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Face and Jaw Surgery

Oral Surgery, Numbness in Chin and lower lip

07/26/2004

Question:

I had my wisdom teeth out in December of 04, and still have numbness and a tingling sensation in my lower lip and chin. I returned to my doctor several times after the surgery and he didn`t have any answers or suggestions for me. He basically said I knew it was a risk and with time it may heal. I guess my question is do I just let it go and hope it heals or should I be seeing a doctor about this? Is there anything I can do to help the nerves heal? Thanks, any information would be helpful for me!

Answer:

The nerve supply to the lower lip, chin and bottom teeth is from the inferior alveolar nerve. This nerve is located within the bone at the region of wisdom teeth. Numbness, decreased sensation, tingling sensation or painful sensations are signs of injury or inflammation of the nerve. Up to 20% of patients after the removal of wisdom teeth may develop problems such as yours. The incidence of nerve problems in dictated by many things such as position of the tooth, angulation of the tooth, location of the nerve to the tooth, age of the patient and the surgical technique. Nerves take months to heal sometimes up to 2 years and in some situations, the numbness is permanent.

Tingling sensation is usually a sign of the nerve recovery. It usually does not require any treatment and it should resolve with time during the next 3 to 6 months. If this problem persists, you should visit an Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon who deals with nerve injuries.

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Response by:

Likith V Reddy, MD, DDS, FACS Likith V Reddy, MD, DDS, FACS
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati