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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Numbness of tongue/no taste buds

09/12/2007

Question:

I went to the dentist back in August to have a filling done on one tooth toward the front,and I had an injection to numb my mouth but my tongue is still numb and I do not taste on that side of my mouth. The dentist said to wait about two weeks because it`s normal and it can happen to people. Now it is September and it is still numb. she told me to go see an Oral Surgeon. Is there anything that can be done with the Oral Surgeon or would I be wasting my time?

Answer:

It sounds as if you have suffered a lingual nerve injury. At times, a micro-neurosurgical procedure can help, but it depends on the circumstances. I would have this evaluated as there is a limited time window in which surgery can be of benefit. Some patients also get worse with surgery, so discuss this in depth with your surgeon. In the vast majority of patients, symptoms improve with time so even small improvements can imply a better prognosis.

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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