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Volume 21 , Issue 2
Spring 2007

Pages 8998


Clinical Findings and Psychosocial Factors in Patients with Atypical Odontalgia: A Case-Control Study

Thomas List, DDS, Odont Dr / Goran Leijon, MD, PhD / Martti Helkimo, DDS, Odont Dr / Anders Oster, DDS / Samuel F. Dworkin, DDS, PhD / Peter Svensson, DDS, PhD, Dr Odont


PMID: 17547120

Aim: To provide a systematic description of clinical findings and psychosocial factors in patients suffering from atypical odontalgia (AO). Methods: Forty-six consecutive AO patients (7 men and 39 women; mean age, 56 years; range, 31 to 81 years) were compared with 35 control subjects (11 men and 24 women; mean age, 59 years; range, 31 to 79 years). Results: The pain of the AO patients was characterized by persistent, moderate pain intensity (mean, 5.6 1.9) with long pain duration (mean, 7.7 7.8 years). Eighty-three percent reported that onset of pain occurred in conjunction with dental treatment. No significant difference was found between the groups in number of remaining teeth or number of root fillings. Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) pain (P < .001), tension-type headache (P < .002), and widespread pain (P < .001) were significantly more common among AO patients than controls. Significantly higher scores for somatization (P < .01) and depression (P < .01) and limitations in jaw function (P < .001) were found for the AO group compared with the control group. Significant differences between groups were found in 4 general health domains: role-physical (P < .001), bodily pain (P < .001), vitality (P < .004), and social functioning (P < .001). Conclusion: A majority of the AO patients reported persistent, moderately intense intraoral pain that in most cases had an onset in conjunction with dental treatment. AO patients had more comorbid pain conditions and higher scores for depression and somatization. Significant limitation in jaw function and significantly lower scores on quality of life measures were found for AO patients compared with controls. J OROFAC PAIN 2007;21:8998

Key words: neuropathic pain, orofacial pain, pain characteristics, psychosocial status, quality of life


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