There is a type of toothache that is different from the typical pain you would normally expect. Sometimes known as phantom tooth pain, it is also known by the official term, atypical odontalgia.
This type of toothache often takes place in the area where there are no teeth, or it takes place even after the offending tooth has been repaired.
The pain may spread to involve large areas of the gums and jaw, and over time may get worse. It may be a dull faint nagging pain, or it could be a pounding pulsing throbbing pain.
Regular toothache usually results from a decaying tooth, a loose tooth, or gum disease. Sensitive teeth may cause teeth to ache when you have a hot or cold drink. Therefore, there is a specific cause of pain and when the dental problem has been resolved the toothache disappears.
However, with phantom toothache there is no specific dental problem to resolve, and therefore the pain may be more difficult to treat.
Most people are only diagnosed with atypical odontalgia after conventional solutions to their toothache have been explored without relieving the pain. When a dental patient has no teeth, it may be a swifter diagnosis. As well as a full dental examination, X rays may be required.
Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, various treatments can be tried to get rid of dental pain. However, in some cases there isn’t anything that works to eliminate one hundred percent of the problem.
It may simply be a case of trying to manage this chronic pain as much as possible, in order to lessen the impact on everyday life.
Studies appear to show that while anyone can suffer from phantom tooth pain, women tend to be the more frequent sufferers, as are older dental patients.
Treating Phantom Tooth Pain
Successful treatments include the use of antidepressants, and also relaxation techniques. There is often a stigma attached to the use of antidepressants, but it is now well known that such medications successfully treat a range of health problems other than depression.
Cognitive behavior therapy is also a successful treatment for many types of chronic pain, including atypical odontalgia. You can learn ways to cope with pain when it strikes, and thereby lessen the depth of that pain.
Although many people are dubious about any other treatment than conventional pain medication, it has to be said that phantom toothache often doesn’t respond to tradition painkillers including local anesthetic. Therefore, in order to find a solution to the debilitating pain it is worth exploring all forms of treatment.