Canadian Orofacial Pain Team workshop report on the global year against orofacial pain

Gilles J Lavigne, Barry J Sessle
Pain Research & Management 2015, 20 (1): 7-14
25522352
The year 2013-2014 has been designated the Global Year Against Orofacial Pain by the International Association for the Study of Pain. Accordingly, a multidisciplinary Canadian and international group of clinical, research and knowledge-transfer experts attended a workshop in Montreal, Quebec. The workshop had two aims: to identify new pathways for innovative diagnosis and management of chronic orofacial pain states; and to identify opportunities for further collaborative orofacial pain research and education in Canada. Three topics related to chronic orofacial pain were explored: biomarkers and pain signatures for chronic orofacial pain; misuse of analgesic and opioid pain medications for managing chronic orofacial pain; and complementary alternative medicine, topical agents and the role of stress in chronic orofacial pain. It was determined that further research is needed to: identify biomarkers of chronic orofacial post-traumatic neuropathic pain, with a focus on psychosocial, physiological and chemical-genetic factors; validate the short- and long-term safety (i.e., no harm to health, and avoidance of misuse and addiction) of opioid use for two distinct conditions (acute and chronic orofacial pain, respectively); and promote the use of topical medications as an alternative treatment in dentistry, and further document the benefits and safety of complementary and alternative medicine, including stress management, in dentistry. It was proposed that burning mouth syndrome, a painful condition that is not uncommon and affects mainly postmenopausal women, should receive particular attention.

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