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Mouth Diseases

Mouth Numbness and Dry

10/19/2010

Question:

I have numbness and it`s very dry inside of my lower lip ...and now it`s the tip of my tongue.. I can`t seem to wet the inside of my gum and this has been going on for about 2-3 months now with the tongue starting a couple of days ago. It`s starting to really drive me crazy and my lip sticks to my teeth so I am not smiling alot lately. I have changed my toothpaste, no wheat, my water is more alkaline now,what else should I do?

Answer:

First of all have you had this problem evaluated by your dentist or primary care provider?

Secondly, the lower lip and buccal mucosa is populated by over 400 minor salivary glands, in addition to the 3 major paired glands (Parotid, Submandibular and sublingual) that produce the majority of saliva; isolated site specific oral dryness is very unusual. Thus I would have your salivary glands and salivary flow evaluated for hypofunction. 

There exist a couple of possible diseases that would need to be ruled out. 

Melkersson–Rosenthal Syndrome or Cheilitis Granulomatosa of Miescher (Clinical presentation consists of Orofacial Granulomatosis, Fissured tongue, and facial or lip paresthesia or paralysis, angioedema of the lower lip). The etiology of these diseases is unknown but may be associated with allergic response to cosmetics, foods, oral care products, chronic infection, or foreign body reaction. Systemic implications have been proposed including Crohn’s Disease, TB, and other chronic granulomatous diseases.

Because of the complexity of symptoms and the fact that this has been ongoing for 2-3 months and progressively getting worse, I would strongly suggest that you have it evaluated soon.

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Response by:

Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD Richard J Jurevic, DDS, PhD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
School of Dental Medicine
Case Western Reserve University