculoskeletal pain.
  4. Neurovascular pain.
  5. Neuropathic pain.
  6. Sleep disorders related to orofacial pain.
  7. Orofacial Dystonias.
  8. Headaches.
  9. Intraoral, intracranial, extracranial, and systemic disorders that cause orofacial pain. 

The Minnesota Head & Neck Pain Clinics align closely with the The International Association for the Study of Pain and on-going studies at the University of Minnesota and nationally. We are specialist at treating and preventing chromic pain and passionate about helping you! If you are experiencing increased pain due to issolation and loneliness, we can help you overcome this.

Management of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) should follow a conservative and reversible approach from the onset and/or diagnosis of this medical condition.

Call the MN Head & Neck Clinic to Schedule help today: 763-577-2484



The specialty of Orofacial Pain is concerned with the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.


There are four types of headache: vascular, muscle contraction (tension), traction, and inflammatory.


Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that causes extreme, sporadic, sudden burning or shock-like face pain.


TMJ is a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement.


Sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder, affecting nearly 1 out of every 8 individuals.


Neck muscles can be strained from poor posture — whether it’s leaning over your computer or hunching over your workbench.


Our mission is to provide high-quality, effective patient care for head and neck disorders through a multispecialty, interdisciplinary approach designed to reduce pain and improve function for all our patients.

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