Phantom Dental Pain

Phantom dental pain is a neuropathic pain condition where a person feels pain in their mouth or face when no physical condition is causing it. It is often a persistent throbbing or aching that can begin after a nerve injury or dental procedure. It is believed to be due to nerve endings sending signals to the person’s brain telling it that it feels pain.1 A tooth extraction is an example where people feel pain although the tooth is no longer there. 

A study examining the relationship between headache disorders and phantom dental pain distributed a questionnaire to 50 cluster headache patients and 251 migraine without aura patients as well as 280 people in a control group.2 The study found that found 15% (46/301) of the people with headache disorders also had phantom dental pain.2

Further looking at the results, 20% (10/50) of cluster headache patients and roughly 14% (36/251) of the migraine without aura patients had phantom dental pain.2 No subjects in the control group had phantom dental pain.2