Encyclopedia of Pain

2007 Edition

Atypical Odontalgia

  • Yair Sharav
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-29805-2_322


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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    Benoliel R, Elishoov H, Sharav Y (1997) Orofacial Pain with Vascular-Type Features. Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology and Endodontics 84:506–512Google Scholar
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    Hu JW, Sharav Y, Sessle BJ (1990) Effect of One- or Two-Stage Deafferentation of Mandibular and Maxillary Tooth Pulps on the Functional Properties of Trigeminal Brainstem Neurons. Brain Research 516:271–279Google Scholar
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    Marbach JJ (1978) Phantom tooth pain. Journal of Endodontics 4:362–372Google Scholar
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    Sharav Y (1999) Orofacial pain. In: Wall PD, Melzack R (eds) Textbook of Pain, 4th edn. Churchill Livingstone, pp 711–738Google Scholar
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    Woda A, Pionchon PA (1999) Unified Concept of Idiopathic Orofacial Pain: Clinical Features. J Orofac Pain 13:172–184Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yair Sharav
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oral MedicineSchool of Dental MedicineHebrew University-HadassahIsrael