Received Jan 18; Accepted May This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Patients with atypical odontalgia AO complain of medically unexplained toothache.

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The typical clinical presentation of AO involves pain in a tooth in the absence of any sign of pathology; the pain may spread to areas of the face, neck, and shoulder. Often there in increased sensitivity to pressure over the painful region. Patients often have difficulty localising the pain. All ages can be affected except for children.

Diagnosis is based primarily on symptoms and on elimination of other possible disorders. If a nerve block does not result in pain reduction or if the results are ambiguous then a diagnosis of AO should be considered.

How is it treated? Medications such as painkillers and sedatives are not effective in AO. Surgery and other dental interventions rarely provide relief. Anti-depressants medications can reduce AO pain which is probably due to their analgesic effects Anti-depressants have the ability to produce low-grade pain relief at lower strengths and not to their anti-depressant effects.

AO patients are generally not depressed. The outcome is usually fair, with many patients obtaining complete relief from pain. Especially in the absence of overt pathology, particular attention should be paid to avoiding any unnecessary and potentially dangerous dental intervention on the teeth.

AO is surprisingly common, of uncertain origin and potentially treatable.


FAQ: Atypical Odontalgia

Posted by admin Atypical Odontalgia is a chronic facial pain related to tooth pain that can cause intense grievance and discomfort in its inhabitants. Most toothaches will resolve themselves after a few days, but atypical odontalgia will not resolve itself on its own and needs the help of a professional. Q: What will cause atypical odontalgia? A: It is often associated with patients who have a history of root canal, teeth extraction, or other invasive dental procedures, such as getting teeth removed for dentures.


Atypical Odontalgia

The prevalence of chronic and persistent pain in the head and neck region is higher than in other parts of the body,1 therefore, many dentists encounter these conditions during their practice. However, case complexity may lead to improper diagnosis resulting in inadequate or indeed unnecessary dental treatment. To prevent this undesirable situation, a better understanding of the aetiology, diagnosis and management of these chronic pain conditions is desirable for a general dentist. In some cases a proper diagnosis and referral to a specialist may benefit both the patient and the dentist, as well as build up a better relationship between them. One of these complex pain conditions that is not always dealt with properly by dentists is atypical odontalgia AO.


Atypical Odontalgia: Current Knowledge and Implications for Diagnosis and Management

What is Atypical Odontalgia? Atypical odontalgia is characterized by chronic pain in the tooth or tooth socket, after extraction, without any identifiable cause on clinical or radiological examination. A normal toothache gets aggravated with exposure to hot or cold food or drinks. Also chewing and biting bring in pain on the affected tooth in a typical toothache. Advertisement In atypical odontalgia, the pain is a constant throbbing or aching type. The toothache in atypical odontalgia is persistent and unremitting and is not affected by exposure to cold or hot food and drinks like a typical toothache. The intensity of pain in atypical odontalgia can be mild to very severe.


Current Evidence on Atypical Odontalgia: Diagnosis and Clinical Management

These include increased temperature and tenderness of the mucosa in the affected area, which is otherwise normal in every regard. The pains location does not correlate to the anatomic distribution of trigeminal nerve , and may be located unilaterally more usually or bilaterally. Sometimes the pain may be seem to be located in a tooth that has been previously extracted, or associated with a previous surgical procedure. Over time the pain may migrate, spontaneously or as a response to interventions, to other sites, or slowly expand.

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