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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Daily sensation of numbness on upper lip/nose

06/17/2008

Question:

A year ago, a dentist diagnosed an abscess above the root of my upper left canine. She said the tooth`s nerve had died on its own, applied a medicine for the abscess, filled the root canal and put a temporary filling. I had a problem with infection under the temporary filling, the dentist was unavilable for the emergency; a different dentist did the filling. 3 months ago I noticed a sensation of numbness on my upper lip corresponding with that root area (no pain), at first lasting minutes, 5-10 times a-day; a week later it became a constant and stronger sensation with no pain; another week later it spread to left nostril. 2 weeks ago, the sensation of numbness disappeared. Now it`s back; the lip and entire nose feel numb (feels like the numbness after a dental anestesia` shot, however unlike the numbness from the shot, I can feel my finger touching my lip and nose). My new dentist suggested that numbness can be caused by a facial nerve, or even neck problems. What would you recommend, go to a dentist or MD?

Answer:

I would recommend you see an endodontist (Root Canal Specialist) and be sure that the part of the tooth in your mouth is totally sealed up.

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Response by:

David Lee Hall, DDS David Lee Hall, DDS
Clinical Associate Professor of Primary Care
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University