Oral Facial Pain in the Elderly

  • Jonathan A. Ship
  • Marc W. Heft
  • Stephen W. Harkins
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)


With the rapidly expanding proportion of the population older than 65 years of age, clinical problems affecting older adults have received increasing attention. Greater emphasis has been placed on quality-of-life issues, rather than simply living longer. One major issue that has a dramatic influence on the quality of people’s lives is pain. Pain in the oral-facial region can be caused by a multitude of factors. Oral diseases; systemic conditions; neurological, immunological, arthritic, and infectious diseases of the maxillofacial region; medications; chemotherapy; and radiotherapy, as well as psychiatric and behavioral disorders, can cause or contribute to oral-facial pain. While the elderly may be less likely to complain about some of these disorders, they are probably at greater risk of experiencing oral-facial pain due to exposure to these etiological factors over time.


Herpes Zoster Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain Sensitivity Facial Pain Postherpetic Neuralgia 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan A. Ship
    • 1
  • Marc W. Heft
    • 2
  • Stephen W. Harkins
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Michigan School of DentistryAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Claude Denson Pepper Center and Department of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of GerontologyMedical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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