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Occipital neuralgia teeth pain

Updated July 19, 2017

Although Occipital Neuralgia is uncommon, it can be painful. It is often misdiagnosed because a person may feel pain in her teeth and appear to need dental work when the root cause is neuropathic.

Features

A person with Occipital Neuralgia may feel a throbbing pain or ache on one side of his face, similar to a toothache.

Causes

Some causes of Occipital Neuralgia tooth pain are previous trauma, arthritis or a tumour pressing on the occipital nerve. To find the underlying cause, a doctor may conduct a medical exam, review the patient's history and consider the symptoms and pain location.

Treatments

Anti-seizure medications or tricyclic antidepressants may help suppress pain in the teeth, especially if it is sharp. If the pain is dull, a topical pain reliever may be used, or in some cases, surgery may be needed.

Prevention/Solution

The Trigeminal Neuralgia Association UK recommends avoiding extreme food and drink temperatures and food that is hard or crunchy to help decrease attacks. Rinse the mouth out after meals as well.

Considerations

Occipital Trigeminal Neuralgia tooth pain is often the first symptom of Multiple Sclerosis, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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About the Author

Based in Waukesha, Wis., Leelee Shane has written about a variety of topics--from local politics to health care reform--since 2003. Her work has most recently appeared in "MSWorld-LivingMS" magazine. She holds a B.S. in management from Franklin University, where she graduated magna cum laude.