Orofacial Disorders

Dr. Pehling makes use of his specialized post-doctoral training and clinical experience to treat disorders of the dental structures, oral structures, jaws, trigeminal nerve, cranial structures and upper cervical region (see Diagram 1).

The Orofacial structures are the most complex region within the body being responsible for the life enhancing functions of breathing, eating, drinking, singing, kissing and speech. That is why the Trigeminal Nerve which innervates the jaws and orofacial structures accounts for 28% of the brains  sensory area as in Diagram 2.

It is much easier to deal with pain in a distant knee or elbow than it is to cope with pain in the face due to these neurologic connections. This is one of the reasons that TMJ and orofacial disorders can have such a profound effect on not only the body, but also on a person’s mood or affect. Chronic orofacial pain can often lead to anxiety and depressive mood disorders therefore it is very important not to let pain persist untreated.

The American Dental Association estimates that up to 60 million Americans suffer from one or more of these disorders (see Diagram 3).  Fortunately for most people these disorders are relatively mild, but for many they can become very painful and debilitating. 

Many people mistakenly believe that there are not effective treatments for persistent orofacial disorders such as TMJ disorders, headaches, neuralgias and dystonias; however Dr. Pehling has successfully treated thousands of such patients, typically without the need for surgical interventions. In the approximately 5% of patients who do require a surgical procedure, Dr. Pehling provides the safest and least invasive procedures available.

Before a diagnosis can be made Dr. Pehling has an extensive personal consultation which includes a thorough history of your symptoms, medical and dental history, evaluation of the craniofacial structures, and necessary diagnostic testing.

Diagram 1
Diagram 2
Diagram 3