July 25th, 2014
Have you ever had a toothache that just won’t go away? Have you tried common toothache remedies like a crown, root canal, extraction, refilling or using sensitive toothpaste with only short-term relief or none at all? You may be experiencing an atypical toothache.
An atypical toothache occurs in a small percentage of cases and is marked by tooth pain that does not directly result from a dental problem. Atypical toothaches are often caused by muscles, joints or an overload of impulses in the nervous system, which require extra investigation and testing by an orofacial pain specialist to discover where the pain is coming from and how to stop it.
What Can Cause an Atypical Toothache?
According to this article by Dr. Keith Yount published in “Dentistry Today,” atypical toothaches can be caused by any of a number of issues throughout the body, including:
Muscles of Mastication
The most popular cause of an atypical toothache comes from the muscles associated with chewing and eating food. When there is excess muscle contraction, they can become inflamed which can present itself as tooth pain, just as a heart attack often feels like indigestion.
Head & Neck Muscles
Another group of muscles that can affect your teeth are the ones in your head and neck regions. Research claims that 75-85% of patients with atypical toothaches also had pain and dysfunction in their cervical muscles. When these muscles become tired, stretched or injured, it can result in mouth and/or tooth pain.
The second most likely cause of atypical toothaches is periodontal ligaments or the fibrous, connective tissue that covers the root of the tooth. This tissue can become irritated from excessive chewing, clenching, bracing (locking the upper and lower teeth together) or grinding of the teeth. This is an additional set of nerves to the tooth, so even a tooth treated with a root canal can still hurt.
TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, can play a big part in tooth pain, especially if the jaw is not even or the weight distribution is off. If the bone or disc is lost in the joint area, it can affect the back teeth.
Neurological or neuropathic issues can sometimes be the reason for an atypical toothache, where damaged tissue results in chronic pain. Patients in their 50s and 60s are commonly affected by this, and treatment involves locating the abnormal nerve tissue and treating the source of the pain.
Toothaches caused by neurovascular pain are more common in 30- to 50-year-old women who suffer from anxiety and depression and recently had a surgical dental procedure. Oftentimes, taking a certain type of medication can remedy the tooth pain.
Psychological, Sinus or Ophthalmologic Issues
There are a few causes of atypical toothaches that fall into the “other” category, such as psychological factors, sinus issues, cancers and ophthalmologic or eye problems. Pinpointing if one of these areas is causing tooth pain will require that your orofacial specialist thoroughly research and understand your patient history.
Contact Raleigh Facial Pain For Help with Atypical Toothaches
If you think you might be suffering from an atypical toothache or if you suspect an alternative cause for your tooth pain, then you should request an appointment with your Raleigh Facial Pain doctor or call our office at (919) 781-6600. The many toothache look-a-likes mentioned above require a specialist who can combine scientific, dental and medical expertise to find a solution and put an end to the pain.
Raleigh Facial Pain Center offers treatment for chronic facial and jaw pain, and serves patients in Raleigh, Cary, Apex and beyond, including Wake Forest, Greenville, Pinehurst, New Bern, Greensboro, NC and even South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
July 8th, 2014
If you are suffering from the restricted opening of your mouth, you may have TMJ. While it is easy enough to simply look at reviews online to pick a TMJ specialist to inspect your jaw, there are certain things to consider before settling on one physician.
At Raleigh Facial Pain Center, we want to make sure you get all the information you need to choose a qualified TMJ dentist or doctor who will help you live comfortably and pain-free once again.
When choosing a doctor to treat your TMJ, you want to make sure they are:
- Board-certified. Currently, the American Dental Association (ADA) does not have a defined specialty in orofacial pain, but the American Board of Orofacial Pain (ABOP) offers certification with Diplomate status. A Diplomate is a dentist who is certified by the American Board of Orofacial Pain, and has gone above and beyond the mandatory educational requirements for their specialty. To be qualified for Board certification, they must be certified as a dentist, including basic college education and completion of dental school to earn a D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree; have taken at least 400 hours of continuing education in subjects related to orofacial pain; and have practiced in orofacial pain for at least two years. Candidates can also qualify if they have completed at least one year of a full-time university residency program or hospital-based program. After the above requirements are met, comprehensive oral and written examinations are given covering all phases of orofacial pain. Once the examinations are successfully completed, Diplomate status is awarded.
- Residency-trained. Some dentists complete residency and/or fellowship after completion of dental school. During residency, dentists undergo in-depth training in a particular field of study to become an expert in that field.
Reach Out to Raleigh Facial Pain for Help Choosing a TMJ Specialist
We want to make sure you are protected when you seek treatment for your TMJ problems. If you need help choosing a specialist, please don’t hesitate to contact Raleigh Facial Pain Center today at (919) 781-6600. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have or to schedule you an appointment with one of our physicians.
April 25th, 2014
A Positive Life-Changing Experience – I have been a patient of Dr. Yount’s since 11/5/03 when he diagnosed me with osteoarthritis in the right jaw and articular disc disorder in the left jaw. Dr. Yount has 10 years of graduate education and 20 years of experience in his field. He knows his business! At my first visit, I had pain beyond belief. And yes, I did follow what was asked of me. Physical therapy, biofeedback, and several packages he has written to better educate the patient on their condition. I have found Dr. Yount to be excellent at his profession and always willing to do whatever it takes to get me out of pain, including weekend visits to his office. He is one smart man who can help you if you allow it. Yes, you have to do your part, but he gives 500%. I today still see Dr. Yount and find him to be as helpful now as when I first started. Yes, I have setbacks, but it doesn’t take Dr. Yount long to figure out the problem and FIX it. Yes, on your initial visits it requires faith and trust in his years of education and experience. But then you will find it becomes the best partnership you could expect with a Doctor. My quality of life has changed from daily, severe pain to a normal existence with occasional pain corrected immediately by me doing my part and Dr. Yount always does his. Dr. Yount may appear unconventional in his methods but is highly effective. Also, his staff is outstanding in working with patients. I am one life that has been changed due to him!
Thank You for Choosing Raleigh Facial Pain Center
At Raleigh Facial Pain, we pride ourselves in offering our customers the very best orofacial care possible for both chronic face and jaw pain. In order to better serve you, we rely on online reviews and recommendations to help us learn where we excel and how we could have done better. One way to help make Raleigh Facial Pain Center better is by leaving us a review on Google+. We appreciate hearing from our customers and would love to hear how Raleigh Facial Pain Center has been able to help. Please visit our Google+ page, here, to leave us a review today.
April 13th, 2014
Dr. Yount will discuss Atypical Toothaches at the Wayne County Dental Society meeting April 15, 2014.
March 17th, 2014
Dr. Yount will be attending the Mahan Facial Pain Update in New Orleans from March 19 – 23.