The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on orofacial pain practice: Perceptions from a convenience sample of orofacial pain practitioners

Fernanda Yanez Regonesi, Ghabi A. Kaspo, Ian A. Boggero, Isabel Moreno-Hay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on people's lives. Increasing evidence indicates that patients with chronic pain particularly are being affected; however, few articles have examined how the pandemic has affected the care or clinical presentation of patients with orofacial pain. The aim of this study was to describe COVID-19–related changes in referral patterns and numbers, in patient demographics, in patients’ seeking treatment for problems, and in administrative procedures in 3 orofacial pain clinical settings. Methods: Practitioners participating in the American Academy of Orofacial Pain webinar titled “Practicing Orofacial Pain, Headache, and Sleep Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic” completed a voluntary anonymous online survey. Survey respondents completed general questions related to their orofacial pain practices and about perceptions of their patients’ symptoms. For statistical analysis, the authors calculated frequencies and used analysis of variance for continuous variables or Likert scale variables and the χ2 test for dichotomous or categorical variables. Statistical significance was set at P value of. 05 or below. Results: Practitioners noted an increase in new patients with orofacial pain. Of the participants, 33% indicated the onset of their patients’ pain was often or extremely often related to COVID-19. The 5 most common symptoms that providers felt were aggravated in their patients were masticatory muscle myalgia, anxiety, tension-type headache, bruxism, and insomnia or fragmented sleep. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a marked increase in the number of patients seeking consultation for orofacial pain and associated symptoms. Practical Implications: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, orofacial pain practitioners have noticed an increase in orofacial pain symptoms across practice settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-271
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Dental Association


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • coronavirus pandemic
  • orofacial pain
  • temporomandibular disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry (all)


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