Have you heard of phantom tooth pain? Are you experiencing unknown tooth pain? Well, there might be an answer for that unknown nagging pain you have been experiencing with no relief. It’s called atypical odontalgia. While it sounds like a mouthful, it is important to identify in order to receive appropriate treatment so you can live without pain. 

What is atypical odontalgia?

Atypical odontalgia is characterized by chronic pain in a tooth or teeth. It also occurs in a site where teeth have been extracted or it happens after endodontic treatment. But the thing is, there is no identifiable cause to your pain. And, over time, that pain may spread to other areas of your face causing more complications. 

The pain you might be experiencing is referred to as atypical because it is different from a typical toothache. Instead of the pain coming and going like with a toothache, the pain is described as constant throbbing or aching. It is persistent and unremitting. The pain can also vary from mild to very severe.

What are the causes of atypical odontalgia?

While the cause is unknown, there are a variety of factors that may contribute to atypical odontalgia. For instance, genetic predisposition, age and sex may all play a role in phantom tooth pain. It is also more common in women than in men as well as middle-aged to older age groups. 

There has also been a connection between atypical odontalgia and depression and anxiety. Looking at the pathology, it is often due to dysfunction or “short-circuiting” of the nerves that carry pain sensations from the teeth and jaws. This is often triggered by some type of dental or oral manipulation. 

What are the treatment options?

Atypical odontalgia pain is felt in a tooth or teeth and persists even after treatment aimed to relieve the pain, such as a filling, root canal or extraction. This can be frustrating and confusing for both you and your dentist. However, Dr. Mayoor Patel has completed continuing education that allows him to properly diagnose and treat this phantom tooth pain. 

Treatment for atypical odontalgia is often with a variety of medications. However, it has been found that antidepressants are used most frequently. They provide pain relieving properties that help. Other medications are used, but we will leave that to Dr. Patel to decide on. Generally, treatment is successful in reducing the pain, but it may not eliminate it completely.

Contact Dr. Patel at Craniofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for more information on atypical odontalgia and to find a treatment that fits your needs.