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J Endod. 1997 May;23(5):337-9.

Atypical odontalgia misdiagnosed as odontogenic pain: a case report and discussion of treatment.

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  • 1Department of Hospital Dentistry, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, USA.


Atypical odontalgia is characterized by prolonged periods of throbbing or burning pain in the teeth or alveolar process, which occurs in the absence of any identifiable odontogenic etiology. The pain may be bilateral and change in location. This article presents two cases of atypical odontalgia that were misdiagnosed and initially treated as pain of odontogenic origin. A therapeutic regimen of tricyclic antidepressants alleviated the pain in one patient and was unsuccessful in the second. These two cases demonstrate the importance of having a thorough knowledge of both odontogenic and nonodontogenic causes of orofacial pain as well as the need for careful diagnosis before undertaking any treatment.

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