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Face and Jaw Surgery

Facial nerve problems from wire in jaw?

11/21/2006

Question:

Twenty years ago I had surgery to move lower jaw forward. (Wire not removed.) Over last 3 years, I have developed traveling tingling/burning sensation along facial nerve on left side of face (mouth corner, eyelid, sinus area). Is this something that could be late after-effect of surgery? (I can feel wire has hard lump under gums on left side near back lower molar, but don`t know if this is new or not.) Doc doesn`t know what causes at this point, so am trying to figure out what to look at next. Thank you.

Answer:

The symptoms that you are describing are associated with the trigeminal nerve and not the facial nerve.  The trigeminal nerve is the one responsible for sensation in those areas of the face and the facial nerve manages motor function (movement). 

It is hard for me to tell you the exact cause of your problem, but if you feel that something is not quite right with the wires that you have in place, maybe removing them to rule this out wouldn't be such a bad idea.  Of course, this could be completely unrelated. 

A complete physical and radiographic exam is recommended to make sure that there is no other underlying condition causing these symptoms.

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Response by:

Guillermo  E Chacon, DDS Guillermo E Chacon, DDS
Formerly:
Associate Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University