After oral surgery, there are many steps to take to ensure you have a smooth recovery. You need to clean the extraction site, get plenty of rest, and follow the other instructions given. However, there is an unusual side effect with a spooky name that you may not be aware of: phantom tooth pain. Today, our team at Williamsville Family Dentistry will shed some light on phantom pain and how to treat it.
What Is Phantom Tooth Pain?
Occasionally, patients who recently had oral surgery experience an ache where they formerly had a tooth. Known as Atypical Odontalgia, this phenomenon occurs even though the actual source of pain (the infected tooth) is gone. In fact, it is very similar to how amputees can experience pain in their amputated limb.
Phantom tooth pain is often the result of nerve endings near the extraction site sending pain signals to your brain – even though there is no actual physical cause for pain! Sometimes, this is an issue with how the brain interprets pain signals. Other times, the nerves near the missing tooth may be the culprit.
Treatment of Phantom Tooth Pain
If you believe you are experiencing phantom tooth pain, call our office right away. First, Dr. Clauser and our team will ensure that there is no physical source for the pain. We will also observe the pain over time to note if it spreads to other areas or changes in any way.
When treating phantom tooth pain, we are treating an issue with the connection between the nerves in your gums and the part of your brain that interprets pain. Often, we use medications like antidepressants to treat this issue. Other times, phantom pain goes away on its own.
To ask our team any questions about phantom tooth pain or to schedule your next visit to our office, contact us today!