The Orofacial Pain Center
Joan C. Wang, DDS, MS
Diplomate, American Board of Orofacial Pain
Fellow, American Academy of Orofacial Pain
Qualified Dentist, American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
What Brings You Here Today?
Does your tooth hurt but no one can find anything wrong with the tooth?
Did you have root canal treatment and the tooth still hurts?
Does your tooth still hurt after it's already been removed?
Do you have pain or burning sensations that move around inside your mouth?
Clearly something isn't right. But no one can seem to find a cause or a solution.
Things Are Not Always As They Appear
In the head and neck region, the system of nerves that carry the signals up to your brain is very complex. Picture a freeway with six lanes merging into one lane, during rush hour. Thankfully, this complex network of nerves traveling up to and down from your brain functions pretty well most of the time. But once in awhile, the signals can get crossed. What can this mean? It means that pain that you feel in one area might originate from a completely different area. This may be why you feel pain in your tooth and your dentist can't find anything wrong with your tooth. The source of your pain might actually be your neck muscle but the site of your perceived pain is in your tooth. We call this phenomenon referred pain.
Proper Diagnosis Is The Key
By combining a thorough clinical exam (including a cranial nerve, muscle and TMJ exam), a detailed history of your symptoms and any necessary lab testing or diagnostic scans, the goal is to identify the proper diagnosis. Proper diagnosis is the key to creating the proper custom therapy plan for you.