Section of Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain

Contact Us

Matt Palmer, Administrative Assistant
(310) 825-6406

Dr. Fariba Younai, Professor of Clinical Dentistry

The Section of Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain is comprised of two clinical dental disciplines. The Oral Medicine specialty centers on the diagnosis and non-surgical management of medically related disorders and oral diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial region. The specialty of Orofacial Pain focuses on the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of chronic orofacial pain disorders.

Teaching Programs

The extensive educational activities of this Section include courses for dental students, residents, and international trainees.

  • Predoctoral instruction is provided in the areas of dental morphology, oral medicine, internal medicine, clinical patient assessment, dental management of medically compromised patients,  treatment planning, TMJ disorders, orofacial pain of non-dental origin,  occlusion, and therapeutics. In addition, the Section’s faculty members supervise the Oral Diagnosis, the Oral Medicine, and the Advanced Treatment Planning Clinics. Students identify patients with jaw dysfunction and chronic pain, sleep related parafunction and sleep breathing disorders, for consultation and co-treatment with faculty and in the Postdoctoral Program Orofacial Pain Clinic.
  • Postdoctoral Program is a two-year residency program in Orofacial Pain and Sleep Medicine for both U.S. graduate and international students. It also offers a two-year fellowship program in Geriatric Dentistry.

The Section also supports some of the School's other postgraduate programs by providing seminars in Oral Pathology and Orofacial Pain l, mentoring postgraduate student research, and teaching graduate courses in Oral Biology as well as postdoctoral program core courses. In addition, the section faculty offer continuing education courses in oral medicine, orofacial pain and sleep medicine for practicing dentists throughout the world.


Faculty members in the Section are involved in research in the areas of oral cancer early detection and chemoprevention, oral mucosal immunology related to HIV infection and substance abuse, infection control, TMD/OFP and Sleep Medicine disorders, wound healing and mechanism of abnormal scar formation, and the role of the dentist in tobacco cessation. The research interests of the section faculty have led to the development of a dentist assisted tobacco cessation program for 3rd and 4th year dental students, and the oral health curriculum developed by the American Academy of HIV Medicine for physicians specializing in HIV medicine. In addition, the section has collaborated with the Pacific AIDS Education and Training Centers in developing the Dental Standards of Care for HIV positive patients in the Pacific and NW region. The standards are adopted and implemented by the LA County Division of HIV and STD Programs.

Section faculty members were successful in securing funding for an R25 NIDCR grant to design and implement an Academic Track designed to recruit and mentor future academic dentists. Track participants work with faculty mentors to develop the teaching, leadership, and communication skills needed to be successful in an academic career.

Patient Care

Faculty in the Section of Oral Medicine and Orofacial Pain provide clinical supervision in the Pre-doctoral Dental Clinic, where they supervise and train students in the Oral Diagnosis, Oral Medicine, and Advanced Treatment Planning Clinics and teach the methods for diagnosis, evaluation and clinical care of patients with oral diseases and orofacial pain.

Section Faculty also supervise resident dentists in the Graduate Orofacial Pain Clinic.

In addition, Section faculty are direct providers of patient care through the Orofacial Pain Faculty Practice and Oral Medicine Faculty Practice.

Section Full-time Faculty