FAQ: Atypical Odontalgia

although atypical odontalgia is a pain that doesn't necessarily have a source, you can still be treated for it. 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.  The known cause of this condition, however, is actually unknown. It is likely a result of many uncontrollable factors such as genetics, age, and gender, and is most often found with middle-aged and older age groups of adults. It is thought to be neurological, meaning the areas of the brain that process pain have changed so that patients now have a constant source of pain.

Q: How is it treated?

A: It is treated using a number of different medications. Tricyclic antidepressants are the most commonly used medication. Treatment is focused at reducing the pain, but in many cases cannot eliminate it completely.

Q: Why isn’t there an identifiable cause?

A: Atypical odontalgia differs from general toothaches by this very thing — an identifiable cause. This constant throbbing or aching of the tooth can only be identified by the pain a patient feels.

Q: What should my next steps be if I believe I have atypical odontalgia?

A: Many dentists do not know about atypical odontalgia because it is an uncommon condition. If you believe you have atypical odontalgia, it is best to find a dentist with advanced training and one who has successfully treated cases of atypical odontalgia before. This dentist will be able to determine whether or not you are suffering from atypical odontalgia. Additionally, he or she will be able to treat you if it is revealed that you do suffer from the condition.


For additional information, the American Academy of Oral Medicine’s website has a list of practicing physicians. This can help you to identify someone with extensive experience identifying and treating atypical odontalgia.

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