SCP Podcast Episode 222: Gary M. Heir, DMD

March 7, 2022

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In this episode, we chat with Gary M. Heri, DMD. An internationally recognized expert in orofacial pain and temporomandibular disorders. He is the director of the Center for Temporomandibular Disorders and Orofacial Pain in the Department of Diagnostic Sciences at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, which performs research and teaches this advanced field of dentistry focusing on the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of complex chronic orofacial pain disorders.  Gary Heir has recently been appointed to the Robert and Susan Carmel Chair in Algesiology at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine.

Over the past decade, Heir played a significant role alongside a committee of national orofacial pain program directors and the American Academy of Orofacial Pain to get orofacial pain recognized as the 12th specialty in dentistry by the American Dental Association in March 2020. He is also the signatory on the application to the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards for recognition of the American Board of Orofacial Pain as the official certifying board for the specialty.

Currently, Heir directs the center at the dental school, one of only 12 postgraduate orofacial pain programs in the country accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). He stressed the need for more accredited programs, citing the millions of patients who require treatment but have difficulty finding specialists.

In addition to his work at Rutgers, Heir is a highly sought-after lecturer, having delivered nearly 300 presentations on orofacial pain and related subjects in the region, in the country and throughout the world.

He has served on the boards of many professional organizations, including as the president of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain and the American Board of Orofacial Pain and as a member of CODA and the Council on Dental Education and Licensure. He was appointed by three of New Jersey’s governors for three consecutive terms as a member of New Jersey Governor’s Lyme Disease Commission.

Heir has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, chapters and abstracts on orofacial pain and TMJ disorders. He also serves as the section editor for Orofacial Pain Neuroscience of The Journal of the American Dental Association.  (Bio credit,

Highlights of this podcast include:

  • Orofacial Pain
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Neuralgia and palsy
  • Nerve damage and neuropathy
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Migraines
  • Categories of Pain
  • Fear and Pain – psychogenic 
  • Placebo and nocebo effects
  • Pain Management / Control
  • Emotional component of pain
  • Diagnosis
  • And So Much More!

To learn more about Dr. Heir, please visit

This episode is brought to you by Therasage. Use code: STOPCHASINGPAIN at checkout.