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Referred Pain – It’s a Pain! – Causes – Part 3

May 2, 2022

As it was said earlier pain chemicals from elsewhere go to pain sites however the conduit of the pain, the nerves, could be the source of pain. This usually caused by trauma or disease of the nerve itself, called Neuralgia. 

Neuralgia is a stabbing, burning, and often severe pain due to an irritated or damaged nerve. 

The damage may be caused by:

  • Diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Herpes Zoster leading to shingles

Herpes Zoster in palate
  • Trauma

A dental example of this has occurred when a tooth has had an infection which has resolved after a root canal treatment. Even though the x-ray may show, after some time, that the infection has gone, there is some residual pain. Often this pain is intermittent and not caused by any stimulation. This pain may begin to refer to other teeth. There have been cases where many teeth were removed and the pain still persisted.

Care must be taken in these situations to not make the problem worse. Usually medications for neuralgia will help, but this is usually assessed by a pain clinic.

Stem cell therapy has been used to repair the damaged nerve by growing new nerve tissue. However, the inflammation in and around the nerve must be resolved first, otherwise the injected stem cells will copy the inflammatory cells rather than nerve cells. It’s a very expensive treatment and needs great expertise for success.

Stem Cell Therapy

Another cause of nerve pain is Unknown.

An example: Burning Tongue Syndrome

Possible causes:

  • Iron deficiency anaemia
  • Deficiencies of Vitamin B2, folic acid, Vitamin B12 and zinc can cause burning sensation of the tongue
  • Herpes Simplex type 1 infections can cause sensations in the tongue as virus can inhabit and irritate the nerves.

It is long lasting, but essentially unknown causes or triggers. It can be debilitating.


Treatment options may include:

  1. Saliva replacement products.
  2. Specific oral rinses or lidocaine.
  3. Capsaicin, a pain reliever that comes from chili peppers.
  4. An anticonvulsant medication called clonazepam (Klonopin).
  5. Certain antidepressants.
  6. Medications that block nerve pain.
Biotene - Artificial Saliva

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If you’d like to book an appointment with the dentist at Seymour Dental then call us in Dulwich Hill, Sydney on (02) 9564 2397 or
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Next week

Referred Pain - It’s a Pain! - Causes - Part 4