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Dental Anesthesia

Facial mask of numbness & other symptoms

03/02/2006

Question:

I had teeth 6-11, 13, 31 pulled all at once April 2003. In 2-3 weeks while using Vicodin, I knew that I had this facial mask of numbness on the skin, but also I was dead-like hehind the nose. I feel as if the mask is still on my face. I have this tightness of the skin. I have upper lip and upper gum numbness on the right side. I used Nitrous Oxide and some injections to be numb. I have a fear of dentist and use the Nitrous. I developed some white spots on the upper gums, but was not told what they were. I used the pain pills for 21 days. I made the first complaint in 3 weeks to my general dentist and he told me to see the Oral Surgeon for numbness. I saw the OS and he used a toothpick to poke my gums. I had some Vertigo, but he thought that it may be allergies and for me to see my MD, but to also see the ENT doctors. My MD would not refer me and the OS would not refer me, so what was I to do? ENT`s are specialist and I had to have the referral. My Vertigo was driving my life to being bedridden for 4 months. I never bought the nose spray that my MD gave me. I knew that I was numb. I was ignored all the way! I developed headaches, neck pain, left arm pain, left shoulder blade pain, a bad rash on the upper torso. I was heating up, but my MD said I was in Menopause! I had a topical ointment for the rash on the navel and I had this huge skin eruption close to the navel. I was not seen by the MD, just a triage nurse had the topical oinment waiting at the counter. I was bedridden, but made it back to the OS to complain again and this time my husband was with me and he knew more about the face nerves than the OS did. I was ignored and told that I have MS! Later on, I had a brain scan and no MS, no tumors, no cysts.........nothing! I had bloodwork, spinal tap and both are great! The neurologist had me take B12 shots and Folic Acid pills. But why? Did the Nitrous suck up all of my B12 and Folic Acid? Why do the shots and the pills if my blood is ok? I have lived on Percacets since I quit walking by September 2004. I have major body pain as I walk, lay down and sleep, so I hardly sleep. I am now at the Neuromusclar Rehab to have them try to know something. I was told that Fibromyalgia made me numb in the face, and it stopped me from walking and it is to be blamed for all disabilities since teeth extractions. I was told in 1989 that I am Fibromyalgic and have walked ever since. Sure some tender points, but nothing as this. I had the nerve conduction test on the neck and left shoulder and I had bulging disc. But why would all the 5 Lumbar disc be bulging now and one is tearing? I have cervical bulging disc also, so why are they now bulging? I have some Vertigo at times now. I walk a bit and then dead in my tracks, no walking, so why is that? Can Nitrous kill the nerves in the midline area? Did the mixture of Nitrous and Vicodin/Percacets do it? Was it Nitrous, injections, and pain killers? What did this to me? Why do the medical people explain away the truth? If they know, why say just anything did this to me? Stress did it? What? I have filed a lawsuit, but with no neurology connecting the dots to the OS, injections, or a nerve was cut, my case is lost. I have to swallow this? Why would the dental industry do this to me? Am I allergic to the Nitrous, injections? What? In almost 3 years no single clue as to who or what. This is so sad for me to handle. I still have the electric shocks on the right side of my face. No meds for that either!!!!!!!!!!! Why not? Someone, please, help me not to cry, please, just one medical person, please!!!!!!!

Answer:

First, let me say that I wish you well in pursuit of better health. I am not telling you anything new by saying that you have a complex set of symptoms that have caused great suffering. In the absence of objective signs of neurologic compromise, other factors, particularly from chronic muscle pain, can give rise to the altered sensations you are experiencing. As an internet consultant, your case is much too complex to diagnose in this manner.

What I can tell you is that the brief use of nitrous oxide and local anesthesia, such as in your case, would not be thought to cause your symptom complex and require B12 and Folate, although these are sometimes given empirically for sensory disturbance. A multidisciplinary chronic pain center might be of value. These have all specialties affiliated and might be a good way to comprehensively evaluate your condition.

In this forum, I can do no better than to offer this small bit of advice. I hope your suffering is eased in the near future.

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Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University