Headaches & Facial Pain
All facial pain disorders are closely related because they are transmitted by the same cranial nerve—the trigeminal nerve. As a physician of the trigeminal nerve, it is important for all orofacial pain dentists to understand headaches.
According to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), the definition of pain is:
“An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage. The inability to communicate in no way negates the possibility that an individual is experiencing pain and is in need of appropriate pain relieving treatment.”
The primary responsibility of any doctor treating pain is to find the source of that pain. In some cases, there are patients who have still undiagnosed pain and may never get a diagnosis. Many doctors believe that some pain patients have deep psychological problems and that their pain is exaggerated or does not exist—somewhat of an excuse for the doctor. However, it is true that a small minority of patients fall into this category. In Dr. Menchel’s experience, less than 2% of all patients he has seen over the years exhibit this problem.