Atypical odontalgia may be defined as pain of dental origin without a definitive organic cause (Woda and Pionchon 1999).
Pain is localized to a tooth, or sometimes more than one tooth, which shows no dental pathology. Pain may be spontaneous or evoked by hot or cold foods, is usually strong and may throb (Czerninsky et al. 1999).
Marbach (1978) postulated that pain is the result of previous trauma, such as tooth extraction or tooth pulp extirpation, which interferes with the central nervous system pain modulatory mechanisms and coined the name “phantom tooth pain”. This idea is supported by the observation that experimental tooth extraction produces brainstem lesions in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis, and that more extensive tooth pulp injury is associated with heightened excitability changes of trigeminal brainstem neurons (Hu et al. 1990). Although far from proven, a deafferentationassociated with peripheral nerve injury may be responsible for...
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