Non-Odontalgic Tooth Pain (Pain Not Coming From The Tooth)

Carol N. Cote, PT, CCTT Presents at IAE (International Academy of Endodontics) Conference in Scottsdale, AZ on Non-Odontalgic (not coming from the tooth) Tooth Pain.

Carol was an invited guest speaker of the IAE on treating/resolving non-odontalgic tooth pain, which is tooth pain that does not come from the tooth. Many people present with tooth pain that does not come from the tooth. Endodontists are the experts in identifying and treating complicated tooth pain. They also save teeth that have deep fillings and cracks. They do complicated root canals on teeth that have atypical and convoluted roots. They use microscopes and 3-dimensional scans to fully assess the health of a tooth to ultimately save your teeth. But what happens when your tooth pain is not coming from the tooth, where the endodontic exam that is negative, but the tooth pain persists even after a root canal? For some patients the tooth pain persists even after the tooth has been excised! Obviously the wrong diagnosis and a mistake to do a root canal, or have the tooth pulled as it does not get to the “root cause” of that pain. Key muscles of the jaw and throat can refer pain to the teeth. Therefore, since there are no scans, MRI’s, ultrasounds to confirm that the pain exists or where it is coming from, the diagnosis is achieved by a process of exclusion through hands-on evaluation by a specialty trained physical therapist.

Endodontists, neurologists, orthopedics, periodontists, prosthodontists, or dentists evaluations can be negative in regards to identifying the pain. A highly skilled physical therapist in both soft tissue, palpation and specialized training in treatment of conditions of the jaw can assess, treat, and resolve this elusive pain. Carol presented several case studies showing the success of this method, as well as, the medical / dental evaluation and treatment protocols done by a physical therapist to solve this type of pain. The question and answer period following the presentation showed the appreciation of this endodontic group of the need for this type assessment capability to help patients resolve their tooth pain. The feedback from the endodontic group has been extremely positive. We have received emails from endodontists that were able to successfully assess the elusive and complicated myogenic tooth pain based on Carol’s presentation. One endodontist is even sending one of his patient’s from Utah to be evaluated by North Jersey Physical Therapy.

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