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SAGUCHI, André Hayato; YAMAMOTO, Ângela Toshie Araki; CARDOSO, Cristiane de Almeida Baldini  and  ORTEGA, Adriana de Oliveira Lira. Atypical odontalgia: pathophysiology, diagnosis and management. BrJP [online]. 2019, vol.2, n.4, pp.368-373.  Epub Dec 02, 2019. ISSN 2595-3192.


Atypical odontalgia, a subtype of persistent idiopathic facial pain, is characterized by continuous pain in one tooth or more, or inside the alveolus after exodontia, with no apparent clinical causes. These patients run the risk of going through unnecessary dental/surgical procedures which would worsen their pain. Since the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of atypical odontalgia are not clear, this article aims to present an integrative literature review about these aspects.


A review of articles related to the topic was conducted on the Pubmed database using the keywords “atypical odontalgia” OR “phantom tooth pain” OR “idiopathic tooth pain” OR “odontalgia” OR “odontalgias” OR “atypical toothache”. Applying the inclusion criteria (publications in the last ten years, in English, as clinical trials, multicenter studies, case reports, reviews, integrative and systematic reviews, 114 articles were found, and 39 were selected after the application of the exclusion criteria (articles with no relation to the topic).


Although studies suggest the involvement of strong neuropathic mechanism, the psychological/psychiatric aspects might be considered not as a primary cause, but as an aggravator of the patient´s pain. Knowledge of other pathologies is recommended in order to determine the differential diagnosis. Also, complementary image tests, qualitative somatosensorial test, and reference to an orofacial pain specialist should be considered. In case of uncertain diagnosis, it is recommended to avoid any dental procedures because the pain can get worse.

Keywords : Atypical odontalgia; Endodontic; Odontalgia.

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