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Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1993 May;75(5):579-82.

Is atypical odontalgia a psychological problem?

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  • 1Section of Orofacial Pain, UCLA School of Dentistry.


Several authors have asserted that psychological factors are the underlying cause of atypical odontalgia. However, objective evidence is lacking to support this claim. In this study, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory was used to assess psychological functioning of an atypical odontalgia population. Means of the standard scores for each Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory scale were within normal ranges. Standard scores for atypical odontalgia profiles compared with standard scores for a chronic headache group (matched for age, sex, and chronicity) were similar and scales for both groups were within normal ranges. These findings fail to support psychological dysfunction as a primary condition associated with patients suffering from atypical odontalgia.

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