The purpose of this study was to review the current status of biomarkers used in oro-facial pain conditions. Specifically, we critically appraise their relative strengths and weaknesses for assessing mechanisms associated with the oro-facial pain conditions and interpret that information in the light of their current value for use in diagnosis. In the third section, we explore biomarkers through the perspective of ontological realism. We discuss ontological problems of biomarkers as currently widely conceptualised and implemented. This leads to recommendations for research practice aimed to a better understanding of the potential contribution that biomarkers might make to oro-facial pain diagnosis and thereby fulfil our goal for an expanded multidimensional framework for oro-facial pain conditions that would include a third axis.