Atypical Odontalgia or Phantom Tooth Pain – Symptoms, Causes and Treatmants

Atypical Odontalgia or Phantom Tooth Pain – Symptoms, Causes and Treatmants

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Atypical Odontalgia

Atypical odontalgia is also recognized in medicine as atypical facial pain, phantom tooth pain, or orofacial neuropathic pain. This is a severe chronic discomfort in the tooth or in the teeth and may occur after endodontic treatment and even at the spot where the tooth was removed a long time ago. This unpleasant feeling can spread to other areas of the head, and the cause is mostly unknown.

The phantom tooth pain is atypical, a different type of pain. A typical toothache involves sensitivity to hot and cold, sweet or salty foods, or chewing. It comes and goes and has a specific cause, such as caries. With phantom teeth pain, this is not the case.

The atypical toothache is described as a constant feeling of pain, persistent and continuous, and not caused by reactions or changes, such as warm/cold. It can vary from mild to quite sharp and often even a local anesthetic can’t help. Typically, there is no cause, and it can occur without any reason. Phantom tooth pain may or may not be associated with some previous dental procedures. Unpleasant sensation in the teeth in patients lasts despite treatment aimed at alleviating pain such as channel loading or extraction.

Patients often become frustrated and confused when the therapy does not affect the pain that they feel. They become distrustful and seek pragmatic solutions. The diagnosis of atypical odontalgia is postulated after a clinical examination. After establishing a diagnosis, the drugs can be used in an attempt to reduce the pain level.

What causes phantom tooth pain phenomenon?

A phantom tooth is a syndrome that arises for an unknown reason. Many of these types of pains are called “idiopathic.” It is more often in women, and it is more common in middle and older age groups. Even some studies have succeeded in establishing a not so strong relationship between depression or anxiety and atypical odontalgia.

The simplest can be described as a pathological mechanism of dysfunction or a “short span” of nerves that provide feelings of pain from the teeth and jaws created by some kind of dental or oral manipulation. Areas in the brain that process pain signs seem to pass through molecular and biochemical changes that result in persistent pain in the absence of a recognizable cause of pain.

Why can not a dentist kill the pain?

In most cases, dental treatment will not help. It may temporarily reduce the severity of the pain, but the suffering will return inevitably. It happens because pain is not caused by any pathology in the teeth or gums, but because of the dysfunction of the nerve or part of the brain that processes it. If you recognize this, you can avoid unnecessary and ineffective dental treatments.

What can you do to eliminate atypical odontalgia?

Atypical odontalgia is a condition of a chronic pain that is treated with the help of various drugs. Most commonly used tricyclic antidepressants. In this picture, their role is lessening the discomfort,  not controlling the symptoms of depression. Amitriptyline is the widely prescribed tricyclic drugs used for treating such a condition. Also, other medications for chronic pain, such as gabapentin, baclofen, and duloxetine, can be specified.

Medicines will reduce pain but will not eliminate it completely. Since the exact reason for this predicament is not known, it is difficult to say whether this is a permanent condition. It can disappear spontaneously, or to decrease gradually after prolonged treatment with medication. However, many cases persist and require the continued use of medicines.

Why my dentist doesn’t know about this problem?

The phantom tooth pain is not a rare phenomenon. However, the dentist will not recognize and give a correct diagnosis unless it is a specialist in oral medicine or orofacial pain who has many years of similar experiences.

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