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Oral Dis. 2017 Nov;23(8):1043-1051. doi: 10.1111/odi.12637. Epub 2017 Feb 22.

An update of management of insomnia in patients with chronic orofacial pain.

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Department of Oral Medicine, Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel.
Department of Oral Medicine, Oral and Maxillofacial center, Medical Corps, Israel Defense Forces, Tel-Hashomer, Israel.
Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, USA.


In this review, we discuss the management of chronic orofacial pain (COFP) patients with insomnia. Diagnostic work-up and follow-up routines of COFP patients should include assessment of sleep problems. Management is based on a multidisciplinary approach, addressing the factors that modulate the pain experience as well as insomnia and including both non-pharmacological and pharmacological modalities. Parallel to treatment, patients should receive therapy for comorbid medical and psychiatric disorders, and possible substance abuse that may be that may trigger or worsen the COFP and/or their insomnia. Insomnia treatment should begin with non-pharmacological therapy, to minimize potential side effects, drug interactions, and risk of substance abuse associated with pharmacological therapy. Behavioral therapies for insomnia include the following: sleep hygiene, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, multicomponent behavioral therapy or brief behavioral therapy for insomnia, relaxation strategies, stimulus control, and sleep restriction. Approved U.S. Food and Drug Administration medications to treat insomnia include the following: benzodiazepines (estazolam, flurazepam, temazepam, triazolam, and quazepam), non-benzodiazepine hypnotics (eszopiclone, zaleplon, zolpidem), the melatonin receptor agonist ramelteon, the antidepressant doxepin, and the orexin receptor antagonist suvorexant. Chronic orofacial pain can greatly improve following treatment of the underlying insomnia, and therefore, re-evaluation of COFP is advised after 1 month of treatment.


cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT); insomnia; orofacial pain; pain; sleep; sleep disorders; sleep medicine

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