Can You Have Phantom Tooth Pain?

Black and white image of a young woman crouched on the floor with hands to her mouth due to phantom tooth pain

If you need to have a tooth extraction done, you make the appointment, have the procedure, and wave goodbye to the pain, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. If you are still putting up with pain around the extraction site, you may be experiencing phantom tooth pain.

What Is Phantom Tooth Pain?

Officially called atypical odontalgia, phantom tooth pain is a chronic pain that often occurs after a tooth has been extracted. The tooth may be gone, but you are still feeling the ache. The reason has to do with how the brain and the impacted nerve are communicating in the wake of the procedure. The pain typically occurs where that tooth once was, but can radiate throughout your mouth, face, and jaw. This type of pain can also be associated with root canal therapy and other procedures.

Phantom Tooth Pain vs. Toothache

The typical toothache causes intermittent pain, but phantom tooth pain is usually constant and throbbing. This type of pain has been dubbed “phantom” since the cause can’t be seen in the mouth. With a typical toothache, patients may be dealing with something tangible, such as a cavity or a broken tooth. When it comes to phantom pain, the tooth is long gone, but you experience pain of a neuropathic nature with no identifiable trigger in the oral cavity.

Is Treatment Possible?

If you think you are experiencing phantom tooth pain, contact our expert team here at Las Cruces Dental Solutions. Because the condition varies from patient to patient, for some people it’ll prove temporary, while for others it may be long-lasting. We can help you better understand the cause of your oral pain and help you manage your discomfort using the best possible treatment for your unique situation.

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