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Pain. 2013 Aug;154(8):1287-94. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.04.005. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Intraoral somatosensory abnormalities in patients with atypical odontalgia--a controlled multicenter quantitative sensory testing study.

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Section of Clinical Oral Physiology, Department of Dentistry, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.


Intraoral somatosensory sensitivity in patients with atypical odontalgia (AO) has not been investigated systematically according to the most recent guidelines. The aims of this study were to examine intraoral somatosensory disturbances in AO patients using healthy subjects as reference, and to evaluate the percent agreement between intraoral quantitative sensory testing (QST) and qualitative sensory testing (QualST). Forty-seven AO patients and 69 healthy control subjects were included at Universities of Washington, Malmö, and Aarhus. In AO patients, intraoral somatosensory testing was performed on the painful site, the corresponding contralateral site, and at thenar. In healthy subjects, intraoral somatosensory testing was performed bilaterally on the upper premolar gingiva and at thenar. Thirteen QST and 3 QualST parameters were evaluated at each site, z-scores were computed for AO patients based on the healthy reference material, and LossGain scores were created. Compared with control subjects, 87.3% of AO patients had QST abnormalities. The most frequent somatosensory abnormalities in AO patients were somatosensory gain with regard to painful mechanical and cold stimuli and somatosensory loss with regard to cold detection and mechanical detection. The most frequent LossGain code was L0G2 (no somatosensory loss with gain of mechanical somatosensory function) (31.9% of AO patients). Percent agreement between corresponding QST and QualST measures of thermal and mechanical sensitivity ranged between 55.6% and 70.4% in AO patients and between 71.1% and 92.1% in control subjects. In conclusion, intraoral somatosensory abnormalities were commonly detected in AO patients, and agreement between quantitative and qualitative sensory testing was good to excellent.

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