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Dental Anesthesia

Numbness and salty taste

08/10/2008

Question:

I had a temporary crown put in on my lower left side 2 months ago. While being anesthesized, my tongue on that side went numb. I still have a feeling of numbess and my mouth has a salty taste on the same side. Is this normal?

Answer:

It is possible that the nerve to your tongue, which also carries taste sensation, may have been contacted by the needle. This would account for your symptoms. This is not uncommon but persistent symptoms such as yours are not typical.

There are other causes that need to be ruled out as well. You should visit with your dentist to be evaluated. If this is a nerve injury, the vast majority improve over time. There may be a tingling sensation of less of a "numb" feeling over time which is a good sign. Evaluation as soon as possible is best.

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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