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Home > Dental Conditions > Toothache > Q and A About Orofacial Pain Disorders
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Q and A: Orofacial Pain Disorders


Why Doesn't My Toothache Go Away and What Can I Do About It?

Fibromyalgia is a treatable type of muscle pain.

There are a number of conditions that can cause pain which seem to be associated with a tooth. These conditions are associated with nerve injury and are not tooth-related, although the pain may seem to be in the tooth or gum.

Trigeminal neuralgia is the most commonly known condition. It is characterized by sharp electric-like pain that is often confused with a cracked tooth.

Another toothache-like pain is atypical odontalgia. The pain of this condition is continuous and aching and is not electric-like. Often the pain will briefly subside when dental treatments are done in the area, only to return. These conditions can not be treated with dental procedures or extraction of teeth. The treatment involves taking medications that control nerve activity.

What is Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain and Why Is it Worse When I Am Stressed?

These conditions are similar, but Fibromyalgia implies widespread chronic muscle pain, and Myofascial pain is more localized or regional muscle pain. When patients have either problem, the muscle is tender and hard bands of muscle fibers can often be felt in the body of the muscle. This is caused by the shortening of some of the muscle fibers. One on the common signs of myofascial pain is limited range of motion and pain due to the muscle fiber shortening. When an individual reacts to stress, the muscles often tighten, aggravating any areas of myofascial pain. In addition, it is known that stress decreases the body's ability to modulate or filter out pain. Both Fibromyalgia and Myofascial pain is best treated by stretching the painful muscles and employing stress management techniques.

Where Can I Read More About These Problems?

Whether you are a patient or a consulting doctor or dentist, the best approach to getting current information about any topic is to conduct your own search of literature at a good biomedical library using medline or a similar service.

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