Clinical examination and adjunctive laboratory tests for physical diagnosis

Jean Paul Goulet, Eric L. Schiffman, Daniele Manfredini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The orofacial region contains special organs, tissues, and structures that are in close proximity to each other in a limited space extending from the inferior orbital rim to the base of the chin and from ear to ear. The majority of patients seeking treatment for orofacial pain have dentoalveolar diseases or temporomandibular disorders (TMD), but other potential sources of somatic pain are caused by or related to pathology in the oral, nasal, and pharyngeal soft tissues, salivary glands, mandible, sinuses, and the associated vascular and nerve networks. In addition, pain arising from one structure can radiate and spread to adjacent non-involved areas, or be referred to other areas. Conversely, referred pain from intracranial and neck structures or face pain related to comorbidities may be confused with primary pain from the orofacial area. Given the breadth of conditions and etiological factors causing orofacial pain, the diagnostic task requires the expertise of different health care providers. Dentists play a central role in the diagnosis of orofacial pain because of their training related to diagnosing dental and pain-related TMD. This chapter will focus on the clinical assessment methods, and recent advances in these methods, for patients with orofacial pain and the associated data collection for establishing an Axis-I physical diagnosis, that is, one or more physical disorders that best explain the patient's complaints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOrofacial Pain
PublisherWolters Kluwer Health Adis (ESP)
ISBN (Electronic)9781496331885
ISBN (Print)9780931092176
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Bibliographical note

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© 2014 IASP Press. All rights reserved.


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