What Is Phantom Tooth Pain?

Brunette woman wearing a yellow blouse touches the sides of her cheeks due to phantom tooth pain

You may have heard of phantom limb, which is the sensation that a missing limb is still there. But did you know there’s a condition called phantom tooth pain as well? It’s full scientific name is atypical odontalgia, compared to typical odontalgia which is when someone has a toothache from a specific cause. Phantom tooth pain often occurs in a spot where someone has recently had an endodontic treatment or dental extraction.

The Basics

Sometimes, people who have gotten a tooth removed or who have received root canal therapy will feel an ache in that exact treatment area. This ache is often more a dull throbbing rather than severe pain, but it can be constant. It’s considered a phantom pain because either its source or the tooth itself has already been removed. In some cases, it’s possible for this aching sensation to spread to other parts of the mouth or face.

Why It Happens

More research still needs to be done regarding the exact causes of phantom tooth pain, but it may occur because the nerve endings in the area are sending pain signals to the brain, even without any identifiable cause of pain. A variety of factors are most likely at play, including genetics.

What to Do

If you experience phantom tooth pain, it’s advised that you seek help from a professional. Since the condition isn’t linked to a specific source in the teeth or gums, medication is often the best course of action, compared to topical solutions or further dental treatment.

We Are Here to Help!

Are you experiencing phantom tooth pain? We understand it can be confusing and frustrating to deal with this condition. But the Sullivan Family Dental team is here to offer support and relieve your dental discomfort. Contact our Westwood dental office today so we can bring you in to discuss your treatment options!