Center for Orofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Medicine - Parnassus


The Center for Orofacial Pain was one of the first two centers in the United States established in 1959. The Center provides diagnosis and management of pain in the head, face, temporomandibular joints (TMJs), mouth and teeth, as well as, associated headaches and neck pain, including neuropathic pain (phantom tooth pain). We also offer dental sleep medicine services including oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea.

Services Offered

  • Comprehensive orofacial pain physical examination and diagnosis

  • Imaging interpretation of jaw, face and head

  • Neurological evaluation and diagnosis (e.g. atypical odontalgia, burning mouth syndrome, trigeminal neuralgia)

  • Patient education/self-care instruction

  • Physical therapy/home exercises

  • Relaxation strategies

  • Pharmacotherapy

  • Appliances for sleep bruxism, snoring and sleep apnea

  • Independent medical evaluation

The multidisciplinary orofacial pain management model includes patient education, self-care, medications, physical therapy, behavior modification including relaxation strategies and occlusal splint (orthotic) therapy including oral appliances for sleep disorders.
These services are rendered by dental and physical therapy faculty, with support from a radiologist, pharmacologist, and oral medicine and sleep apnea dental specialists.

Orofacial Pain is characterized by aching, throbbing, sharp or burning pain in the head, neck, face, mouth, gums, or teeth; pain with chewing, yawning or talking; jaw popping or grinding sounds, jaw catching, or locking; restricted jaw opening. Orofacial pain also includes unexplained or unresolved tooth pain after endodontic procedures (root canals), extractions, or implants.

As part of a team of physicians, sleep medicine specialists, and surgeons, we work with many different oral appliances for the treatment of sleep breathing disorders including Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Our extensive knowledge of temporomandibular structures allows us to treat sleep breathing disorders and OSA with appropriate attention and follow-up for airway, sleep and jaw health.