Table of Contents
ISRN Neuroscience
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 413515, 10 pages
Clinical Study

Biopsychosocial Aspects of Atypical Odontalgia

1Pain Therapy Unit, Department of Oncology, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, Via Roma 67, 56127 Pisa, Italy
2Department of Head and Neck, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Pisana, Via Roma 67, 56127 Pisa, Italy
3Department of Dentistry, University of Pavia, Via Ferrara 1, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Received 30 December 2012; Accepted 25 January 2013

Academic Editors: A. Almeida, G. Hans, and M. Larysz-Brysz

Copyright © 2013 A. Ciaramella et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. A few studies have found somatosensory abnormalities in atypical odontalgia (AO) patients. The aim of the study is to explore the presence of specific abnormalities in facial pain patients that can be considered as psychophysical factors predisposing to AO. Materials and Methods. The AO subjects ( ) have been compared to pain-free ( ), trigeminal neuralgia ( ), migraine ( ), and temporomandibular disorder ( ). The neurometer current perception threshold (CPT) was used to investigate somatosensory perception. Structured clinical interviews based on the DSM-IV axis I and DSM III-R axis II criteria for psychiatric disorders and self-assessment questionnaires were used to evaluate psychopathology and aggressive behavior among subjects. Results. Subjects with AO showed a lower Aβ, Aδ, and C trigeminal fiber pain perception threshold when compared to a pain-free control group. Resentment was determined to be inversely related to Aβ (rho: 0.62, ), Aδ (rho: 0.53, ) and C fibers (rho: 0.54, ), and depression was inversely related with C fiber (rho: 0.52, ) perception threshold only in AO subjects. Conclusion. High levels of depression and resentment can be considered predictive psychophysical factors for the development of AO after dental extraction.