Neuropathy Mimicking Dental Pain in a Patient Diagnosed with Lyme Disease

Published Date
Journal
Journal of Endondtics
Citation
46(9);1337-1339
DOI
10.1016/j.joen.2020.06.011
Authors
Mello I
Peters J
Lee C
Abstract

This report documents the case of a patient who developed neuropathy that presented as dental pain and was later diagnosed with Lyme disease. A healthy female patient presented to the endodontist with toothache symptoms. Her symptoms included intense pain in the left mandible irradiating into the temporalis area and through her neck and tingling on the lower left lip and left side of her tongue. She also reported feeling of sweats and chills the night before, as well as an altered sensation in her shoulder and arm. The pain was not alleviated by over-the-counter analgesics. Both intraoral and radiographic examinations did not reveal any abnormalities, and the patient was presented with the following differential diagnoses: cardiac issues, trigeminal neuralgia, and temporomandibular dysfunction. She presented to the emergency department at the local hospital for assessment on the same day. After some tests were performed, both a stroke and myocardial infarction were ruled out. The following morning, she noticed a bump in the posterior area of her left upper thigh where an erythema with a bull's-eye appearance was observed. She presented to her family doctor's office on the same day and was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Because Lyme disease can present with symptoms similar to a toothache, dentists should be knowledgeable of its manifestations. Lyme disease should be considered as differential diagnosis in patients who present with compatible symptoms and signs, which may occur in the orofacial region.

Keywords: Differential diagnosis; Lyme disease; orofacial pain.