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Face and Jaw Surgery

Nose repair with mouth tissue

08/11/2009

Question:

On May 26th I had perforated septum surgery inside my nose. The doctor had to use something from inside my mouth, upper right side, under the lip to use as a graph for the hole in the nose. Not sure if it was tissue, membranes, cartilidge etc....

Since the surgery I have had a paralysis/numb feeling under the upper right lip/gum area. I can not smile evenly, and to laugh or yawn it hurts. Sometimes the area itches, but I can`t relieve the itching by scratching...it is a weird sensation and my face feels rather mangled (although it doesn`t look it unless I smile etc..)

My doctor said the nerves will grow back and that I do have a scar under there which will soften with time.

Do either of those scenarios make sense to you? Will the nerves regenerate? What is that nerve called? Will the scar soften in time to relieve some of this numbness?

Please advise, any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Your doctor's advice is correct and well intended. There are multiple terminal branches of nerves that provide sensation to the upper lip, gums and tissue by the side of your nose. Often times, surgery or injury can severe these small nerve tendrils and it takes them a while to re-connect and recover. The 'paralysis' of your upper lip is more than likely scar tissue contraction that limits complete movement of your lip. This will usually soften up with time. Massaging the area often helps.

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Response by:

Deepak  Krishnan, DDS Deepak Krishnan, DDS
Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati