Wow - that was so kind of you both to take the time to tell us so much. My heart goes out to both of you - may God heal you quickly.
It has been 1 year and 2 months for me today. That may seem like a long time, but it has passed quickly. I would say I am at about 90% healed at this point. If I hold my mouth still with my lips together I feel normal! I can tell if I move my mouth or purse my lips - but it doesn't hurt anymore at all - it just feels tight. When I clench my teeth together it still seems numb at my second and third teeth from the front - other than that it seems normal.
I trust that I will return to 100% - I hope and pray you all will too.
I am glad the time passed quickly for you. Part of the reason I posted all I did was to help with the panic period that likely all of us went through which caused a manic search for the truth and our way to this site. Because this is so life altering in a bad way, I wanted to put out the best information I could find including share my personal experience.
As discussed, our injuries to the inferior alveolar nerve and/or lingual nerve are not identical. For example, Annettes's compression to her nerve due to faulty implant depth and my stretch injury to that nerve are not the same and I presume mine will take longer to heal. Mine was a stretch injury due to my 3rd molar aka horizontal impacted wisdom tooth sharing the same space as my IAN. The brilliant surgeon that removed my tooth had no choice really but doesn't change the reality my IAN was injured and I like you and Starbrite are on a 1 year journey to regaining most of our health in this area.
I am so happy that most of it is behind you and hope to be in the same place eventually. I am at one month today from my surgery and now move past the panic period of wondering if my life is ruined but rather into the s l o w l y healing phase that Annette wrote eloquently about. I can live with the sometimes intense pain knowing that it will eventually improve along with my quality of life.
Hi everyone! I am at eactly one year this week. I think the term "panic period" is right on target - those first couple of months are SO awful. They are filled with the initial shock, the pain, the frustration, the hope ... A myriad of emotions as well as physical issues. I have tried numerous things along the way in hopes of a 100% return to normal.
I am at about 80% also. I can always feel the tightness and sometimes it will hurt a little, but I can mostly forget about it - until I eat! I take very small bites and chew more slowly (not a bad thing, right!) to make certain I can control the food.
Because there are no visible external signs, my friends and family shrug off any comments I make about it. Only this group well understands the life altering impact of this issue. As I have stated throughout the year, I am grateful this NOT life threatening as I see terminal issues happening to some of those around me.
I try not to get angry at my dentist who has since retired so he can now enjoy life. He didn't do this on purpose of course, but his actions have left me with what I now believe to be a permanent situation.
Thank you to each and every one for sharing their information, their frustrations, their successes ... And for just being there during this intense time. Social media does have extreme merit and this blog is proof of that!
Good to hear your progress funinsun1. Since you and I are older, it is going to take us a bit longer to heal in spite of difference in our IAN injury....yours being sadly injected and mine being stretched during #3 molar extraction. Since you have come so far...it may take even another year but since you feel a lot better, this should be much more tolerable than what we each went through. Its been a tough month for me but I am encouraged by not only my progress but learning what to expect from the shared path of others.
A last note of some irony that contributes to some the despair of myself and others initially. We don't hear many of the success stories about this insidious injury. During the panic period, many post their despair but when starting to feel better and overwhelming relief they are going to be OK, they don't tend to post. Fortunately others do stay the course and share their success.
Wishing you the best in your recovery.
Thanks for keeping us up to date with your progress. And thank you Timeheals 60 for your words of hope. I'm sorry you had to go through such an invasive surgery. I am at 7 weeks post surgery now and although I'm doing better, I still continue to have my moments of despair. I don't talk about my injury with my family or friends. I try my best to keep busy and not focus on the pain and stiffness.
My lip has improved about 50%. It still gets the burning and tingling feeling. But I can feel a cup that is placed on my lower lip. My chin and front lower teeth have become very stiff. It is very uncomfortable. They are still quite numb, but I can feel myself scratch it and/or tickle it. I have my moments in the evening where it all just tires me out. I slur my words and I still sometimes bite my lip. But I do see improvement. I pray that it continues. My husband needs to either get a bridge or an implant due to a bottom molar that was extracted. I think I'm leaning towards a bridge. Less chance of damaging a nerve. Any thoughts?
Please gain strength and solace from the positive reports of many that have unwittingly inherited this unfortunate injury. Better days ahead Rosa.
I am just over 1 month now and am more confident I will be OK....but it may take up to year as is reported by many and especially many older members here. Probably pretty safe to say none of us have ever had an injury that is so slow to heal. I never have. I can deal with the pain as awful as it is...and my pain has been pretty unrelenting...with the belief that I will not have to live the rest of my life this way. That would be very difficult to bear and what terrified me initially. Information about this injury is out on the web but could be more 'user friendly' to extract. The good news about the peripheral nerves like the IAN and lingual nerve unlike much greater life altering spinal cord injuries is...peripheral nerves regenerate on the order of .5mm per day. That is 20 one thousands of an inch every day. As discussed, each of our injuries are different and we will heal at different rates.
A word about coping. Distraction as you write I believe is a very good thing. You mention staying busy. Absolutely. I am doing a lot of cycling and swimming and getting a lot of oxygen into my body to speed my recovery and also make me forget this issue for a while at least. If you are an exercise junkie like I am, consider taking long walks to get your heart rate up and increase your oxygen uptake.
As to your husband's contemplation of implants, I believe you know the lesson here. Annette who suffered greatly is a PhD and very bright lady and it happened to her. Two things I have learned about dental surgery is injections can be life altering and so can implants. An implant is basically a fastener and if the dentist isn't skilled or caring enough to perform due diligence which means a CBCT scan and understands the precise depth of the implant relative to particular nerve orientation and each of us are different... then there is great risk of a compression injury to a nerve like what happened to Annette. Bridges are safer and probably a lot less expensive as well. I have a bridge in front in fact and had it for many years from a baseball accident when I was a little kid.
Thanks again for your positive words. I feel that keeping positive helps heal the body. And exercise too. My OS was not very positive and said this will take a long time to heal and given my age, will probably not heal completely. But after 8 weeks I feel I am 40-50% healed. The pain is less,my chin does not feel as thick and heavy as it did one month ago, I can feel my scratching. Now it's mostly the tightness in my chin and lower teeth that bother me.
But I prayed that I would feel at least this much better before my trip to Israel tomorrow. At this point, I feel I can enjoy my trip as is. Hopefully I'll be so distracted that I wont think about my chin at all. I'll post my progress when I get back in a few weeks.
Good luck to all.
Hi all, to those who remember me, i'm not yet recovered after 1,5 years. Im here to say that the court verdict was in my favor. But the doctor is only ordered to pay $1000. It's really low, and I asked my lawyer to appeal.
I have read the whole conversation and I would like to mention that My wisdom tooths are also extracted 6 months back from Cmr Dentistry and I would like to mention that I have gone through the same feeling. It seems that wisdom tooth extraction take little bit time to get back to normal. But now it is healing so i am glad. And I think now you are also ok.
Hi Timeheals60, Now after 6 months I can say that I am almost fine. There is little easyness in back of my teeth specially when I eat something I have to be cautious but overall I am fine because previously I have handled very wiered feeling when teeths wer extracted.
Good to hear you almost all healed. Thing to remember for all of us based upon a lot of research, our inferior alveolar nerve and lingual nerve injuries are all different. Plus, our ages are quite different as well...and many times there is a correlation of age and level of injury because it is much harder to extract wisdom teeth past 50 years old. You are a young 28 years old and would expect you to heal a bit faster...perhaps much faster.
To update me, I am at 6 weeks and have come a LONG way so the point that I believe I may heal completely and I am 60 years old with a very difficult horizontally impacted most rear bottom wisdom tooth. I do believe like Starbrite and others, that it may take 1 year or longer. I still have a long way to go...still have about 50% numbness throughout my chin and gums on right side and a lot of daily pain.
For example. Contrast my recovery with that of Annette. Annette had a compression injury to her IAN from faulty implant surgery and when the compression was relieved, she only had 10 days of pain. I have had 6 weeks of constant pain...every day and expect at least 1-2 more months of burning. But my mouth is changing dramatically. I can feel my lip. Burning is becoming a bit less and so is numbness. Also position of pain seems to be moving more toward the center. Also my jaw muscle is a lot better...I had a hard time opening my mouth initially and eating. So each of us are different and therefore our paths to recovery will be quite different.
I just got all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed June 24th. I'm very sad of the lack of professionalism my Dentist and his staff had in not informing me about the details of nerve damage. I am really lucky I have found this forum since it has eased my fear.
BTW has anyone tried acupuncture? and has it worked?
Sorry you have joined our unfortunate group but you will hopefully gain some hopefulness. It is a long journey for most of us when this happens.
How about more details on your story? Age?...one side? What are your symptoms? Tongue affected?
As to the pain thing I have endured every day, very few drugs help short of heavy narcotics which really inhibit ability to function at all...like drive a car.
My personally, aside from a Multiple vitamin and Omega 3, I take a low dose of ibuprofen throughout the day which btw doesn't help with pain much at all. What Ibuprofen does do based upon research is promote nerve healing by blocking proteins inhibiting cellular growth. Also its benefit of reduced inflammation is conducive to healing as well.
Provide details when you can. Yes, the disclosure of dentists is sadly lacking. Statistically nerve damage is rare is one of the reasons but most will attest here, if it happens to you, it is life altering.
The area affected are numbness/ pins and needles in the lower part of left lip and that side of the chin my bottom front teeth are also pretty painful. My tongue is not affected. I'm 25 yrs old. I know it's been a week since the surgery but this pain is pretty unbearable. I'm a counselor at a university and talking is a huge part of my life. I'm hoping for a fast recovery. I see my dentist tomorrow we'll see what he has to say.
Good news for you is you are young and the roots aren't as established/tenacious as in my case. Many dentists extract wisdom teeth but shouldn't. Oral surgeons are better trained for this. In my case because my tooth was such high risk because of nerve involvemtn my oral surgeon wouldn't even do it...so I had it done at the hospital by a facial reconstruction surgeon in an operating room and still came out with a pretty messed up IAN. My guess is you will recover much sooner. Tell us which exact tooth you had extracted on your left side?...was it all the way back...no. 3 molar? Was it impacted? Ask the dentist his precise assessment of the damage to the inferior alveolar nerve. Ask him if he physically saw the nerve looking through the extraction site. Ask him if is was a stretch injury to the nerve or if the nerve was cut. The fact that you have sensation is a VERY good sign and with enough time virtually all recover from it. The recovery process is awful...especially for those older on here which means me.
Let us know.
Just checking in to remind you all that you are not alone. Curtiscraig - I am so glad that court sided in your favor - not that the verdict really makes up for anything, but hopefully it will help a tiny bit.
Timeheals - I am 54 now - 52 at the time of my wisdom tooth extraction and implant surgery. As I said last time - I feel at about 90%. I long for the day that I can return here and tell you I am 100%. Hopefully soon.
Wishing you all peace and relaxation this coming holiday weekend - try to enjoy yourselves - life is short - enjoy every minute! xoxo
Your continued contributions to this forum really help explain how long and convoluted the road to recovery is for many of us. Thanks for your valuable contributions. I maybe right there with you. As mentioned, I am at 6 weeks and a long way to go. Reading back through your posts, you reported changes even after 6 months. You also reflected that improvements aren't even close to linear. Completely agree. My chin has mostly been on fire but the sensation seems to change daily. When I sleep however, my chin seems to quiet down almost to normal...numbness is there but doesn't hurt as much.. But when I talk and eat I get a lot of burning. I even have a weird interaction with my tongue. When I have a lot of burning in my chin, I am more tongue tied, i.e. my tongue feels like there is a string tied underneath it to my right injuried side. Oddly when my chin isn't burning, my tongue feels closer to normal and is freer.. So there seems to be communication between the IAN in my case and my tongue which may even be a bit unusual because my belief is I have no or very limited lingual nerve damage. I hope you recover fully. A lot easier to live with this issue at 90% recovered versus where I am at about 20% :-)
Hi to all
I am reading the postings here with great interest..I have a choice to make,and reading the problems you all have had with Nerve damage is making me think my original choice.
I have an impacted bottom right wisdom tooth ...biggest problem is that the nerve has been engulfed by the tooth and it runs through the tooth...
Removal of the Tooth and roots results in damage to the nerve at almost 100% surety.
Option two is to cut the tooth in half which will relieve pressure on teeth in close proximity and 100% no nerve damage. The success of this procedure is unknown.. However I am now leaning towards this after reading what you dear people are going through with nerve damage...
Hi to all
I am reading the postings here with great interest..I have a choice to make,and reading the problems you all have had with Nerve damage is making me think my original choice.
I have an impacted bottom right wisdom tooth ...biggest problem is that the nerve has been engulfed by the tooth and it runs through the tooth...
Removal of the Tooth and roots results in damage to the nerve at almost 100% surety.
Option two is to cut the tooth in half which will relieve pressure on teeth in close proximity and 100% no nerve damage. The success of this procedure is unknown.. However I am now leaning towards this after reading what you dear people are going through with nerve damage...
You are a smart guy to question what your best path should be because the wrong choice is life altering. I would get minimum 3 different assessments from the best oral surgeons within driving distance. I went to a hospital to have a specialist remove my different tooth and I suggest you do the same. But it is expensive for the operating room so look into the economics. You need to find the best surgeon you can find.
Also if you have no pain or symptoms, you need to think carefully if you should have it done at all. Further some procedures do not take out of the roots of the teeth because of nerve involvement...instead just cut the crown of the tooth off that is trying to erupt. Nobody here can give you the best path other than to suggest you choose your decision VERY carefully after talking to the best surgeons you can find.
All the best.
Read all these comments about 3 months ago after I had had an extraction of of one of my molars, lost all sensation to my lower chin and lip. After realising what had happened I made peace with it straight away. No point harping on, just got on with my life. Guys, I get it, its annoying but lets put things in perceptive for a second, people are dying out here, its not the end of the world. If you were diagnosed with cancer tomorrow you would be begging just to have numbness to live with.Plus out of all the comments i read, and i read a lot, I didn't read anyones testimony that showed that they fully healed. Anyway,I never ever post on websites but I feel that this might actually give some of you a little hope. After 3 months of slurred speech, spitting while I talk, dribbling, bitting my lip constantly I am fully healed, 101% infact the affected area feels more sensitive due to it being absent for so long. People are different and heal differently, you will be back to normal it will just take some time. Rant over
As a guy who is at about 7 weeks from my molar extraction and had unrelenting pain every day in hope of full recovery including as I type this, how long did it take to get to 100% recovered?...3 full months? Also, how old are you as age seems to be a big factor?
Congrats on your full recovery!
I just got back from the oral surgeon. I had developed a soft lump on the empty implant site and I was concerned it was an infection - it was. Now I am on penicillin and had to schedule the "uncovering" of the implant so I can go ahead and finish it off. I have been resisting this because I really didn't want anymore pain or numbness - but now I have no choice. He said the infection was the result of my gum being irritated from chewing without a tooth and the implant below - gotta finish it.
They took full x-rays and feel that the nerve damage was done with the removal of the wisdom tooth - so no worrries with the implant. He tested my facial nerves and I got 100% correct - he thought that was very promising. He told me that after a year - they classify the nerve damage as permanent, but that doesn't mean it will never heal - as long as I have feeling and not total numbness - there is hope. So that is what I am holding on to - FAITH before fear - the body is an amazing creation and God knows no limits.
Peace my friends! xoxo
ps. Newbie74 - so happy you are healed!!
Timeheals - I'm sorry for your unrelenting pain - I promise you it will get better - hang in there and try to stay active and tire yourself out - that helped me a lot.
I am hopeful that removing the infection takes your recovery to another level. A question please. You wrote earlier you are at about 90% recovered. Do you still have periods of pain and numbness? Where does this pain and/or numbness reside?...do you have any numbness or pain in your chin? On a scale of 1-10, 10 being worst, what is you pain and numbness as compared to say the second month?
I like what you wrote about faith before fear and Best Regards..
I am exactly 5 months since the surgery. The numbness decreased gradually, but I still feel this tightness. I still have this light burning sensation, especially when touching it. The area is hiper-sensitive, so it hurts a little when touching, but the feel heat, cold, etc.
So tightness is the best word to describe my feeling. I would rate it with a 4 (from a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the worst). It feels uncomfortable sometimes.
I just hope I am on the right direction with the healing...
Hi Timeheals - I will try to answer your questions, but it is really hard to quantify pain since it is different for everyone. I have stated I am about 90% - that would be on my best day - which I would describe as today. I would say sometimes - like yesterday, it could go down to 75% or so. That seems odd, since you would think healing means healed - but that doesn't seem to be the case for me.
Today I would say I have no pain at all - if I hold my mouth in a soft closed expression and don't move it - it feels completely normal. If I move my lips of facial muscles - there is a odd stretching, stiffness that doesn't feel normal. I wouldn't say it is numb - I can feel every touch, cold, hot - it just isn't normal. In a way it is hypersensitive and has a slight tingle to it.
My chin is almost completely normal - the odd feeling is in my lower lip, right side, but not at the very corner or exact middle - the affected area does seem to be shrinking. Just below my lip in that area there is a small margin that also has that weird feeling. My gum below my 2nd, 3rd and 4th from middle teeth is very sensitive and sometimes I do have pain there. Not alot - maybe a 2 or 3.
Overall, it is so much better - that is why I quantified it at 90%. Yesterday was one of my worse days in a long time - maybe because the OS was poking around, maybe because of the infection - but after 24 hrs on the meds I feel so much better.
Compared to month 2 - if that was 10 - I would say my pain would be <1 on a normal day. Thank you Jesus!! I know you are looking for reassurance that the pain will go down - it will!! I promise that it will get better - when you are in it, it is so terrifying that it will never end, but it will. Have faith and look for reasons to be happy - life is good!
NumbRomania - it certainly sounds like you are on the road to healing. The tightness in my teeth was really irratating for a long time, but it has really relaxed in the last few months to the point that I only feel it when I clench my teeth together.
Thanks blessed2bme52 for your articulate response. Much appreciated. Since I am still under month 2,so you can imagine where I am at. I think my recovery may closely mirror yours. I believe I am on a year trajectory. My mouth is going through monumental changes. I also believe the pain patch is shrinking and at times it is at full burn and others it quiets down a bit. Numbness has given way to hyper-sensitivity which I would say rivals pain...or painful sensitivity and also I feel the stiffness you talk about which I believe is where adjacent normal skin meets the chin patch under the side of the mouth that the IAN communicates with. This contrast in sensory signals to the brain I believe is what contributes to feeling of stiffness. When the mouth moves, the skin and tissue move and the contrast of the recovering area to the outboard normal area is what creates the sense of stiffness.
Thanks again for your reassurance that your rightly surmised. Part if not the big deal with this injury is not knowing what level of recovery each of us will endure, slow recovery and of course the absolute powerlessness each of us feel.
Best to all and thanks again.
I have to have my wisdom teeth removed soon and because I am 29, over 25, was told could be an increased risk of complications. How old are most of you guys? I see there is a 50 some odd and you are 60. Also is there any advice any of you could offer for going into this? Would you recommend the cone beam scan before hand to assess my situation. Also anyone here been told their surgery shouldn't be a problem, but had one anyway? And finally, can the injection for numbing itself cause the IAN damage? Or is it usually due to removal of molar?
Many here that have prolonged IAN damage have it for two reasons: a. impacted molars are more difficult to extract with age...roots and bone become harder and b. IAN damage is more likely because as we age we lose elasticity throughout our bodies and therefore there is more damage if roots are in close proximity to both nerves. Lastly, older patients heal slower as our immune systems don't have the restorative power of a younger person. I will say this. I am an athlete and strong cyclist and swimmer and look 40 but I am 60 and I believe my overall good health is on my side but I have a long way back to normalcy.
For anybody, including 20 year olds that have suffered this injury it is life altering. Provided not irreparable damage to the IAN or lingual nerve aka severing...what is called transection....the odds are greatly in favor of recovery...which is such great news for someone like myself who is going through the suffering phase as I type this. I am recovering but it is slow, painful and arduous.
So what to do. Btw, I knew of these risks going in and all oral surgeons said my tooth had to come out which it did but not without consequences.
So for you I suggest:
Pay the money to have a cone scan aka CBCT scan. Have a copy placed on DVD for your possession. Take this to a second and third oral surgeon particularly if concern over close proximity of nerves to tooth roots..
Try to get references for whoever does your extraction. Do not have a dentist perform the extraction. Ask to review the cone scan with the prospective surgeon and see for yourself your risk and let them tell you their assessment.
Injections: Both deep injections and faulty implant surgery can cause serious injury to the IAN or lingual nerves. I suggest you get knocked out for the surgery and see if you can get by with no injections or what are called shallow injections only. Carefully survey your options.
You will notice two principle themes reading the different member's experience on this forum. One, age changes things as discussed. Your age is your ally. Second is....no two injuries are identical. I can go into detail about different nerve injuries because out of panic, I read the medical literature. So each of us will recover differently...and some are more healthy than others as well. So there is nothing established about each of our recoveries. Also the medical literature states that peripheral nerve recover is very difficult to quantify because it occurs on a molecular level. Miraculously, peripheral nerves like the IAN and lingual nerve DO regenerate unlike spinal cords injuries which are part of the central nervous system. A miracle of our bodies and only wished spinal cord sufferers would have the same opportunity. One day this will be solved by technology...likely through stem cell research.
Hope that helps. Do you homework and make your decision carefully is what I suggest. Come back with any concerns.
Good luck to all of us.
Thank you so much. I have been doing a lot of reading and have found the same suggestions you mention. I have asked the surgeon who is suppose to perform this to do a bone scan, so at the very least I feel more comfortable. Will also be taking that scan to a couple other surgeons for review. I actually had facial nerve damage from a surgery in 2007 and my right ear lobe is still pretty much numb, a major reason I want to avoid going through that again. I can't imagine what you all must be going through. But I hope to read more positive stories of recovery as there aren't enough of those on the internet!
You are very wise to do your research and choose your path with deliberation which it sounds like you are and your previous experience has taught you that lesson. This injury is insidious because it is really unlike anything most of us have gone through before. The sensation of pain is very different...burning or electrical shock basically which is exactly what it is...misfiring neurons because the conduit of connection from the brain to the surface area of sensation has been damaged. As an engineer, I try to wrap my mind about what happened and what all the tradeoffs are and the more I read, the more it makes sense and fear is somewhat replaced by knowledge but until you go through it, hard to fathom really. Everybody I tell about it looks quite puzzled because the public doesn't know much about it and I look basically normal. But when I speak I am distracted by all what some describe as weird feeling which I too have.
For further perspective and mitigate some concern on your part is...one of the reason why more isn't known is most of the people here are outliers in anatomy in some sense...or in age relative time of extraction. I believe the statistic for IAN and lingual nerve injuries due to wisdom tooth extraction are less than 5% nerve damage. Of that subset of 5%, most and close to all recover...but some and not all without incredible drama. Those that do recover I believe aren't much in the mood to come to a forum and talk about it because the experience has been somewhat nightmarish. Some brave people due however and they are the inspiration to me and I plan to share the same hope with others. In my case, I put off having my single problematic wisdom tooth out because I knew it was going to be a difficult extraction but the pathology of the tooth got worse...not life threatening but would have had consequences to jaw bone loss down the road. So there was no good solution in my case. Yes, I can second guess the procedure that the surgeon performed....he extracted the tooth in one piece versus sectioning it, but he obviously understood the tradeoffs having removed 2000 prior and he had carefully reviewed the CBCT scan and knew exactly where the two nerves were and decided on that course. So for me, I was in kind of no win scenario or another way of looking is it is...in one year from now if fully recovered, I had the best possible outcome because my jaw didn't break which was one of the reasons I had mine done in a hospital setting. It is unclear if I will recover fully but believe it is quite possible as my mouth seems to improve everyday in spite of sometimes tremendous pain but I believe I have a shot at full recovery at 7 weeks from surgery now.
You are well ahead of the curve because of your age and your due diligence in deciding your best path. Many are broadsided with this which makes it even more difficult.
Hope that helps some. Most that have their wisdom teeth removed are at low risk for nerve injury.
I don't think you are paranoid at all. I may have thought so before this happened to me but not now. :-)
Hopefully your original surgery is completely unrelated to the position of your IAN and lingual nerve.
I will give you another strategy and one I would consider if I could turn back the clock. You know about hindsight...many of us may have taken a different route and you have the chance because you are still plotting your course. There is a procedure for impacted wisdom teeth when the roots are deemed too close to the IAN and lingual nerve where the surgeon sections the tooth near the base of the roots and extracts just the crown of the tooth but not the roots that are intimate with your nerves.. Had I known what I would gone through, I would have pursued this option more aggressively. So deferring to even the smartest guy in the room...and make no mistake the talented man who reconstructs faces for a living who worked on me is as close to a hero as our society has... isn't necessary a fail safe strategy because he or she doesn't have to live in your body after the surgery. I think I will feel a bit different...or hope to in a couple of months but where I stand now.
Again, maybe you are a low risk candidate. A CBCT scan will reveal this.
Thanks for the words of encouragement Wow. 2-3 years. Can't imagine what that journey much have been like. Not that any of have a choice once this stuff happens. Is the nerve that affected your earlobe unrelated to the IAN or lingual nerve or part of the mental nerve bundle or branch?
It was the facial nerve, it had to be interfered with during surgery was no way around it really. I didn't experience pain or much annoying tingling, sensation just slowly started to come back slowly but surely over time.
When you wrote of your previous issue of a nerve in your face, I thought of a recent acquaintance. I mentioned I was a cyclist and have met many in all walks as a result. Recently, which is somewhat uncanny, I met an interesting man while out riding who was a pro cyclist when he was younger and who is in his 50's now. We got to talking when out on the ride and I asked him what he did and he said he had a PhD and taught medicine. I asked him is he knew about nerve pathology and he said he was more or less an expert on the subject. Then he told me his story. And this for everybody is about perspective of what each of us have gone through in our lives. I mentioned previously I have been blessed with amazing good health. This is my first big issue. An abbreviated version of his story was...he developed a head ache on his left side and after multiple tests, it was determined he had a tumor and in fact it wasn't sure if he was going to live. When they removed it...and it was benign...they had to severe a nerve on the side of his face which gives him numbness to this day. He posits that it was cell phone EMI radiation that caused it....he was a consistent user of the early large cell phone and he believes it was the magnetism of this phone that caused his tumor. Anyway, here is a guy who taught medicine and nerve anatomy and when they had to remove a lot of tissue, they had to remove the nerve that gave him sensation on the side of his face. He was grateful to live of course and regrets none of the decisions the surgeons made he told me.
On our ride we talked about nerve anatomy and what to expect moving forward for me. He reinforced just how unknowable recovery is for everybody because circumstances in terms of nerve injury and overall health play so heavily into the recovery process. This is reinforced in the literature and what contributes to much of the fear that is reflected on this forum. In your experience, your nerve recovery occurred up to 3 years later which isn't a common occurrence and reinforces this which also btw somewhat skews what is known on the web. Many don't post their recovery but a lot of people panicking after 1 month do post their condition. There are a few reports to changes to the IAN on this forum in the one year range and even breakthroughs at the 6 month point. So recovery is largely a mystery and unknowable for each of us in terms of speed or completeness. But odds for IAN and lingual nerve regeneration are very good for nerves that aren't severed but it may take a very long period of time.
I haven't written in a bit but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate the kind words you wrote about me, and all the intelligent posts you have been leaving. I am so sorry you are enduring this right now, but I do promise that it does get better over time.
I am one month shy of being a year and half into this nightmare and even though I am back to the girl I once was before this situation happened, I still don't go a day without thinking about it. I guess you can say that I am stuck between the 90% "better" mark. I do notice small little improvements every month or so, which I am grateful for, but the slow healing pace is truly unreal. I mentioned before once that I was told that this will probably take up to 3 years to be completely gone, and I'm starting to reaaallly believe that.
I feel hot, cold, regular sensations, anything on my chin and lip, but it's not the same as the normal side. It still tingles if I run my finger over my chin and I feel the tingles in my lip too when I do that. I still don't feel tickling sensitivity very much, which I have spoken of before, anyone try the shower test? What did 100% come back for me though, thank god, was my taste. I went through months of burning tongue and diminished taste buds, I had no lingual nerve damage, this was clearly caused by IAN damage, (two doctors confirmed). The burning went away, and my taste came back at the year mark and has been strong since. I thank my lucky stars on that one!!! Right now I just still feel a bit of tightness, mostly in that one canine bottom tooth. 95% of the day I never ever realize it anymore though. When I'm around people, out and about, talking, working, shopping, eating...never notice it. When I do notice it and catch myself moving my mouth around to feel the differences, is when I'm watching TV alone, driving alone, etc.
I'm still very hopeful that it will one day return to normal. I am trying to prepare myself for the possibility of it never happening, but until I reach 3 years, I'm sticking to that number! I hope there are more people here who are feeling better. Please don't be scared. The early days are extremely rough, I know, but trust me from the bottom of my heart that things improve to the point that you will be able to live your life the way you did before this happened to you.
Congrats on all your improvement and thank you for taking the time today to post and help everybody and especially me.
I needed your post today honestly as today has been very dark day for me. As much as I am a glass half full kind of guy and recognizing there are worse things that can happen to good people each day, today I am mentally struggling with this. I know there a bad and slightly better days and today is a bad day mentally. I don't like to take any drugs and am seriously thinking about taking a mood altering drug to help with my dark thoughts and wonder if you took anything to help you through the bad time? Alcohol isn't supposed to be good for nerve recovery and I don't want to start drinking honestly. :) Btw, I am exercising 2-3 hours a day to help cope. My body is strong but my mind is caving a bit to this awful injury. It is wearing me down mentally.
My second question is....since I believe our age and wisdom tooth extractions and probably damage to the IAN are perhaps similar or in your case past tense, can you tell me how many months for you before you really felt you had a chance to beat down this demon? Was it 6 months?...or less than that?
I feel I have made a fair amount of progress at 2 months breaking out of pretty complete numbness but the pain and distraction to my speech because of what I would call a combination of weird feelings to my lip and chin make it hard to focus and communicate.
My right side of lip and chin are a combination of burning pain or hypersensitivity bordering on pain, tingling, numbness and variable stiffness...almost feels like a spider web when I move my mouth on my chin...I presume due to where healthier tissue meets sensory altered skin in the healing phase.
What time period into your recovery did most of this abate recognizing you are maybe not perfect today but pretty darn good and stand a chance for full recovery? Did you have any breakthroughs or any sense of hopelessness at the 6 month period?
Thanks you so much in advance if you could address my questions based upon your experience.
Thanks again and congrats on your improved health.
I will do my very best to answer your questions, but please understand that I have suppressed a lot of bad memories from last year, so I may not remember everything clearly.
First of all, I'm sorry you had a bad day yesterday, but very glad my post helped. Days for me were up and down for many months. Even now sometimes I feel everything will wind up totally fine, and then certain times I get really down on myself and the situation I was dealt with. However, better days are ahead for you, that I know for sure. In regard to any medication, nope I didn't take anything. I tried using Ibuprofen for pain in the early days, but that didn't help really at all since it doesn't respond to damaged nerves like ours. I kind of just relied on my family, boyfriend and friends to help me get through the toughest times. I also read this forum a lot which always helped me and I took up watching a lot of TV shows in my evenings to get my mind off things.
To answer your second question, I'm 32 (I had this happen to me 2 weeks shy of my 31st b-day) so I don't believe our ages are close, but the damage may be similar. I knew mine wasn't severed the very next day when the tingles began and then thankfully didn't stop for months and months. For me, the first month was absolute hell but when I got through the first month, I suddenly had a breakthrough with some feeling coming back and that's when I knew things would eventually be okay. Since then I just took it month by month. I remember between 4-6 months I got some big breakthroughs which helped me deal with things better. Then just little by little, days, weeks and months have gone by and things kept improving... I began to feel less tightness, and old feelings returned etc. I had hoped by now that I would have been all back to normal and probably would have bet a trillion dollars back then that it would've been all better almost a year and half later, but as I mentioned in my post yesterday, things will probably take longer for my case. it was obviously pretty significant damage and the fact that I've regained about 90% is a gift. I still to this day every once in awhile or so feels crawlies or spiders on my chin which I think are the nerves still sparking up. I can scratch it just fine now, early on that was the absolute worst because I couldn't feel my nails to take the itchies away, but when this still happens to me, I get very excited since it means it's still healing :)
I hope I helped you again today. Lemme know if you have other questions!
Thank you Starbrite for your thoughtful comments. They help a lot. I will say you are one tough girl mentally. I hope to be as strong but have had a couple of bad days and so your words help a lot.
Sorry I got your age wrong. You are a young lady and have your whole life in front of you.
A couple more questions please:
Was your chin completely numb right after the extraction? Mine pretty much was. It is the transitional stage to hyper sensitivity or pain that is freaking me out. So in some ways, this issue was more tolerable early on and this seems to be the theme of others as well. I just wonder how many months of pain I have to contend with? I do understand that pain seems to be a stepping stone to recovery, but its tough to deal with and why I wondered if you found any sort of drug that helped you either physically or mentally.
You mentioned the shower test and probably most of us tried this intuitively comparing left and right side of the lip and chin under the shower head. When I first tried this say a week or two after my extraction, I couldn't really feel the hard streaming of the shower head on the injured side which of course was quite scary.. But now I sure can, so clearly my injured side has woken up. It feels like serious pins and needles when the shower stream hits it and is more sensitive than the normal left side. So I believe that is clear progress and wondered in the early days if you felt the stream the same way?
Since you investigated different physical tests performed by different doctors, I can tell you that I feel the cotton swab very well including direction and also am good on discriminating pin prick sensation and location on my chin and lip.
I just did the ice cube test on both good versus injured side and best way to describe it is I feel the cold...but it is more muted and takes longer to ramp up compared to the good side which is more instantaneous.
If I were to sum up my chin on the injured side... very simply put 2 months from the extraction...it feels like it has a large scab on it....when I touch it and when I purse my lips, I feel a lot of stiffness. Best description I can provide.
So I wonder when this started to change for you? Did you turn the corner at 4 months?...6 months? when your internal dialog said, hey, this thing isn't going to beat me down any more? I am not there at 2 months but hope to be a 4 months for my sanity. :)
I know the above it a pretty good list, but as time permits, this will help and perhaps will give perspective to others as well.
I guess I will share what happened to me. I'm 21 and feel as if my life had been ruined to some degree. I am only on 2 weeks but see little improvement. Had my 2 lower wisdom teeth removed and the numbness after surgery on my right lip and chin never went away.
This is not all I am experiencing on top of this I feel my gums are not healing well as I can still barely eat. I also got an infection into the second week. I can still not even open my jaw all the way. I have been back to the doc and all they said was to give it 3 weeks and they will check again.
I now realize I could be in for a long wait. I also also lost a lot of weight in this 2 week period (not good). It is hard to say if i have seen any improvement in the past 2 weeks maybe a little on the inside of the gums that's about it.
I would just like to know if this will heal 100% over time and what are the signs if the nerve was completely severed or damaged? thanks
Time for a pep talk young man. First I think the girls on this site are stronger mentally than us boys. :-). You have a lot of company and yes to some extent all of our lives have been ruined albeit temporarily in most cases. I have answers as I have read the literature and have written about some of the cause and effect also learning from others here and I am still asking questions. You are at what I call at the desperation phase of this injury. We have all been here. Read Starbrite's full timeline and her early posts. It is arguably the darkest of time. But hold on because you are in for a long ride...probably the ride of your young life as you recover. Numbness that you have today gives way to pain as the axons within the nerve sprout aka regenerate.
Question 1: Numbness and no sense of improvement as related to a completely severed inferior alveolar nerve:
This is the signature question and you smartly asked it. Here is how it works. You have a lot of inflammation and the nerve has obviously been injured. No doctor can diagnose status at two weeks because inflammation of the recent extraction completely numbs all the nerve endings. Further, a cone scan or radiograph isn't conclusive. So the way it is determined if your nerve is completely severed is by level of improvement relative to time. The target is 3 months. Within 3 months if you are still completely numb and don't have painful sensation, then you need to line up a neurosurgeon to perform micro surgery directly on the nerve. There are only a few in the country that do this btw. I will say this is very rare. Normally the IAN is injured in a wisdom tooth extraction and not severed. But that is how the assessment is made. Take me for example. I am 8.5 weeks post surgery and on days have been going through agonizing pain. Pain is good to a degree. It shows the nerve is working albeit poorly. Pain is a scrambling of the electrical signal due to broken nerve fibers within the nerve casing. There are several mechanical tests they can perform to determine nerve function. These are somewhat qualitative...cotton swap rubbing on lip and chin, pin prick and hot/cold test.
At 2 weeks I was still very numb. Start doing the shower test every day comparing both sides. I didn't feel the shower head on my chin in the first 2-3 weeks but do now although it isn't normal yet.
I will tell you and I wrote about this above at 8 weeks, I went through unbelievable pain and fear. Today and yesterday, I am a bit better and come down off the ledge. :-). I believe like Starlight and Bless2beme and others, I am on a 1 year recovery path. Unknowable if I will return to full health but hopefully close as they have where their quality of life is almost unaffected.
Question 2: Opening your mouth.
That is called trismus...google it. The jaw muscle is damaged by the tooth extraction. This is almost always completely reversible. I had it bad and couldn't eat any solid food. My jaw is much better and can now eat just about anything. My jaw isn't perfect but close and it was badly damaged from the extraction as it sounds like yours is. It will heal and faster than the nerve. You need high protein shakes to keep your weight up. I suggest making vegetable smoothies with protein. Also ice cream is good for the spirit as well or comfort food. If you live at home, get your Mom involved. Lean on your family for strength.
Question 3, Healing 100%:
Let's put it this way. Your odds are better than the rest of us. Why? Because of age. The recuperative power of a young ammine system is much better than say a man at my age....I am almost 3 X's your age.
Here is the bottom line: If your nerve isn't completely severed which it likely isn't, you should recover to a high level. Peripheral nerves unlike nerves of the central nervous system regenerate. At bad as this is for all of us, keep in mind that 12,000 people in the US every year suffer spinal cord injuries and that truly is devastating.
Here is what I suggest. First let me say I am not a doctor so you need to do your own research. Out of panic, I have. I suggest and only suggest, that you take a relatively high dosage of Ibuprofen for the next 3 weeks. Studies have should that this NSAID blocks proteins that inhibit axon regeneration within the nerve. Read the studies and google it and then decide if you agree. I personally take 2 X 200mg Ibuprofen 3x's a day. A higher dosage is probably better. If you develop stomach issues back off. It does almost nothing for pain btw which you will encounter as the nerve heals. I can suck up the pain if I know I am recovering which I am albeit slowly...too slow for all of us. Ibuprofen reduces inflammation conducive to healing and also promotes axon regeneration according to studies.
I hope that helps answer some of questions. Use this forum to keep sane and ask questions which will replace your fear with knowledge. We want to hear about your recovery as well.
This injury has tested each of us. Stay strong.
Fellow mechanical engineer here and your scientific bias should help you understand cause and effect. Sounds like your surgeon performed a coronectomy...google it...where tooth crown is removed and roots left in place because of close proximity to the nerve. Interesting there was still nerve damage. Perhaps you had an outliar tooth anatomy where the roots wrapped around the nerve. Was your tooth horizontally impacted? Btw, do you have tongue pain which relates to the lingual nerve?
The 'permanent' injury mantra is largely CYA by the dental community to mitigate liability. If you do the research, the probability of a permanent deficit...or say one that is life altering like our status now...is very very small. You would bet the house in Vegas on this every time and almost always win and btw, the reason why the dentist removed the tooth in the first place...because it was deemed the tooth needed to come out and the risk was worth it.
One more thing, start taking a multi Vitamin everyday for B12 in particular conducive to nerve recovery and an Omega 3 tablet.
As to exercise, absolutely. I am an avid cyclist and just returned from my 32 mile ride where I was hammering in a pace line averaging 20 mph with 10 other riders with my heart rate at ~150 bpm. Exercise will be your friend and yes this injury is mentally challenging and exercise is when I mostly forget about it for a while. It has helped me a lot.
I honestly don't know what type of surgery they performed and have not seen an X ray after.
I do believe they were horizontally impacted as they were not coming in right. I didn't even bother getting my tops removed. After the surgery they did however say the nerves were located a little closer to the teeth than usual.
Also I do no have any tongue pain and it seems quite normal. I want to say I have regained a bit of feeling in the top of my lip ever so slightly from day 1, however even this is very hard to tell. I just keep comparing it to my good side and it feels it will never be the same.
I do take multis but on a side note I will start up with the omega 3s.
Thank you for your time and I have read about your recovery good luck.
Look at the bright side that you don't have a tongue deficit. This is even more debilitating affecting speech and taste. Lingual pain can be intense.
I have modest tongue interaction with my IAN like Starbrite had based upon the IAN branch cross talking to my tongue. This for me has varied day to day. When my chin isn't as inflamed, my tongue is closer to normal. An odd interaction and most unsettling. But as I heal my tongue is more normal and a huge relief and I can talk with less concentration.
Over and above Omega 3 + Multiple Vitamin, do your reading on Ibuprofen and nerve recovery...I highly recommend it.
I want to emphasize to you to not be too concerned about your numbness and only a hint of lip feeling at 2 weeks. Myself and others were in the same place. At 2 months, I have a lot more sensation throughout.
Question...when you floss on your injured side, can you feel the floss through your teeth? This took me about a month I believe. You are going to go through a range of 'weirdness' as your mouth recovers. Mine feels like I have a wound on my chin even though it looks normal. I also have the stiffness others feel during their recovery which subsides as the nerve heals. Btw, I will share a bit of engineering with you about recovery. It isn't just your nerve that heals and regenerates axons which are like little conduits with nerve fibers inside. Your brain reprograms itself like an adaptive computer to the new input from a 'changed' nerve. This is why for most, pain subsides. The brain gets used to the new signals from the 'revised' nerve. Our nerves heal but will be altered to some degree and our brain accommodates these changes in electrical conductivity. Our brains are highly adaptive thankfully but this takes a lot of time. Peripheral nerves regrow only 1mm per day which btw is hard to correlate to the IAN.
Most distressing thing about this injury is the 'time' it takes to heal.
Heal fast des and get well soon.
I can feel it in my teeth and gums when I floss and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have felt that 2 weeks ago, however everything else the chin, lip are the same.
Something I really noticed which is kind of weird is that when I would push my lower jar forward, then open my mouth I would get almost very fast pulsating tingling throughout my chin and lip.
Only until a few days ago though. Now if I do this (little over 2 weeks) it just feels as if I am stretching a muscle or 'pulling' my chin. I don't know what any of this means really. Hopefully nothing bad.
I am preparing myself that it could take months or even a year to heal.
To quickly address your original concern about the complete severing of your IAN. It isn't. Otherwise you wouldn't have the sensation from the injury site where the tooth was extracted in back along your gum line toward the center of your chin when you floss. So I believe you are basically where many of us were at 2 weeks with this injury...or where I was. Your youth may promote faster healing so keep positive through the next few weeks. Take the supplements we talked about and keep exercising. Be sure to update us with your progress. Most that have been through this report the healing process is not linear....plateaus and breakthroughs as the nerve recovers.
Also, about your jaw des as I have been there. Be gentle with it. Your jaw muscle is injured by the extraction as mine was. Do not try to put too much pressure on your jaw in an effort to open your mouth to eat at this point. Your jaw will gradually heal and in a month it will open much more naturally. I have full range now and couldn't hardly open my mouth. I would hold off on manipulating your jaw too much as it will impede injury. Very light stretch only.. Let it heal and drink protein shakes or spoon soft food until your mouth opens more fully.
Hope that helps
I will continue to post about my recovery. Regarding my jaw, there has been significant improvement over the last few days, I can open it about 3/4 now I would say. At least I am almost eating fully solids now. I could barely even open my mouth the first week.
I had the "revealing" of my implant yesterday. It didn't take long - thank God! I'm not going to lie - there was a point where I thought he might break my jaw - he didn't :) It was pretty nasty afterwards and I laid around the rest of the day having a pity party - glad that is over! :) Today I feel much better - still sore, but nothing too painful.
StarBrite - it is so great to hear from you. I am glad you are doing well and wish you were 100% - but I know you will get there! I feel like I mirror your healing - so hurry up, will ya! Lol
Timeheals - I'm sorry you have been struggling lately. It is such a weird injury and things are just not predictable, but I would venture to say you are in this for the long haul - I hope I am wrong. The pain will come and go - sometimes shooting, sometimes dull and throbbing. Speech problems will come and go - I specifically remember having issues around the holidays last year where I was slurring my words and actually drooling on occassion. I sometimes wondered if people thought I had a stroke.
des19 - welcome - with your age, I would bet you will heal quickly. A lot of people come on once or twice and never return - I think because they are fully healed - I hope you will heal that quick, but please let us know so others can have hope. Everything you report sounds like what most of us have been through. Don't be afraid - you will NOT have to go through life like this. It WILL get better - I promise.
Hang in there all my cyber friends - I think of you and pray for your healing everyday. Wishing you nothing but happiness! xoxo
Thanks for your kind words. I admit to struggling emotionally with this lately. The pain was tearing me down. Seems recently pain has given way to major weirdness for lack of a better description. My chin feels 'messy' or just plain lousy which is disconcerting and hopefully a stepping stone to recovery. My speech is pretty good and I have a fair amount of sensation in my lip and on my chin and inside my mouth...it just doesn't feel good and perhaps you know what I mean.
How does your mouth 'feel' these days?
Hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was good except for a bleeding episode I had on Saturday. For those of you with implants - did it take you a while to heal after the "revealing" of the implant and capping off? I thought I was doing ok, but it started randomly bleeding while I was shopping and I actually had to leave and go home because it would not stop. i have always had a lower than normal platelet count, so I do tend to bleed alot. At home a tea bag was able to clot it up and it is ok again. I have to say that it looks kind of scary in my mouth right now - lol! Any comments from those that have gone through this? Funinsun?
Timeheals - I agree with your post about how our brains start changing our interpretation of pain and how we adjust to damage. I have to say if I think about it - there is pain at the implant site, but for the most part I really feel that my brain has just learned to ignore it. Since the revealing last week I have had times when I felt the icy cold and burning sensations again, but I am not too worried. Overall, it is maybe just a tiny bit worse than it was before.
Hope that everyone feels better with every passing day. Peace! xoxo
Quick question...was your IAN injury based upon an implant installation or a wisdom tooth extraction?
I don't have anything to add about healing relative to implants only to wish you well in your recovery.
My pain level has reduced the last couple of days. At week 9 now, my mouth feels closer to normal than it has since the surgery but have a long way to go but getting a reprieve at least which helps my hopefulness. Pain is lowest right out of bed in the morning and seems to flair with a lot of talking and even eating during the day. My chin has gone from almost complete numbness at week 1 & 2...to complete pain for what seemed like forever to now what feels like pins and needles with reducing numbness and a lot of sensation. Not even close to comfortable yet but seems to be healing although not linear as discussed.. I am visiting my surgeon tomorrow for a follow up consultation and I have my questions list. :)
Thanks again for sharing your experience...your comments have really helped.
Today actually marks the 3rd week for me so I will give an update.
I have definitely seen some good improvements. I can now feel the top of my lip before it meets my skin to the touch but it is still a little numb. I can also open my jaw regular now and am pretty well back to my diet.
However where my lip meets the skin is still very numb close to the chin are which has seen little improvement. I'm hoping that I will be 100% healed within the next 2 months.
My next check in with the surgeon is next week so we'll see. Wishing everyone good recoveries.
Just wanted to write a quick update that since I last wrote a couple weeks ago, I went through a very big breakthrough and have regained back a significant amount of feeling. It's great, almost back to normal, a bit more ways to go of course, but this was a big jump. I felt sparks, itchies, tingles, tightness and then all of a sudden, bam, days later I noticed a big improvement. I will be a year and half on August 21st.
I'll report back again soon but hopefully this sheds more light on how long this process takes so don't be scared if you aren't all better at the year mark :)
I just got back from my visit at Univ of Florida and met with two surgeons and reviewed everything. Because you are only at 3 weeks with common numbness in lower lip and chin as you describe, they won't be able to tell you much. Today, I tried to nail down where I am at 9 weeks post op the best they could with prediction of recovery.
Des, if you go on line and research IAN injury levels, there are essentially 5 different levels or gradations...1 being mild and 5 being complete severing of the nerve. As we talked you are not near a 5 because you already have some sensation. Their best guestimate for me based upon testing at this point in time...and only way to do it is tracing amount of sensation relative to time...is my IAN injury is a level 2. That is what they believe. A level 2 injury is...the nerve fibers internal to the axons...axons are like little conduits...are broken because of either stretch or compression aka crush...and probably some axon damage as well...the best they can surmise. There are pictures on line of a cross section of the nerve to help you understand nerve anatomy if you seek this out. Both surgeons performed mechanical tests which I did pretty well at...and you will likely have this done perhaps on your second consultation. I can feel direction of the cotton swap and I pass the 2 pt. discrimination test.
Prospects for a complete recovery with a 2nd grade injury to the nerve are good. If I have a no.3 grade injury which is possible...or percentage of a no. 3....this means greater internal damage to the nerve and/or abrasion to the external trunk of the nerve, which means I will likely get a good percentage of normal sensation back...but may have some slight alteration or deficit in sensation over the long run.
For you, in about 1 month from now, they should be able to perform the mechanical sensory tests and see where you are at. Right now, you have a lot of numbness like myself and many others at 3 weeks. Anyway, a bit of a roadmap of what to expect. The important point is, stay positive as my guess is the next month will bring big improvement for you. As to me, I am hopeful after 2 more months, I will be close to full recovery but this is wishful thinking only. Time will tell.
Wow. Such wonderful news. 1 and 1/2 years out and still improving. This is so important to report StarBrite and good of you to come here and not only share your joy but inform others that change can continue well after the 1 year mark.
Every one of us understand the significance of this news.
Now go celebrate!
Starbrite - thank you so much for returning and sharing your improvement - I am at 1 yr and 3 1/2 months and I love to hear that you are still having breakthroughs. You have always mentioned the "itchies" that I have never felt - but other than that, my progress has mirrored yours, so I will be expecting a breakthrough soon. :)
Des - the point where the bottom of my lip meets skin is one of the last areas that is still mostly affected. It is not numb - but it still has a distant tingly feel when touched. My chin is basically normal but when I run my finger up to my lip it is weird. Don't worry - the fact that the top of your lip is bettter is a sgn of things to come for the rest!
Timeheals - to answer your question - I had an implant started at the same time I had an impacted wisdom tooth pulled. The nerve damage is related to the wisdom tooth. The implant is in the molar two teeth before the removed wisdom. So it is implant, my own last molar, and then removed wisdom.
I am so glad for you that they believe you only have a level 2 injury - that is great news and hopefully you will heal faster than I. It is wonderful to hear that your pain is going down - what a blessing! Thank you for all the information you have provided - I have not taken the route of going to the large university in the area and having the damage further evaluated, but I do find it very interesting and am now wondering what level I am at. Maybe I don't really want to know - LOL!
Nice to hear from you blessed2bme52 and glad you continue to improve and I look forward to your future progress.
Starbrite answers the hardest question of all which is...does this injury continue to heal? I believe the answer is yes, it continues. It may plateau for a while and then another breakthrough. In the early days, the breakthroughs come more frequently because there is a lot more damage in the early stages. One young lady on here a few posts back had the nerve in her face recover 3 years later...just remarkable. The other thing to consider is each of completely replace all our cells in our bodies every 7 years...and of course diet matters and how we feed our cells along the way as cells constantly die and replicate.
As to level of inferior alveolar nerve injury, let me try to put a finer point on a very difficult topic which is many times the basis of all our fear. The reality is...in the literature this is discussed and injury grades are more or less 'qualitative'. It is virtually impossible to assign a nerve injury level for example and the only measure of nerve injury is sensory function relative to time. It is unknowable internal to the nerve the amount of damage by a tooth extraction other than how the nerve behaves over time. The rest is just speculation and a very rudimentary definition. In the medical literature, peripheral nerve injury and regrowth is referred to as 'embryonic'. In other words, not much is known about how nerves regrow. But if interested there is a lot of scholarship on the subject however impossible to correlate a level of injury or regrowth to each of us which is buttressed by all of our frantic searching for answers. We want to know when we will become well and this is unknowable really. But we gain strength in knowing just how regenerative that nerve is. Most of us feel so much devastation that is seems almost impossible to recover...and yet we do. That is the silver lining.
Kind Regards and keep the updates coming everybody.
It's been a year since having a shallow implant done on a 2nd molar. It took about a month before I got feeling back in my lower lip. About 2-3 months to get some feeling back in my chin. Then it steadily improved until the 5 month mark and stopped. I don't know what % to give my recovery at this point. I have pretty good (nearly normal) sensation to hot/cold/pressure/pain, and I would even call it hypersensitive in a lot of cases. I'm constantly touching my chin because it feels so weird. Flossing is a little uncomfortable around a few teeth due to my now hypersensitive gums.
The 2-pin-point discernment test (how far apart you can feel 2 simultaneous pin pricks) shows that I'm not normal at all. 3mm on the unaffected side and 15-20mm on the affected side. Its like there is only 1 pain receptor of the entire area.
Dentist was recommended and a specialist in implants. Only had one other case of long-term (more than a month) numbness after an implant in 15+ years. He didn't know the final outcome since he never saw her again after 6 months. I asked if he could refer me to a neurologist, and looked dumbfounded and said "Nah... they'll just want to do something. Give it time. I'm sure you'll be fine." In other words, he was trying to say, if you go to a neurologist, they'll feel obligated to "fix" you, and many times fixing nerves can make things worse.
Hoping for I'll get another burst of improvement someday, and I wish the same for you all!
Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing your experience.
Only suggestion I can make is and perhaps you have already done this a while back when you experienced numbness is...for recovery of the inferior alveolar nerve you need to make sure there is no compression on it. I presume you had your a CBCT cone scan performed to ensure there was minimum 2mm clearance from the implant fastener to the nerve. If you haven't done this I highly recommend it. As to visiting a neurologist 1 year post op, I don't believe this will manifest much benefit. Neurologists typically only operate on a nerve if there is no recovery at the 2-3 month stage. You had that and therefore your IAN is intact, But the question is...if there is any lingering compression from the implant that caused your issue and perhaps you already know the answer.
My second question is...can you put into words what you mean by 'weirdness' the best you can? My chin at 2.5 months feels weird as well. My lip feels pretty good but my chin is an odd combination of pain, numbness and hypersensitivity. It feels like it has a scab on it basically...or is wound like. My mouth, lip and chin are going through a lot of changes so hoping for continued recovery moving forward.
Hopefully you will continue to have breakthroughs as others have reported here after 1 year.
I'm glad I found this group. I just passed the one year anniversary of my wisdom teeth extractions and I'm still numb. Or not exactly numb, but incredibly altered. I tell people it's like the feeling of coming off of novocaine after having a cavity filled. Only instead of a couple of hours, it's 365 days and counting. Grrr!! There has been improvement. At first, there was a LOT of pain, yet it was numb at the same time, so people did not understand how there could be pain. There was a while where my lip/chin/gums just hurt all the time. Eating was awful. I mean awful. Thankfully this only lasted a few months. Things progressed to odd electrical sensations and itchiness. One time, I got this long electrical sensation right smack in the middle of my chin. It lasted like a minute. When it was over, I ran my finger over my chin, and I could tell that one side felt different than the other side. For the first time since getting the teeth out. Both sides were still altered, but the right side less so.
I had my umpteenth follow up appointment today and my oral surgeon continues to think I will have a full recovery. The nerve was definitely not severed and because I continue to have itchiness and the occasional electrical sensation, he feels that there is still hope. He could tell there was improvement on the right side today, so that was promising. He also recommended that I begin to see an acupuncturist who specializes in facial pain. Has anyone had any experience or luck with an acupuncturist? I already use heat, essential oils, massage (although I have slacked off a bit with the massage) and I am willing to try anything. I understand that in the scheme of life, this is a small thing. But when it's you, it's a big thing. And I think you guys will understand!
You have been through a lot and yes we all understand.
Sounds as though your inferior alveolar nerve is affected on both sides...is that so?
Numbness though altering as you say I believe can be adjusted to over time. Pain is what is hard to endure speaking from personal experience. . I will give you my take on what pain is and I have had a lot of it...I mean non stop really for about 2 months straight...I am at 2.5 months. I have had a combination of pain and numbness as well. My interpretation of why pain occurs is...the nerve is changing and the brain has not adjusted to this new sensory input wrought by the nerve transmitting more information that brain doesn't process properly because the nerve has changed when it regenerates.. Numbness in the mix of numbness and pain is the skin not communicating with the brain at all. In most of our cases, as healing occurs, numbness gives way to pain, then hopefully the brain adjusts to this waking up of the nerve and the pain goes away. These episodes are considered breakthroughs discussed here. I have been having a series of these lately...at times god awful pain and extreme weirdness giving way to less numbness, more sensation and more normal feeling, even though I am still far from normal. The progression I have had makes me believe that its 'possible' that I will be back to normal some day but there is no certainty to this as we all know.
The acupuncture question is a good one and something I too will consider as a long term strategy as needed. Further if I have to live with this unrelenting pain which tends to come and go based upon changes to the nerve I believe and more sensation, I need to consider some kind of drug to take. I am anti-drugs in general but of course in this case since the pain has been so awful, I would consider taking something. I heard Lyrica is a possibility for nerve pain. I don't want to get hooked on any kind of Opiate or strong meds but word is nerve pain is hard to treat.
I wish you continued recovery. Don't give up at 1 year. I want to say further everybody that reads this. 'We' are the collective cases study. Medical literature is very 'limited' on amount of solid information on nerve recovery after 1 year. This is unfortunate because as has been testified here, nerves do continue to heal after 1 year and it may even be possible that there is nerve improvement even after 5 years...perhaps longer. It is hard to publish data on longer term recovery because patients fall off the radar after a longer period of time and why I believe this information is sparce. We even see it quite a bit here. Those affected post for a while and apparently they get enough recovery to no longer feel the need to participate.
Take care Rachael and continue to heal.
Thank you StarBrite for your last update. So great to hear of your continued improvement after a year! I will be at one year in two weeks. I don't feel like I've had much improvement in a while. But I'm still here and still reading. Thanks to everyone for sharing. Staying very busy helps me to not focus on the strange feelings in my chin, and this year has probably been one of the most productive in my life for a while! Ha! Blessings to you all.
I guess I will give an update today actually marks the 4th week since the surgery for me and I will say I have not had great improvement. I bit of feeling has come back in the gums and the top lip but thats about it.
I saw the surgeon that did the operation today and he believes the nerve was just bruised as half the tooth was left deliberately to 'cause less complications' whatever that means. Also said that the infection could have slowed down the healing process.
Still believes feeling will come back to 100% or 95% at least hopefully within the 3 month mark. If I had to put a value to where I'm at now I would say 25%.
Also I have not really had any pain this whole time, maybe a little the odd shooting pain. What I did notice is it itches a lot and I can't do anything about it! Also this is weird but when I stretch my lips out like im making an 'oooooo' sound it feels as if my lip right from the bottom inside is stretching really bad which feels weird.
Good your surgeon gave you some affirmation the nerve wasn't badly damaged. Stay positive. I was still pretty numb 4 weeks out. I am at 10 weeks now and my mouth is going through major changes. I only hope I get through this period to another level as this past month has been awful.
Only way I have coped honestly is learning that pain is a stepping stone to recovery. I have had a lot of pain...but mostly after 1 month when the nerve woke up. Seems as though numbness gives way to pain as the nerve regenerates. But your path maybe different. You may transition from numbness to more sensation with less pain because your nerve was injured differently.
This is what I suggest and what I have done personally. I in fact suggest this to everybody suffering with this. Starbrite is my inspiration. Once you determine...this is unknowable to you at the present time...you may bounce back quickly...that you 'may' be in this for the long haul which btw, I may be...or feels like it...then you need to adjust your time line mentally. Many have had to do this out of necessity of course. So what I did is I put together a timeline based upon Starbrite's recovery as a roadmap of what to expect....as she faithfully posted incremental progress to share with others. She is at 1.5 years and is at about 100% fully recovered. She btw is a bit closer to your age and it has been a very long haul for her. She has had breakthroughs consistently past the 1 year period and most recently at 1.5 years that brought her close to full recovery. She may even have more changes in ensuing months if not years.
It has been very hard for me to be patient through this and mapping her recovery for reference...I put here trajectory of improvement on a Word document with her changes versus time...has helped me keep my perspective and hope I will recover.
Des, be sure to keep us posted as the next month should manifest quite a change.
My thoughts and best to you and everybody.
Good to hear from you again, I am hopeful for the next month as well and will continue my postings at least once a week.
Also the funny thing is I am still having other side effects from the surgery even in week 4 but they are little things such as food still getting stuck along the gum/ inside the hole, as well as if I press my hand hard against the one side of my jaw I can still feel tender. I guess I just got the bad end of the deal on this surgery.
Anyways I continue to read all stories on here good luck to everyone.
The next two months for you are key and why I hope you post a fair amount which you said you will. The reason why they are key and for the same reason I have vigilant during the same time period is...there are two elements that affect nerve recovery and/or need for further surgical intervention:
1. How bad the nerve was injured....and this is mostly determined by restoration of feeling relative to time which can be mechanically tested.
2. Any lingering pressure on the nerve. If the nerve wasn't badly damaged but there continues to be compression on the nerve...then the nerve will not recover as well.
So the 3 month window for both you and me is telling. Since I am at 2.5 months and had my follow up with mechanical testing, belief is I should get continued recovery...but will tell you it has been a slow process.
If you have little change...and I suspect you will have a fair amount of change in the next month....then you need to be evaluated if there is any lingering compression on the nerve.
My dentist never did anything more than look at the panograph xray and say "I don't have room for a fullsize implant, but it looks like shallow implant will fit. Depending on how your bone integrates with the implant, it may or may not hold. There's a good chance it will work." No cone beam scan.
I called me in the evening and asked if I was still numb, and said yes, so he asked me to come in the next day. At which point he backed the implant out a half turn and took some xrays. He showed me, and it certainly didn't look like it was into the canal or right on top of it. There was a clear division, however I don't know the exact measurement.
After the 4-week mark I asked if he could do the cone-beam scan, but he said he didn't have one. So I started hunting around in my area, but it was difficult to figure out who had one without making a lot of phone calls.
So I lost momentum on that and let work and daily activities take over my thoughts.
I had it crowned 4 months post-op, by my regular dentist, and he said other than the numbness issue, it's a great implant job, and he put a beautiful crown on it. But I told him, I'd think twice about having an implant done again.
As far and what I mean by "my chin feels weird" (1 yr later), is just as you described. It feels somewhat like a large scab is there, only the skin is not hard and crusty. And there seems to be a little underlying stiffness that I can feel when I wiggly my chin muscles around. As if you were pronouncing words in an overly exaggerated way.
I have also found that if I have had a drink or two, that I have to work harder the pronounce words clearly. Which only started after the implant.
Thanks for your post. My chin today at 2.5 months feels like yours does at 1 year...I would say a carbon copy of what you describe. Weird is a good description and my chin also feels like a large scab and stiff especially noticeable if I wiggle my chin muscles as you say as with talking and eating. My chin seems to be changing and not sure if this is a phase or more longer terms...hoping for the former of course. I sleep pretty well. Doesn't seem to bug me much when I sleep, only to be reminded of it as I wake up and seems more 'dormant' right out of bed and wakes up more during the day which is worse . So it tends to flare a bit during the day which is bothersome say when having conversation or when eating and there is a lot of chin and lip movement.
Have to ask how you have adjusted mentally to this? This has been hard for me and wondered if you take anything which reduces the weirdness...tried any acupuncture etc? Or have you adjusted to it over time and are relatively undaunted?
I had another follow up appt with my oral surgeon last week - to check how the implant reveal has healed. He was pleased with it - said it looked perfect. What I hate is the sad, empty look in his eyes when he asked if there was any change in the numbness - I reported it actually felt a little worse and he was silent and left the room quickly. I know he feels horrible - he is a very gentle and kind man. Hopefully, it will remind him to be more careful and never take the importance of his job for granted. He changed my life - I forgive him, but I don't know if he forgives himself.
So anyway - since I do feel a bit worse than before the implant reveal - I questioned again to make sure the implant is not the problem. They showed me all the cone scans and it really does looks like it was the wisdom tooth removal - so, I continue to pray and believe that total healing is still to come.
Timeheals - I know what you mean about the morning being better - every morning I awaken and hesitate to move my mouth, thinking IT"S GONE!! Nope, not yet. :( One question, since you have done so much research. I don't understand why my nerve damage would be so much different than someone elses - if the nerve is damaged, it seems like it would have a more specific pattern. My chin has never been as bad as most, my teeth were the worst at the beginning, and I have never had the scratchies that almost everyone mentions. Is it the location of the nerve damage that determines this? I can't think of any other reason. Just curious if you know.
Rachael - I'm glad you found us! I had a lot of quizzical looks when I would cry with pain after saying my mouth was numb - it is not understandable to someone who has not been through it. We do understand - it was horrible - felt like someone had hit me in the mouth with a baseball bat and yet it was numb. Please come back often and record your progress - you can still heal after a year - the prove is on this board. :)
des - good to hear from you. Try and hang in there - you are in the early stages of healing, but it could go quickly from here! Hoping and praying for you.
Aprilchristine - nice to hear from you! So glad you had a productive year. Keeping busy is key!
GG48 - don't give up hope!
So, I will be scheduling my crown to be put on my implant site - not really looking forward to that, but hopefully it will help me stop biting my toungue. Lol. Peace! xoxo
Good to hear from you and thanks for your continued contribution.
I can only try and answer your question because variation in symptoms with an injury shared by different people is probably more the rule than the exception. I believe the answer lies in how the nerve was injured and degree of injury. I also believe it is a function of our recuperative powers... immune system and even blood suger level etc that affect the nerve's ability to heal..
So no, our injuries aren't the same either in type or level of severity and our immune systems aren't the same in terms of the bodies ability to heal itself. I copied an pasted Annette's injury a while back due to faulty implant surgery and her 'Stages of Recovery' as she blogged her recovery.
She had pretty much complete numbness and came out of that with 10 days of pain that would make her cry and then eventually she completely recovered and I believe this was over a period of 3 months. I don't see that happening for me for example. In some implant injuries for example the nerve is purely compressed and damage isn't that great to the nerve...it is just pinched and when removing the compression the nerve recovers more spontaneously. By contrast, yes, I too had complete numbness at first as we pretty much all due resulting from trama to the nerve and initial inflammation, but I still have serious bouts of burning pain now one week shy of 3 months after my surgery. So my injury is obviously more severe than Annette's
I will further share my symptoms. If I don't move my mouth and keep my lips closed, most of the time my pain abates somewhat and sometimes I can even forget about it for a while. But when speaking or eating when my mouth and lips move through a full range of motion, this can and often incites pain and so of course I am not eating as much nor speaking as much if I can help it because I don't like the pain. I was hoping that at 1 week shy of 3 months, pain would have been a memory, but it isn't and I don't know how long it is going to be with me which is a bit scary really. My right side of chin also feels very stiff which becomes more apparent if I move it and the stiffness seems to be moving around which I believe is referred commonly on this forum as 'weirdness'
So please let me know how my symptoms agree with your symptoms Bless2bme52 so we can compare notes...or perhaps your symptoms the first few months after your injury if you can recall please and then what the changes were thereafter. You mentioned you may not have had much pain. Is this so...throughout? Have you had any successive weeks of nerve pain during your recovery? Btw, have you had any mechanical tests on your chin...like cotton swap or 2 pt. discrimination pin prick? I am curious what your sensation level is on your chin?
I am scheduled for my next consultation on Aug 19 or one week from tomorrow. Meanwhile, if somebody reads this that has found a good medicine for this nerve pain, I would sure like to hear it. I have been researching pain medicine for this issue and will review options with the doctors at Univ of Florida on the 19th. After testing suggested meds, I will share my findings here as well to hopefully help others.
Lets compare notes blessed2bme52 as time permits and my thoughts are with you and all.
It is hard for me to remember everything as far as timing with this injury. I know I tended to not write on this forum when I was feeling worse because I didn't want to bring everyone down - silly, I know because that is when we should be there to support each other.
This is what I recall - total numbness initially in my lower lip, teeth, gum and moderate numbness in my chin. This lead into a horrible pain in my lip and mouth that I describe as being hit hard with a baseball bat - unrelenting and tough to describe, but I went through tons of chapstick because it felt like my lip was burning, cracked and bleeding. At this point I also had a feeling that my teeth were too big and someone was squeezing them together with vise grips - everything in my mouth just felt so wrong. After around 3 months or so things started to lessen - and I had good and worse days. Sometimes it would flare up and I would be hysterical and sometimes it would improve dramatically.
I can't remember the time line, but I do remember clearly having a sensation that my lip was hooked with a fishing lure and someone was yanking on it, and then that icy water was dripping down my chin. Overall, it has been a bizarre injury to recover from and though I am not there yet, I thank God everyday for the healing that has occurred. I try and be strong, but I know that if I had to stay the way I was those first few months, it would have been unbearable. Now, it is okay to think that I have to live like this - but I still trust more healing is to come.
Talking a lot or eating do make the stange feeling more noticeable - although at this point it is not painful - just tight, and strange. I find myself stretching my mouth a lot and making wierd faces - like if I can just work this last bit of oddness out it will be back to normal.
As for the chin question - my chin has always been the least effected part. Now, except for a thin line right under my lip, it feels mostly normal. I say mostly, because it I run my finger over it, I still have a sensation in my lip that isn't normal. For the most part, it doesn't bother me at all though. I had the sharp/dull test and the cotton swab swipe test done and it was all considered normal and I do feel it is normal - just a little fuzzy around my lip.
So there you have it - what I can remember. Lol :) Our journey continues...
For those in the worst of it - I promise it gets better. xoxo
Nicely stated and as anguishing as your recollection was because of the physical pain you endured, important for others to know that pain does lessen...as reported by you and Starbrite and others. I believe the height of pain is less for me now approaching 3 months. As you say the early stage was unbearable and if stuck in that state, I would need a rubber room.
That is why I asked the question about drugs...be it a combination of anti depressants to mentally get through the early stages of this and/or meds to dull the signal of nerve pain. Btw, I have read that antidepressant meds may actually help to block nerve pain because of release of dopamine. Most that report here seem to gut is out which I find quite amazing. I am ready to go to the meds as I may not be quite as strong mentally. :-) or could use a bit of help for the next few months. I will say reading your report, our paths are pretty close and unclear if my path mirrors yours or Starbrites more...perhaps a combination. Hope is the driving force of coping of course and I derive hope knowing that breakthroughs can likely come through a 2 year time period, perhaps even longer. So each of us that suffer a more difficult recovery have hope to still recover a fair amount. You said it very well about the early days versus where you are now. The early days were beyond horrific and I too thank God for what recovery I have achieved and am hoping to feel more normal over time.
Thanks again Blessed2bme52.
Today marks the 5 weeks since surgery mark for me and I'm going to say that not a lot of healing has occurred in the past few weeks. It feels the same as it did in the 3rd week numbness wise. The thing I am starting to worry about is that I have not had any of this pain people describe such as the itching/burning etc.. Also I am wondering as what this tingling is because I never really got that either.
What does occur for me is a few times a day I will get this quick pulsating tingle that lasts about 2-3 seconds. This will happen every day about 3 times usually at night.
I am just wondering I would rather have the pain and burning if it means healing. If I were to bite my bad side of the lip it is still very partially numb actually so full healing has not even come to the lip yet.
Right now to describe what it feels like is that my lip is weighted/pulling constantly. I can also relate to the feeling as if its a giant scab...really weird. Thats really all I feel, no pain.
I am just at a few days over a month so I hope the healing come in the next 2 months. Thanks to everyone who posts.
Glad you updated us. At 5 weeks, you still have a lot of time.
I do have some suggestions however and what I would do in your shoes.
In 3 more weeks...which puts you at 2 months, and you still feel the same or with little change and principally numb:
Make an appointment to visit your oral surgeon and have a CBCT scan performed to determine the relationship of the IAN to tooth fragment left behind. If your oral surgeon does not have a cone scan machine to take the high resolution x-ray, then you need to seek an oral surgeon near you that does. You will need to call around. If still numb at 2 months, it is possible that when the majority of the tooth was extracted or sectioned from the remaining root of the tooth, that the remaing root is pressing on the nerve. Compression will prevent nerve recovery and keep you numb...which btw is common throughout the body...like an arm falling asleep because of sleeping on it a given way.
After review of the CBCT scan to determine the position of remaining root relative to the IAN, a judgment has be made if the root is preventing further improvement.
'Independent' of what your oral surgeon says relative to step 2...it doesn't matter what his opinion is at this point, if at just before 3 months, you are still somewhat numb and unchanged, now you need a nerve specialist. 3 months is the window Des. If there is pressure on the nerve after 3 months and it isn't addressed with further surgery, this will have longer term consequences to the nerve recovering.
What I suggest because you have time is, start to do your homework in advance. Call your oral surgeon in the next couple of day and tell him you want to make an appointment for a CBCT scan just prior to 2 months. If he doesn't have that machine make an appointment with an oral surgeon who does and get it done if little change at 2 months.
Further, in the next couple of weeks if you feel little change, start researching nerve surgeons who specialize in repair of the inferior alveolar nerve. I believe this surgery is performed through the side of the face as the IAN runs through the jaw. Univ of Florida in Gainsville where I had my tooth extracted has such a surgeon in fact I believe but I haven't used him because my nerve seems to be coming back or changing a fair amount...but it is a very slow recovery as noted by my posts and I have a long way to go.
All said above, you may experience major changes in the next 2-3 weeks as recovery from this isn't linear in the least as all attest. But you need a roadmap Des...a plan in the event thing don't change in the next 2-3 weeks, because you want the best opportunity for recover and with the right steps at the right time, you will Des.
Your IAN maybe close to pristine in fact...but the root maybe resting on it keeping it from doing its job and this needs to be determined and corrected if necessary.
I can say that the only real noticeable difference in my 5 weeks is that my teeth in the affected area as well as the gums seem normal now and thats about it with the exception of a bit of feeling coming back in the lip. This leads me to believe the nerve was either bruised badly or is in fact in compression.
The place I had it done isn't even my regular dentist and is just a clinic. They give off a feeling of 'oh sorry you signed the papers' and nothing can really be done. They can't really even give me much information on it although they did assure me this happens more often then normal.
I am also in Ontario so doing this stuff may be a bit harder but I will in fact definitely have the CBCT scan done even if it means going out of my way.
Can you further explain the clinic's comment 'this happens more often then normal'? I don't understand that comment....perhaps how it was stated. Did they mean that wisdom tooth extraction causing numbness was not uncommon and your mouth over time will come back to normal based upon their experience?
My advice, is...in a couple of weeks without positive change, you need to move up the food chain and meanwhile locate a highly revered oral surgeon with a CBCT machine.
Whether you find such a person in Canada or drive over the border to the US and pay out of pocket doesn't matter. This is an important next step and you need the best advice you can find. So probably no more visits to the clinic.
Your issue because of how the tooth was extracted is a different. In fact, it may even be better and will explain...but hard to know without a cone scan,
In the spectrum of wisdom teeth removal probably 99% are removed either in one piece as mine was or...the tooth is sectioned and all pieces are removed. A deliberate decision was made to not do it that way with your wisdom tooth. This could be for a couple of reasons:
1. When elevating the tooth, at your young age when the jaw bone isn't as hard as say mine as an older patient, the tooth possibly presented too great a force to remove...or a force they deemed excessive and therefore they decided to cut the tooth. Sometimes this is done deliberately in fact....however key is...this is done with proactively with 'intent' prior to elevating the tooth. Cutting the tooth crown off from its roots when roots are deemed in intimate contact with the IAN is called a coronectomy. But my guess is they decided to section the tooth after they had pulled on it a bit and this likely causes some bruising to the IAN.
2. So they tried to get the tooth out in one piece, but elevation force was high and therefore they cut the major part of the tooth off but left the roots.
But think about it. Pulling first on the tooth and then sectioning the tooth may have moved the root of the tooth closer to the IAN. That is the point of possible lingering compression on the IAN...if the root of the tooth was displaced while trying to extract the tooth. It matters because they left it which was likely a precaution against further injury to the nerve...but if the root is left leaning on the nerve then you can have continued numbness.
So above are two possible scenarios the dentist encountered. Your decision moving forward is to determine whether there is lingering compression of the tooth root on the IAN because the root moved during attempt to extract the tooth. A CBCT cone scan should reveal this relationship.
The good news in all of this is....the tooth root fragment if posing an interference can be addressed with further oral surgery. That piece can be moved away from the IAN. Even if the nerve was bruised or stretched as in my case and others...however the nerve is intact which it should be, the nerve will regenerate...facilitated by your young age and good health.
A last note. If the swelling in your mouth lingered due to the assault of the extraction...and it can...then this will postpone the nerve responding a bit.
But the 3 month window is still considered an important milestone because you want to address any potential compression on the nerve so it will heal properly.
Yes that is what I really meant when I said that. They basically said its not uncommon to have numbness after wisdom tooth extraction, then proceeded to tell me some statistics that get it then some more statistics to which some people never fully recover from the numbness.
The funny thing is in all my life I have never heard of someone coming out of this surgery with numbness and everyone I knew went to the same spot as me. Also the timing couldn't be worse as I am starting my last few credits in my finishing up my degree in a few weeks, but as of now I would not like to live like this so I'm going to have to seek help elsewhere.
Just wondering if anyone has experienced this in the healing process. Two things: First, it seems like I've noticed the variances in the numbness on my chin. Towards the middle of my chin (the furthest area away from the wisdom tooth removal site) seems to be more numb that the edge of my chin closer to the wisdom tooth removal site. I'm not sure if this is a new thing, or if it has always been this way and I am just noticing it. I am hoping it is a new thing. Second, I'm pretty sure that my chin tingling woke me up during he middle of the night last night. I've never had that happen before. I seem to be experiencing more tingling which I am hoping is a sign of healing. I would sure like this to all be over one day! I ran out of the b vitamins I was taking, so wondering if maybe that is why it sometimes feels worse or if it is more active because it is healing more. Ahhhhhhh!
I just don't know and I don't want to miss doing something important to help the healing process along, but I just don't know what to do. I tried to get an appointment with a different oral surgeon, since mine was being no help at all (he refused to do a cat scan), and they WOULDN'T see me! They said I had to go back to the original oral surgeon. Then I tried through my regular doctor to get an appointment with a neurologist and I was told that numbness after wisdom tooth removal is normal and should resolve and refused to see me as well. :(
Can you give a brief review of your time line...which tooth extracted and what your healing process has been?...amount of pain relative to time...do you still have numbness...episodes of pain etc?
The chin healing thing I believe depends mostly on how the nerve was injured and since we all have a slightly different injury to the IAN, areas of healing will be different. For example blessed2beme52 wrote that her chin wasn't greatly affected. By contrast, my chin was and went from total numbness to sensation with intermittent pain and currently a fair amount of tightness.
When my chin settles down a bit, it occasionally feels a bit tingly which is closer to normal. Mine seems to flare when I talk and eat.
So I believe the only thing consistent about this whole ordeal is its inconsistency...the nerve regenerates in a non linear manner as described by everybody including me.
I look forward to hearing about your progression and continued good luck on your recovery.
Hi! I can relate to your first question. Although my chin was not as affected as Timeheals mentioned - my lip certainly feels the way your chin does. Towards the corner of my mouth - closest to the extraction - it is less damaged than at about a 45* angle from middle. The area right around the canine tooth is most damaged - that includes the gum ,tooth, and lip area. I almost feel that healing is moving towards center from both the corner and center of my mouth.
As for the tingling waking you, I would take it as a good sign. It always seems to be a prelude to further healing. Wishing you well - Peace!
Hey! You have mentioned a few times about a pain medicine or anti-depressant and no one has really commented. I just wanted you to know that I think you should try it if you think you need it. I have been lucky through out this process - I have not experienced prolonged bouts of depression. However, in my 20's I did have depression and I know just how overwhelming it can be. Of course, Robin Williams has put a spotlight on the seriousness of depression. Never be ashamed to try medication - science is a blessing!
Thanks...yes I will. I am surprised you outgrew your depression. Thought it may be a life long challenge. Anxiety runs in my family and when confronted with a life altering event, this presents a further challenge.
Anxiety and depression are related as you probably know. As to shame or stigma and Robin Williams who was such a genius and talent, I believe society is moving beyond the stigma but only to a point. I would say perhaps 60% of the people I know take some kind of mood altering medication...be it episodically or daily. Maybe the 20% of the remaining 40% should. :-)
Before my visit to the surgeon next Tuesday, I will research medicine to block or diminish peripheral nerve pain. Again, I believe the intense pain I felt at times has diminished a bit but still having some rough days.. But because pain does flare when I talk and eat, I want to see if there is a med out there that may 'quiet' the nerve and not have it overreact to motion which would improve things overall making it less noticeable. If I am reading the posts here properly, prevailing experience is many if not most have episodes of pain in the first few months but over time pain goes down as more healing occurs. This seems to generally be at the 3-4 month mark for many. So I maybe over the hump...or starting to crest the hill. Not sure. But will discuss med options with the surgeons and see what they say and will share it here with others who want the same relief.
As an update I have booked my CBCT scan and the office said they would be able to pretty much tell what is going on with me. The appointment is next week and it takes another 10 days to follow up with results so I will get the results right around my 2 month mark.
I am hoping the results won't be to bad maybe its in compression and they can relieve it with an easy fix I don't know or maybe it was just bruised and will take time...I also must prepare for the worst I guess.
Where did you book the CBCT scan? I presume or hope not at the clinic.
This is what I suggest:
A CBCT or cone scan is digital. It is instantaneous. There is no processing time. Call another oral surgeon and ask them if you can have the scan and sit down and review it with the oral surgeon 'immediately' after taking it. That is what I did for my assessment prior to my tooth extraction.
Second point. Because the CBCT is digital, you want them to make a copy and place it on a DVD for your personal record. That is what I did and they should have no problem providing this. This is done so you can communicate with a nerve surgeon specialist moving forward if this is even necessary.
Stay positive. Again, your IAN maybe in better overall shape than ours but the root was displaced and is leaning on it. Or, it is simply responding based upon lingering inflammation which will also pressure the nerve and will take a bit more time. 5 weeks is still a bit early and you have time to resolve your issue.
Let us know what you decide as we are all in this together.
It was not booked at the same clinic as I decided to get opinions else where. I have not gotten much info on it as I just booked it but thanks for the advice. I wish I had known to take these kind of precautions before the surgery however there is no going back.
I will for sure have a copy made for my own reference and if I may need it in the future (hopefully not!)
If you took a poll, pretty much all of us want a do over on this. I do.
I wouldn't have had the tooth removed and looked for an alternative practice. And I did my homework. No guarantees with this stuff and so don't beat yourself up. None of us really understood the true consequences so we have to make the best decisions moving forward.
I suggest you find an office that will take the CBCT scan in the next 2 weeks and then immediately sit with you for an assessment.
I believe next steps will be decided based upon what they see by reviewing different cross sections (its like a MRI) of your tooth and IAN in conjunction with how much sensation you have at close to 2 months.
Good to have a solid plan Des and you are developing one.
it has been a while since i last posted. i am a little over a year now. a little background on my surgery is as follows:
i had three wisdom teeth removed on july 25, 2013. the OS told me that i would have some numbness on the right side as the tooth was very close to the nerve. i was in severe pain for a few months. i found this website and started taking B complex, vitamin c, and motrin (for the pain). some days were good and some days were bad.
right now, i am at maybe 80% as i do have feeling on the right side of my face and my bottom lip. when i run my finger across my chin, it feels almost normal. however, it does hurt and tingle a lot. i know this sounds weird, but although i didn't have much feeling, i could still feel pain. right now, my lip is hurting. it tends to hurt much worse when i get a whole lot of feeling back. it hurt the entire month of june and in july i could feel my bottom lip completely. right now, i am just waiting for that 20% to return to my chin and i will be back normal. i have read where it can take up to 2 or 3 years to feel normal again.
just recently, one of my Facebook friends posted that she had her surgery 10 years ago and she was just starting to be able to feel again. i pray to God all of us do not have to wait that long.
hope everyone is feeling better and recovering speedily.
Good to hear from you omgthispain and thanks for sharing your experience. I am just prior to 3 months post surgery and going through some pretty agonizing periods of pain. By virtue of the selection of your user name, I presume you had quite a bit of pain during your recovery. My pain is mostly on and not off except when I sleep and talking and eating seem to incite it. The common theme to many posts here is as you say, episodes of pain seem to bring more healing and sensation. I believe that is true of me as well but I haven't been able to enjoy my new found feeling because another barrage of pain seems to follow. Not sure when this cycle is going to give me a break. I have started to read about pain meds and admit to being surprised reading this forum that many are just using over the counter stuff which aren't generally regarded as effective for treating peripheral nerve pain.
Doing research on the web I found the following:
Anticonvulsants. Doctors usually prescribe carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol, others) for trigeminal neuralgia, and it's been shown to be effective in treating the condition. Other anticonvulsant drugs that may be used to treat trigeminal neuralgia include oxcarbazepine (Trileptal). Other drugs, including clonazepam (Klonopin) and gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise, others), also may be used.
I am not endorsing any of the above. Just wondering if there is a pain med out there that will make this injury less painful during what maybe a long recovery period?
If anybody has tried different meds...even over the counter stuff and found something that is most effective, please post.
My timeline: I had the lower right wisdom tooth extracted one year ago tomorrow. I had sharp severe nerve pain at the extraction site that night and couldn't open my mouth fully for 3 weeks. The day after surgery, I felt like the extreme numbness wasn't normal for wisdom tooth extraction. I called the oral surgeon and he told me to come back and see him in two months if it wasn't better. Unhappy with this, I started doing research and found that I should be on a steroid. So I called my dentist and asked him to prescribe one. A day after I started the steroid, I started to have a teensy tiny bit of tingling in small part of my lip. I could not feel an ice cube on my chin at all, or an extremely hot spoon. So, no temperature. After two months, I jumped up and down for joy as I put an ice cube up to my chin and realized that I could distantly feel it. the feeling heat followed soon after. I was also using a pin prick test every day to see if the line of numbness was moving. It never moved, but about 3 months, I could feel the pin prick all over my chin, but things were not normal. As far as pain, my teeth in the front felt very tight and squeezed together for the first few month. It actually felt like someone was jamming needles between my teeth! At 3 months, I also asked for a Metanx (b vitamin) prescription from my oral surgeon. He gave that to me, and after I started it, the burning on my lip seemed to lessen. I found a different b vitamin online that cost less so I've been on that. I also have used some essential oils that claim to repair nerves, but if they are doing anything I don't know for sure. I haven't had much pain since 4 months, which is why my oral surgeon did not recommend surgery. But I still have the lingering stiffness and tingling that occupies my consciousness just about every single moment of every day. Since 4 months, I can't really tell if there has been much improvement. I think that there has been some maybe, but hard to quantify. I am just trying to learn to live life still and hoping my brain tunes this out soon, or that it will heal in another year or two. I have also struggled with depression because of this. I am on 10 mg or fluoxetine (prozac) and have been for about 4 months. It is seeming to help. The oral surgeon prescribed Gabapentin to me at the beginning, but I refused to take it. I don't like medication and he even admitted to me that it would do nothing to promote healing anyway, just mask the pain. The most encouraging things to me are when I hear stories of nerve healing taking place at 2-3 years, and even one that I read that took 10 years. My mother-in-law had nerve pain in her face and was on tegratol for about 10 years, but she just recently got off it, and feels fine. So never give up hope, I guess. One positive side effect I really think is that I have been so much more motivated to do things and stay busy to keep my mind off this. I've written a children's book this year, repainted and redecorated my kitchen and living room, started some public speaking, and just today enrolled in a prerequisite course to go back to school to get a nursing degree! I'm not sure I would have done very much of that if I wasn't just so dang motivated to get my mind off my stinkin' chin! But still I wouldn't wish this struggle on anyone, even my worst enemy. It is horrible, but I know there are so many other worse things that people are dealing with. So I try to live thankfully and fully and not take anything for granted anymore. My relationship with my husband, my children, and with God has deepened and grown this year, and I know a lot of things played into that, including this struggle.
I wish all of you the best. I'm sorry if you're on this forum and going through this!
Thank you for sharing your story. Your wonderful writing skills show through and a very helpful reflection on what you have considered along your path to healing. This helps me and no doubt will help others.
Congratulations on all your accomplishments this past year. I too appreciate the need for distraction but you are much more prolific than I am. :-) I am spending as much time as I can helping others if I can and exercise also helps me clear my mind. Activity is key for sure.
A couple of questions if I may. I too don't like to take any med's either...and haven't had to in the past but this is a challenge for me and why I am considering it. So if you could please address the following questions, I would sure appreciate it.
- I did a quick read of Gabapentin which is an anticonvulsant which is said to be an effective medicine to relieve our kind of neuropathic pain. I also noticed this drug is used to treat anxiety however may also have a further side effect of depression as well and wondered if that is why you decided to endure the pain versus take it? I am glad your pain abated about at the 4 month mark. I am not there yet and therefore am considering some pain relief.
- Can an oral surgeon prescribe Prozac or did you have to seek this prescription from another doctor?
- You said you found a cost effective B-complex vitamin on line. Can you share your source? This forum does not allow posting links I found out, so if you could generically write the name of the website and name of the vitamin B complex you take, I believe would help many here. Currently I am getting my B-complex from a multiple vitamin and a dedicated B Vitamin like you take maybe be better.
Thanks again for sharing your story with us April. I really appreciate it and continue to heal.
PS: as to long term healing, if you go back a few posts, Starbrite had a break through of healing recently after 1.5 years and she stated she is 100%. So yes, there are accounts of long term healing even among our small community here..
Yes, I have struggled with both anxiety and depression before, which is why I did not want to take the Gabapentin. Th information said that it could make these things worse, and up to that point any anti-depressant I had tried made me feel drugged up. At the time, I was just using exercise, diet, and lots of prayer for my depression. About April, though I had overcome quite a bit of the depression, it still seemed like too difficult of a struggle to ward off sadness, so I went to my regular family doctor. He prescribed the Prozac for me. I started at 20 mg, but this was too much and made my anxiety level increase, so we switched it to 10 mg, which is actually a child's dose. It is inexpensive, and has been in wide usage for a very long time with good success which is why I was willing to try it.
The b vitamin is Neuropathy Treatment formula from Neuropathy treatment group. I have been out for a few months, but just reordered, so I will let you know if it seems to help again for me. They have some fascinating research and testimonies on their website. Of course, I am always a bit skeptical and uncertain. But my primary doctor did encourage me to continue the b vitamins.
On an encouraging note, I woke up this morning and things have felt a little bit better to me today in my chin! Hopefully this continues.
we offer a comprehensive range of dental treatments and have dedicated practitioners that are fully qualified to be able to help you maintain healthy gums, fresh breath and outstanding oral health. 1. Thorough dental examinations 2. Personalised clinical care 3. Education and advice 4. Fresh breath clinic
Thank you April. We are similar in predisposition to anxiety which as we both know is an awful way to feel. I am like you in that I have managed mine in the past with exercise...just returned from my 32 mile bike ride in fact...I ride about 130 miles a week...and also good life habits like healthy diet, friends and family, adequate rest etc. But this has taken me to the line for reasons we all know about so I have been reaching for an old bottle of Ativan long since expired. If interested, google it. There are a couple of views of how to manage anxiety and depression. One is to take something everyday like Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac etc...or to take something 'as needed' when feeling some panic or sadness like Ativan or Xanax. I have always opted for the latter. I didn't want to change my chemistry on a daily basis (may reconsider moving forward) but when having an inexplicable drop in Serotonine which btw may even affect pain tolerance and be related to my episodes of pain...Ativan sure helps chill me out a bit. I wasn't certain if my surgeon can update my prescription for this type of med or not as I have moved out of state away from my previous family doctor.
A consideration April is Ativan on top of Prozac for those times when you need a bit more help. But ONLY consider this after talking to your MD to ensure this is perfectly safe which it may be because of your very low dose of Prozac. Something to consider if your low Prozac dosage may fall a bit short sometimes.. Ativan is really good stuff to remove dark thoughts and restore normal perspective. Also this is good discussion to help others that may not want to bring it up but also need a bit of help and unsure of their options.
Also thanks about your B complex vitamin source. I will check it out.
This forum is such a blessing. Each one of us know what others have gone through. None of us knew about this before it happened. This injury is so humbling. We all just want our lives back.
Continued healing April and thanks so much for sharing your journey back to good health.
just hang in there. sometimes I would use warm compresses if the pain was too unbearable. give the warm compresses a try and see if that helps you just a little. just as you said talking to much and even chewing gum for me because of the constant motion when chewing were horrific. the good thing is that you never stopped feeling pain, as I never stopped feeling pain. as a matter of fact, I have been in pain all day. so, i know more feeling will return once this episode is over. i really don't think the drs know what to do because when i went to my OS about a month after my surgery, they didn't even know what to tell me about how to deal with the pain. i was thinking that it would be 3 or 4 months before my feeling returned, but then i started reading where it was taking people longer and i became depressed. it will be 13 months for me on august 25. the time went by quickly and i'm actually amazed at how long it is taking for this nerve to heal. i read somewhere that nerves heal very slowly. i still have a bit of facial pain on the right side when my lip starts hurting. last week, i bit it almost until i was bleeding. it was very painful. so, when you have those episodes, just be careful not to bite yourself. also, when you are feeling the unbearable pain, it will feel almost as if you haven't had any recovery. then, all of a sudden you feel almost normal again and then back to the pain. i have gone as long as 1 month without extreme pain and then one day, i wake up and the pain is crucial...
Thank you for your words of encouragement. Greatly appreciated. Even though the symptoms of all the recent posters vary...but only slightly in nature as we share very similar symptoms...there seems to be one universal truth. Breakthroughs in sensation come after bouts of pain. So I could say I am sorry for your pain, but like you said, you will come out the other side with more healing. But as your user name states, OMG this pain!
For me, a bit of a break today and not too bad. A few stabs here and there. Haven't been talking too much today. Would say a pretty good day...or I am doing better at coping with it. I tell you what I miss. I miss being able to talk without pain. My chin is currently very stiff near my canine tooth and when I talk my chin moves and it hurts. Not too bad if I don't move my mouth as I sit here and type this. My lower lip has developed a lot more sensation in the last couple of weeks and hoping it continues to move down. But my chin tends to flare from time to time especially when I speak. I hope the pain subsides eventually. Being a basic male, I talk anyway and bulldoze through the pain when I want to talk to somebody but it can be a bit overwhelming at times and even breaks my concentration a bit...so I have learned to listen more. :-) As to doing public speaking like April mentioned...for me, no way. Can't do it right now or for any length or not without a lot of discomfort.
Thanks again for sharing your experience and continue to heal omgthispain. I look forward to hearing about your improvement after you make it through this recent episode. Kind Regards.
Hi Everyone! It is great to see so much discussion on this board - not because I am happy we need it - but because it gives so much comfort and support when we do. I especially love when people report back after a long period of time - it helps to stay connected and hear about progress. I am hoping to hear from Funinsun - are you out there??
As for me, I had a new sensation this weekend - it almost felt like a butterfly fluttering it's wings on my lip - kind of tickly. It happened out of the blue while I was a passenger in a car. When it was over, I swear I had more feeling! Now I wouldn't say it is a lot more feeling, but it is better than it was! :) This morning it continues to feel better - my teeth are less weird also. Now I would describe things as the last 5 minutes before your novacain wears off. I can feel everything - just a bit stiff and odd - nothing hurts.
For those suffering with anxiety and depression - please do what you need to help relieve those unbearable feelings. As I stated earlier, I had a major depressive episode in my 20's and it was hell - worse than this mouth issue. Luckily there are ways to treat it. I chose therapy and I seriously don't think I would be here if it weren't for a wonderful and caring therapist that got me through it. I have developed methods that work for me, so I have not had any serious setbacks - but if I do, medication is certainly on my list. Don't be ashamed - it is all about brain chemicals, not weakness.
For those of you that have turned your life over to God - His promise is to take those things that are meant to harm you, and use them to your benefit. Aprilchristine - you are a wonderful example of that! I am so happy to hear of your accomplishments!! I have also grown closer to the Lord through out this difficulty and I thank Him everyday for the 100% healing that I know is on the way - keeping the faith.
Hi everyone! I have been reading all the posts and am so glad that many folks have found this site too! It is such a comfort to know that others understand the enormous toll this situation takes on each of us since, for the most part, our issues are not readily visible on the outside. Family and friends offer support, but they don't really comprehend the physical and emotional devastation experienced as a result of a dental procedure.
Early on (about 15 months ago) I had two small-scale panic attacks - I couldn't believe this numbness would be permanent and I had a rough time accepting the strange wierd feeling of my lip and chin! Although I continue to pray for eventual near total healing, I can accept my situation. I have mentioned that several of my close friends have developed very serious and life threatening medical issues, so I try to be grateful for my much less serious numb chin. I also did not have the teeth and gum pain experienced by so many of you. Today, I feel as though the novacaine is about 60% worn off after a dental visit (make sense?), but I don't have tingles anymore. Also, no more "lightening strikes," wet chin feeling, or sensations. I still take very small bites of food to controll any potential drooling or dropping ;-)
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a couple of years ago. I am not over weight, work out at the gym with a trainer and on my own, eat fairly well, take Metformin, etc. But I wonder if this diabetic condition contributes to the slow healing of the nerve? My doctor offered me a medication for "pain" but since I am not in "pain" (mostly the discomfort from the tightness), I am not taking anything. I am also older than most of you.
I have developed a bad, nervous habit - I bite and sort of suck the inside of the numb side just under the lip. Because it feels "thick," I do it subconsciously. Whenever I find myself doing it, I stop, but I am frustrated because I am making the area "thicker!" Is anyone else doing this too? Suggestions?
Thanks to all who share information - It is so valuable and comforting! God bless our little group - continue to give us patience and courage, wisdom and understanding, supportive family and friends, and PEACE!
So, I've had acupuncture twice for the specific reason of getting feeling back in my chin/lip/teeth after getting my wisdom teeth out a little over a year ago (oral surgeon recommended that I find an acupuncturist). And you know, I'm almost hesitant to say, but my lips are tingling in a way they haven't before, and at times, I swear there are tiny sections on the right side of my chin that feel normal. After about 2 months of no change at all, I'm cautiously optimistic.
Acupuncture isn't necessarily fun. It's really boring and a bit painful and a lot expensive, but I can't wait until the next appointment.
The acupuncturist also told me to pull on/massage my earlobes because that can stimulate the nerve (just FYI).
I personally wish I would have done this at 6 months out.
I compare the feeling I have in my chin and lips to coming off of novocaine after having a cavity filled. It's not completely numb, but the sensation is completely altered. And it's definitely tight. At times, I'll get a bad pain like an electrical shock (but not often, and when I get one of these, I'm actually relieved, because it makes me think the nerve is at least trying). It also itches on occasion. I had a lot of pain early on, but thankfully that is gone. Just thinking about how thankful I am that the pain is gone makes me tear up. I think I would have fallen into a deep depression had the pain not left. I remember it hurting on every single heartbeat and worse any time any cold touched it (wind, cold foods, etc)
Anyways, your questions about acupuncture. My acupuncturist charges $70 a session and my insurance doesn't cover it. At first I was sick about that, but a good friend of mine put it in perspective. A copay for an appointment with a specialist would cost at least $50. Granted, I've never seen a specialist on a weekly basis, but it made me feel better nonetheless.
My sessions last about an hour. And it is so boring! I have needles in my hand, so I can't read or play on my phone. I have memorized the crack in the ceiling! It also hurts. I have heard that it isn't really supposed to hurt. But it does. Maybe it's because it's extra sensitive?? I don't know.
I'm honestly not even sure that electroacupuncture is the correct term, but basically the acupuncturist puts the needles in (hands, behind the ears, along the lower quadrant of my face, including one under my chin, bordering my neck (this one is weird because I can feel it when I swallow)). And there is a machine that he connects to some of the needles to via a wire and clips. And he turns the machine on and the machine pulsates and I lie there for an hour.
I'm going again tomorrow and will report back. (-:
This may be the first time I am posting some good news. Its been 6 weeks for me since surgery and I feel like the most healing has occurred in the past week.
I also had a cbct scan done today and it is being sent to a radiologist to further examine the files. There was no specialist on site I guess so this is why it takes longer, but hey beats the wait at the hospital. Even the oral surgeon there said I shouldn't be concerned and that he expected it to get back to normal within 6 months...not bad.
Now to describe my healing...it is not like anything I have read here which is a little dis concerning. The reason I say it has healed a bit is because it feels like the area as a whole is healing gradually and it is not happening in these 'breakthroughs' people describe here.
It is also not as tight as it was before but definitely still some good tightness through the lip. If I were to touch myself very lightly with a toothpick I can feel it anywhere...it is just altered. I also feel it is less noticeable in general now which is great. Throughout all the 6 weeks I never had pain..I remember a few shooting pains a few times and pulsating tingles once a day for a few seconds thats it.
I hope by 3 months there is some really good healing and wish everyone luck.
Thanks for responding and providing a further explanation of your recovery.
I am just over 3 months from my wisdom tooth extraction and for the last 2 months been in pretty agonizing pain you wrote about and why I asked about pain and tightness. I have had plenty of both and it has been scary and awful. Why I asked and trying to get a sense of is...for those around the 1 year mark and still recovering is...how many are still in pain? and I would say reading the forum that a few like yourself still may have some brief episodes of pain but not living with daily pain like the early days....what I have been going through. Will talk a bit about me below as I haven't updated in a while. Thanks for sharing your cost on acupuncture and what's involved. Please let us know how your electro acupuncture session goes and our thoughts are with you Rachael and thanks again..
So good to hear you achieved your 'first breakthrough' which is transitioning out of complete numbness to some sensation. As discussed, it is unknowable when each of us do make this transition...believe mine was around 1 month or so...and this of course is proof positive your IAN is both intact and healing and swelling is going down. The CBCT should reveal if the tooth root was displaced by the dentist's attempt to pull the tooth before he sectioned it and left the root in place to not further disturb the IAN. Your recovery will be telling as well in the next 4 weeks or so as you gain more sensation.
Please share your CBCT results when you hear and congrats on your improvement. Keep in mind because of your young age, lack of pain maybe even be a good sign and even possible your IAN was not badly injured by the dentist's decision to not remove the tooth root so your recovery may even be fast and complete. Good news indeed Des and please keep us posted.
On exactly 3 months from my tooth extraction date, a couple of days ago I met with two surgeons at the hospital and now have met with a few different doctors, some in training and fresh out of medical school and their seasoned mentors that teach them. I do pretty good on the mechanical tests as discussed however told them I have been going through at times agonizing pain, seemingly followed by breakthroughs in sensation and this has worn me down a bit mentally and spiked my anxiety level. We discussed pain medication in some detail because I thought if I were to live with long term pain, I would need help with this. What I read on the forum is, I would say for the vast majority...there is pain if not at times excruciating pain in the early days which over time settles down and abates...after the first 'few' months. This is supported by the literature in fact. What is called Dysaesthesia (pain) gives way to Paraesthesia (altered) or Hypoasthesia (reduced) sensation. Many that don't recover fully at the 1 year mark may have some altered or reduced sensation which is tolerable compared to the early days of Dysaesthesia which is where I have been in my timeline.
The doctor suggested a pain med that had even an anti anxiety component to it but there was a catch. I believe most of the drugs that help neuropathic pain work on a similar principle. Part of pain abatement relates to brain Serotonin levels...a bit more Dopamine increases pain tolerance if not reduces the sensation of pain. But he said the drug he had in mind also had a side affect of possible depression during the acclimation period. This was the same consideration of April as she posted about her consideration of pain medication. Because of my sensitivity to anxiety which is related to depression, I told him I would like to give it another month because I have been healing and wanted to see where the pain level went. He did give me a renewal for a few tablets of Ativan after quite an exhortation on my part....I told him 'I really need' this back up if my anxiety would spike which is does and I have a hard time talking myself down. Anxiety for those that struggle with it is related to a chemical imbalance which drops Serotonin levels due to stress. Those with normal levels of Serotonin can talk themselves down from the stress of daily life but those with less Serotonin can't. Normally I am a pretty happy go lucky guy but this issue has been a bit too much to handle at times with only self talk. On that front, I haven't filled the prescription yet but will over time. I have only needed a little help on a couple of occasions over this difficult ordeal.
But to those reading this, if I described you, I want you to know that you don't have to mentally despair if need a little help once in a while. Go to your doctor and ask for a prescription of either Ativan or Xanax or something to help you cope.
At just over 3 months from my wisdom tooth extraction, I am cautious about claiming I am getting better...I suppose because of the mental anguish involved...but believe I am. I have woke up out of bed in the morning including this morning and notice real change on the heels of a painful day before. Recovery is so incremental and slow and muddled with more pain on the heels of some recovery with more small breakthroughs that is hard to sort out improvement from the next episode of pain. But the pain has clearly diminished and I have had 'many' breakthroughs as I wake up the next morning.
Unlike many of you, I have had pain in the tip of my tongue like Starbrite posted. I had so much pain in my lip and chin it would in fact radiate through the base of my tongue and aggravate my tongue. Some of you may have heard the term, tongue tied. It felt like little strings were attached to the bottom of my tongue. That 'was' me. This was both painful and scary and of course inhibited my ability to speak without extreme concentration. It took faith if not pure hopefulness to get though this period. I still may get just a twinge of electricity on the very tip of my tongue on occasion and the very tip of my tongue is a perhaps slightly numb...but both my tongue and mouth are much better. Starbrite's tongue I believe completely healed by 1 year and would say this may apply to me as well.
Coming out of complete numbness, my chin in the early days was on fire. Also best way to describe it as a tech guy is to say if felt like it was being 'rewired'...which I suppose it was and still partly is. When there is a crush or stretch injury to the IAN, the nerve fibers within the axons and/or axons themselves damaged within the nerve die from the injury site away from the brain to the distal regions of skin in this case, chin and lip. The healing process includes cleaning these dead fibers out of the way and then the slow regrowth of new fibers and or axons begins. I believe this is what is felt during the 'rewiring' phase or the term weirdness which is often used to describe this. Pain may in fact be the brain's reaction to this 'change' in sensation as new nerve fibers branch to the skin in thousands of locations that make up sensation. What started as my whole ride side of radiating pain during this 'rewiring' phase...has shrunk and moved down away from my lip and away from the center of my mouth to a smaller area on the right side. The right outboard side of my chin is still tight adjacent to my canine lower tooth and no doubt this will go into further pain spasms as it heals...or I hope it heals like nearby areas.
So if I really think back over the past 2 months which is hard because I believe we naturally repress what we don't want to think about, as I came out of full numbness, my mouth has improved a lot. For the first time in 3 months, yesterday I was able to speak without a lot of pain. Yes I still have tightness which gives way to pain on the far right side from lip to bottom of my chin if I talk too much but my tongue is better and less affected by pain radiating from my chin and lip because this area has shrunk.
My lip feels closer to normal unless flaring a bit from the adjacent chin area. But one weird dynamic is..when I touch my lip I can feel it down to the base of my chin. Cold also telegraphs down. This is related to the part that isn't healed yet I believe The unhealed part communicates to adjacent areas it seems as they are more connected than normal tissue.
So those are some words to try and be objective about my recovery. I am reluctant to even put a percentage on my recovery as I have a long way to go but have come so far in the past 2 months coming out of numbness.
Earlier I thought complete recovery may have been impossible. But now as I type this, I believe I have a shot at it. Will know more in the next 1-2 months.
PS: What I am struck by in our little group is how we are all the same in many ways. I wish you all the very best. Thanks for sharing your experience which has greatly help me and no doubt others.
Funinsun - so good to hear from you! I was hoping you would report more of a recovery, but I do agree that the diabetes could slow that down. Regardless, you are coping and keeping things in perspective. I can relate to your habit - I have a weird habit of making monkey faces!! Lol - yes I do a strange stretching of my lip that makes me look like a monkey. Luckily I don't think I do it around other people - not that they have mentioned anyways! I do it because it feels like if I work that area, the last sense of tightness will go away - kind of like shaking an arm that has fallen asleep - it doesn't go away, but it makes me feel better anyway. We all do what we can to comfort ourselves.
Rachael - thanks for sharing your acupuncture experience. That is something I never thought of, but makes a lot of sense. Please continue with updates as you improve. I am so glad you are spending the money on yourself. Your friend is right and you are worth it. :)
Des - it sounds like you are well on your way to total healing! Thank God you don't have the pain! Can't wait to hear of your complete recovery. :)
Timeheals - you are such an asset to our little group. Thank you for being so articulate and complete in your descriptions. You are and will be such a big help to those who find themselves here.
I am so happy that you are reporting an improvement - you have had possibly stronger and more consistent pain than many of us. So proud of you for getting through this! I know that more healing is in your future. :)
As for me, it is a good day! Peace and healing to all! xoxo
I'm a 21 year old Male from California and I am officially, an unfortunate member of this community. I got my wisdom tooth extracted and suffered nerve damage on August 22nd. I thank everyone who has posted here as it really has helped. I am only starting to get used to it, truly really weird.
All I feel is numbness. It hurts to open my mouth, but my lower right chin, lip, gums, and teeth are all numb. Two things particularly bothering now are the fact that it hurts to open my mouth, but thats probably just from stitches and not related to numbness, and when I get itchy and can't scratch it. I plan to post something at my 2 week mark - as I think that is a reasonable place to start after reading every single post in this community, and then every 2 weeks thereafter.
I understand time is the only way this will heal. Thankfully, I think my young age my give me an advantage in the healing process. I will be heading to school in a week, and I won't lie - I'm a little scared that this will affect my performance, but I'm strong. I will keep my self very busy, and pray for the best. I will post again around September 5th. Thank you
Yes you will recover. You have a great attitude which will help in your recovery. Most of us...I did...couldn't open my mouth but a crack from the time of my tooth extraction but now my jaw is normal.
A couple of suggestions:
- Do not try to open your mouth with any force. This will impede the healing process of the injured jaw muscle that was effected by the extraction. My jaw took about 2 months to full recover.
You need to keep your calories up. Do not bite on the same side as the extraction and do not bite down on solid foods with any normal force. Be gentle with your jaw. Your mouth will open more each week.
I ate a lot of protein meals....soups etc. All the stuff I chewed was soft. You need to keep your calories up for not only your overall health but to heal your injured nerve.
I also suggestion...but am not a doctor:
- Multiple vitamin with strong B complex
- Omega 3 every day
- Ibuprofen which is reported to stimulate axon growth. Google it for perspective and use your judgment. I take 2 x 200mg IB's every meal.
There is another young member here as well your age by the name of Des and he is breaking out of numbness currently.
It may take a full month to break out of your numbness as the swelling goes down and the nerve begins to heal.
Post with any concerns as we are all in this together.
Be well soon.
PS: as time permits, please convey the circumstances of your extraction...which tooth and in particular what the dentist or oral surgeon said when you reported numbness. You need to ask him/her about the status of your inferior alveolar nerve....what he believes the condition of the nerve is...bruised?...stretched?...or light crush by the tooth extraction and expectation for recovery in terms of time.
Hello. I'm posting a comment to let you all know that i have joined the community of unfortunates who has to deal with the IAN injury.
I had my Wisdom tooth (left upper and left lower) removed on Aug 22nd. Its been 3 days today and i still cannot feel my left part of my lower lip, chin and that part of the jaw and teeth.
Im really mad because of the fact that my Oral surgeon forced me to get the lower left wisdom tooth removed even though the wisdom tooth was completely fine. I went the surgeon only to remove the upper wisdom tooth which was actually impacted. But he forced me to remove the lower wisdom tooth
I just wish i could go back in time and say no to him.
Well, in any case, i have started homeopathy treatment for this and i believe this will heal in time. To advise you all the same, please buy the following homeopathy medicine which can be found in a Whole food market or sprouts farmers market. Its called "Staphisagria 6c"
I have just started taking 2 daily doses for 15 days and i report back the results to my homeopathy doctor after 15 days.
I just hope this nerve heals in short time.
Please let me know if there are any other foods or medicine which can help
I am sorry you have joined our group but want to offer our support and understanding. You have a lot of company and which will hopefully help you going forward. Yes, many of us want a redo on this.
I suggest you read all the posts as time permits for a broad perspective if your numbness lingers in particular.. Go just above to see what I suggest for supplements as another young member just joined to today.
Can you tell us what your homeopathic supplement promotes in terms of healing?
PS: If you haven't already, ask your dentist or oral surgeon his perception of amount of nerve injury and what your anticipated recovery time is and please let us know.
Thank you very much for your support.
I went through most of the posts from forum above. And i thank each one of you who offered help.
The homeopathy medicine clearly states "Promotes healing of surgical wounds". But i also know that it also promotes healing of the nerves. It help reduce tooth pain and helps in facial swelling. Since my face is still swollen from the surgery, i really hope that this helps me.
The oral surgeon has assured me that the numbness should reduce along with the swelling (which i do have currently). And i should see some difference in couple of weeks. But after reading posts from all of you, i think this is going to take very long (maybe more than a year).
Time to recover is unknowable really. Some here have recovered in as little as 3 months. Perhaps some even less that we haven't heard much from as they moved on since they recovered quickly. But some and I may in fact be a candidate are not quite recovered at 1 year and Starbrite remarkably reached full recovery at 1.5 years and had breakthroughs at 4 and 8 months and along the way. So even if not fully recovered at 6 months, there is still hope of full recovery. I for example have made incremental progress and my mouth seems to change everyday but have a long way to go at just over 3 months. So this injury takes a measure of faith because nerves heal slowly. I have had many hard days along the way and want you to know we are here for you.
Your increase in sensation in the first 3 months is particularly important so be sure to keep the forum updated if you would like feedback.
My best to you and all.
Thank you. I actually am not real religious unlike others here. I am a science guy...not saying they are incompatible. When you are dealt a certain circumstance and done all you can do and this would include many worse things like cancer or a debilitating car wreck or spinal cord injury...many worse things as April reminded us...what it really comes down to is faith that you will get better. Another word is hopefulness. When it comes to nerve regrowth and restoration of normal sensation, each one of us have learned that faith is what we hold on to in our quest to return to normal.
You are right to feel angry. All of us have. If you read back through my posts you will learn, I did all the research I could and yet still had my IAN damaged in a hospital with a team of surgeons. In fact, seeing more people come here after my surgery in May suggests that there is something very wrong with the dental industry. The calculation of health improvement by removal of wisdom teeth for a small percentage a.k.a. us, is 'wrong'. This is 2014 and shouldn't be happening. High risk candidates like us with IAN close to the wisdom tooth should be automatic candidates for a less invasive procedure. I will tell you that I am certain 50 years from now this won't happen to anybody.
Meanwhile, I want to leave you with hope. You will recover. I believe you may even go through extreme doubt and perhaps even despair like I did because the recovery period is so long. I have been tracking my breakthroughs and had another last night. I suggest you track your changes for reassurance you are moving forward and getting better. It may even take 2 years for me...I think I am on Starbrite's recovery time line reading her accounts....but because of how things have improved, I am a bit more confident today. So during your recovery, come here for support and or questions and also report when you break out of numbness.as this is an important milestone to the recovery process.
We all understand how you feel and we are here for you.
Just a little update, I believe I am a little over 7 weeks from operation. I have only just started to heal up in the past few weeks and it feels pretty good I must say. After 5 weeks of virtually no healing this is great news.
I can feel any part of my mouth to the touch now and can distinguish hot/cold. I would describe my healing as the whole mouth healing at the same time not one part or another. If I had to put a figure on where I am I would say 40-50% and I am projecting some good healing in the next month hopefully to 90% at least.
Having said all this my mouth is still all partially numb and the tightness is still bad and there. I can definitely still notice it easily by moving my mouth. I am hopeful I will heal to 100% within a 3-4 month mark.
I continue to post and read stories. I also hope everyone on here is progressing well also!
It's been 5 days since I had my 4 wisdom teeth removed and my left lip and chin are still numb... yes numb, just like all of you.
I realized last night that most of my pain was stemming, not from the extraction sites but from the front of my face where I am still numb. I feel tingly, burning, prickly sensations and my lip always feels dry no matter how much Carmex I slather on. My teeth feel tight and I have no feeling in the gums surrounding the area. Although there is no physical abnormality, I feel like I have a golf ball hanging from my lip and chin. Every morning the first thing I check for is feeling in my lip and chin. Every morning I'm disappointed in the numbness I still feel.
Before surgery, my oral surgeon assured me that he would do everything he could to avoid damaging any nerves or my jaw, including removing only partial teeth if necessary. After surgery he said he had not see any nerves and that everything looked great and he was able to remove all 4 teeth without any problems.
It is now 5 days later and I find myself discouraged, a little depressed, a lot scared, and joining this forum.
Welcome to the forum SuperNumb31,
Please make a point to read through the forum to learn what maybe in store. Yes it can be a long path to recovery but it is variable depending on factors such as amount of injury to the IAN and your overall health to the regeneration of that nerve.
Consider taking supplements to help as discussed previously.
Also, if you click on a user name, you can find the timeline of posts that show recovery over a period of time for a given poster who is gracious enough to share thei improvements on a periodic basis.
Yes there can be fear and depression as part of the recovery process because it takes so long and hard to discern improvement at times. Therefore, tracking your changes say in a Word file on your desktop may prove to you that you are healing over time. Nerves that are injured take a long time to heal depending on the injury. I for example in just over 3 months have gone through major changes. May take a year in my case..hard to know...maybe quicker or even take more time. Starbrite's recovery seems be closest to mine so far..she had improvement as late at 1.5 years and I use her recovery as a bit of a roadmap to not be disappointed in faster improvement.
Also, if mentally you struggle at some point, I strongly suggest you visit your doctor for some meds to help your mental health. I and others have written about this recently as I struggled with anxiety over my injury...but am doing a bit better so not quite as freaked out as I was...but have my moments.
Pain is a slippery slope because it is both indicative of sensation...that the nerve is communicating...but also typically a precursor to healing and more sensation. So most of us...me in particular have endured quite a bit of pain which generally subsides after the first few months...again different for each of us.
Post with any questions or concerns and we all know what you are going through and are here for you.
Thank you for that. Today I woke up with much less wisdom teeth extraction pain (almost none). The only pain/discomfort I feel now is my numbness.
I had a little talk with my mom and she made me feel a little better. She is not disregarding my numbness and is hoping and praying for a relatively quick recovery (whatever that might mean in this nerve recovery business). She doesn't want me to fall into depression and she shared her own surgery fail stories. She had foot surgery several months ago and has more pain now than every before. She also shared her fears about possibly not being able to walk in the future or having to use crutches or a wheelchair and I must say, it truly humbled me. Yeah, this numbness ***** but I can still walk and talk and eat, etc. So I will try to keep my spirits high.
Before going to bed, I did some mouth and chin exercises hoping to stimulate the nerve (which is probably stupid), but I will continue to try and hope. If nothing else, it helps me to get used to the sensation of my numb chin and how to use it. When I brushed my teeth last night, some Toothpaste dribbled in my chin and of course I felt nothing and only noticed it was there when I looked into the mirror. *sigh* Normally, I'm a very neat/non-messy person (borderline OCD). I guess I'll have to get used to messy mouth slip ups from now on.
I started a second forum (a continuation of this one) so we don't have to scroll through years of posts to see new responses or to post new posts. I hope you guys will transition to that one (just to make it easier).
Its going to take some time to adjust to what happened. Just in the past week, more have joined us here as this appears to be a common issue that just about nobody knows about until it happened to them (me).
There is anger and grieving I believe due to loss of good health and then there is resignation and making the best of it and then there is recovery which brings hope. So there are a few stages we all go through. Family support is big. April reminded us a while back that this isn't nearly as bad as many things that can happen to each us that we try not to think about in our daily lives and she is so right. In fact, if you dig around the larger site, the amount of suffering is truly mind blowing. I can recite several stories but there is no need. There are even derivative's of this nerve issue closer to the brain that are much worse.
Allow me please to contribute my thoughts about creating a new beginning of our injury that you linked. I don't think it is a good idea. Yes it is cleaner and simpler but the whole purpose of this forum is the invaluable experience we share to build our strategies of coping and healing. A new beginning without this perspective doesn't offer this help. So I will stay on this forum SuperNumb because of the lineage compiled by those that have been in this for the long haul. I hope you stay here as well and make a point to read back through the good information available as time permits.
I've had 4 electroacupuncture sessions, and I do believe I am still feeling results. After my session last week, I had normal feeling in different parts of my chin for about a day. It has since gone back to abnormal feeling, but it makes me think there will be progress.
I have a question for you guys. About 3 or 4 months after I had the teeth out, I began to experience my hair falling out at an alarming rate. Did anyone else also experience that? I researched, and it seems that this can happen after trauma (in this case, the extraction, which was a difficult extraction). . It's not falling out anymore, thankfully.
And it took FOREVER for my holes to close. I was still flushing them out at 3 months. I asked my dentist why they don't tell people about the long recovery time, and she said that some peoples' holes close up in a week. I had a dry socket, too, which probably didn't help with the healing.
I have not heard back from them yet I believe there will be a follow up appointment next week. I am still very much interested in the results of the scan for sure. I do still have a lot of tightness it is really bad the tightness actually but the great news is some feeling is back.
If only the tightness would heal that would be a huge step!
Hey, I'm only 6 days into my healing process but I as a 31 year old female, I too have noticed more hair loss from my scalp. I wouldn't call it alarming. I tend to see plenty of hair in the shower but I have noticed a little more "shedding" of scalp hairs on my clothing and such. I believe it just has to do with stress and like you said, the trauma on the body. I'm not worried about it as long as it's not handfuls and I'm not balding.
I'm sorry to hear about your extraction sites taking forever to close up. Again, I'm only 6 days after surgery but I feel the total opposite. It seems that I have extra cheek meat and gum meat growing around my sites. It feels very weird and I hope all this extra meat around my gums and inner cheeks will correct itself. It's almost impossible to see my wisdom tooth holes behind all the cheek meat, but like you said, your dry socket would have prolonged your healing which really s ucks, and again I'm sorry.
I have also noticed like many others have said on here before that my numbness, tingly, burning sensation seems to get worse at night. I don't know why that is. Maybe while we are resting, the nerve is calm and relaxed but after hours of use and wakefulness, the nerve gets somehow agitated. I don't know. But while I was feeling pretty good all day and getting used to the numb feeling, at about 7 or 8pm the sensations in my chin were unbearable.
I tested my chin with a pin (I do NOT recommend you trying this) with my eyes open and then closed. I pricked the right side first where I have full sensation and then pricked my left side. With my eyes opened I couldn't feel a thing on my left side. No surprise there. With my eyes closed I could feel a very slight prick, not on the skin's surface but deeper. It scared me partly because I had no way of knowing how hard I had pricked myself (there was no blood so I was fine). Either way, this encouraged me because I felt like somewhere down deep I could still feel a slight bit of something. (Again, do not try this at home).
I have my follow up appointment with my oral surgeon in 7 days and I'm interested in knowing what he will have to say...
You are just getting started and so I want to mention a few things as honestly your oral surgeon will just tell you...it will take time and offer very little advice because that is what they do. Nerve regeneration both takes a long time and each of us go through a bit different journey. I have now spoken to many MD's including the man that did my surgery who is the head teaching MD at the hospital who also has a PHD. He is a great man and puts peoples faces back together due to injury and disease.
Actually the numbness phase in some ways though awful based upon loss of sensation is better than what's coming in your path to healing. As you transition out of the numbness phase...what Des is going right now...you will enter the 'pain and weirdness' phase. I have coined this if you read above the 'rewiring' phase of the healing process. I explained how the medical literature defines what happens when a nerve is injured and the nerve rewires itself from the injury site at the tooth extraction out toward the chin and lip with the gum in its path.
I will tell you this for me has been a ride from hell and hope yours is a little less brutal. But I will tell you SuperNumb31, I am healing and improving after going through pretty unbelievable pain and 'weirdness' due to the regrowth of my IAN. So just want to tell you what 'may' be in store. Some report less drama but I don't want you to panic as others reassured me that things would get better and they will. I am now at 3 mos. + 1 week and just now starting to get my life back. No doubt I will have more setbacks and episodes of pain ahead as my nerve continues to 'rewire'.
A tip is because pain is a precursor to healing is make this note and stick it to your computer screen. Because many may believe that they could be stuck in the pain phase and it doesn't work that way. Pain gives way to more sensation as the brain makes sense of the new neural pathways forged by the nerve regrowing. So when you are feeling pain today...and you may have days of intense pain like I did when your whole chin is on fire....this will calm and you will come out with more feeling. Then there will be more pain as the nerve continues to grow through your face. This takes a lot of time and each of us are on a different timeline based upon level of injury to the IAN and our bodies' ability to heal. This is why diet and supplements, rest, exercise etc are good and also good for mental health.
I hope you stay on this forum and share your recovery. You may heal up real quick but it may take longer...even up to 2 years or longer.
Don't be concerned at this point about feeling sensation. Not uncommon to take 4-5 weeks to start to break out of numbness. The pin prick which we have all done is a bit harsh. The shower head test is a good one...blasting the good versus numb side to feel sensation. I remember when I started to feel the jets of water on the numb side. This is all part of the healing process as you move toward getting back to normal.
Just a little back ground. I don't have nearly the nerve damage that I've been reading here but it is long term damage. Two years now after wisdom tooth extraction and a nerve hit during a deep cleaning.My question is, I have a lump that came out above the jaw when the wisdom tooth became inflamed. The lump never went completely away, could this lump be causing suppression on a nerve which is causing the numbness, swelling. I've been to multiple specialist and I have gotten no answers...literally no answer. The lump only pops out when pressure is put on the jaw. Otherwise you can't see you feel it. I guess it doesn't show up on x rays, I've had about 4 x rays since this all started. Any opinions appreciated. Seems people on here know more than the professionals I've been using.
Can you explain more about the lump and exactly where is located? Is in on the outside of your face?....over the tooth extraction site inside your mouth? Where exactly is it and how big tall and wide? Also can you describe your lip or chin sensation has been altered?
Who have you been seeing? X-rays show less than a CBCT (cone) scan.
A lump could mean many things. and yes, perhaps there is compression on the nerve inhibiting its function. This could be deduced with a CBCT or even probative surgery.
I think you need to see a Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon.
Below is the man that removed my tooth in a hospital setting. He is in Gainsville, Florida and a brilliant man. Perhaps you could contact him for advice.
I woke up one morning with a large lump around the jaw line. It didn't hurt but the oral surgeon said I had to take the impacted wisdom tooth out before it went into my throat. He said it could get bad, I never asked him what it was, assuming it was a cyst or infection of some sort from the tooth. He surgically removed the tooth. It was a difficult tooth to remove but he got the whole tooth out. He gave me antibiotics said to massage the lump and it did go down to where you can't see it. I can't feel the lump, it pops out, not as large though, if I put any pressure on that side of my mouth. I've had many x rays done by two dentist and the oral surgeon who extracted the tooth. He just looked at me like I was crazy and asked if he wanted me to have him send me for a second opinion. I've also seen an endodontist the other day No one says anything about what the lump may be, they just look at me.. I have numbness in gums upper and lower but the dentist hit a nerve when he deep cleaned the upper so the nerve may have been injured at the upper at that time. It was all within the same month so I didn't give much thought to it because I was still in a lot of pain from the wisdom tooth. Every day it rotates between upper and lower and some days it's upper and lower at the same time. Numbness, burning, swollen, over all annoyance. Can't eat on that side of the mouth or all becomes numb and swollen..Some pain, but i wouldn't call it real pain more like a burning feeling. The only thing left to do is to deal with it or get another opinion but definitely not from someone my oral surgeon recommends. They really stick together in this profession. I don't know what they are worried about, I couldn't sue them, these are the risks we take when we have surgery. I'm just trying to find out what is wrong and if it's ever going to go away or if there is a neurologist or another oral surgeon that may be able to help..I feel lucky when I read the nerve damage some are dealing with, at least mine is all in the gums not the jaw or face, tongue. It's going on two years now and I'm still trying to get answers. The only thing the original dentist said to me, is it will go away, but it hasn't so he tried to get me to spend $3000 on a root canal that was confirmed the other day, I didn't need, but the endo would have given it to me if I didn't question him so thoroughly, it took a while but he admitted the tooth above didn't need a root canal. The feeling I'm getting are from the nerves damage. They're a tough bunch to crack, I'm pretty pissed at the whole profession right now. Hard to fine honest people in the dental related industry, IMHO.
So I'm sorry to answer your question the lump in just above the jaw line where I had the extraction. It's maybe a small golf ball but will go down within a few minutes after it pops out. It's not very visible when it pops out. You can't feel it in the mouth only on the side of Jaw//face. I was thinking the same thing, that this could be causing compression on the nerves. I just can't get an answer from anyone. I was going to go to a neurologist but I'm thinking more on the lines of another opinion from an oral surgeon. I have to see if my insurance covers it or not. I think that's where the problem may have been with my first oral surgeon, my insurance two years ago didn't cover it.
We could have a very long philosophical discussion about the medical community. I have a bit different view that you do and will just say the some dentists and oral surgeons are better than others....dental procedures can have complications that are unforeseen, dentists and OS's make procedural mistakes...and the recovery process, i.e. the bodies' ability to heal itself is largely not understood and variable person to person.
That in fact accounts for much of the variability you read on this forum with different members.
I read the literature about my issue. I went to the smartest guy. My result wasn't what I expected nor what I wanted. I do believe the man that worked on my is a scholar and a great man that has helped thousands throughout his lifetime. He is the smartest guy in the room. Any yet, the outcome of my surgery has been very difficult to cope with and I second guess what he did procedurally. He called me after the surgery and told me he had done 2000 3rd molar extractions and mine was the most difficult he had ever done. I would have been a basket case in the hands of a lessor surgeon I believe. The residents all told me, no way they wanted to do it and was glad he was there.
But on to your path. When you don't get answers, you need to keep looking and find a smarter guy. You may have to go to the Mayo clinic or a university setting like I did.
Other thing I want to share is this. As bad as your injury is which includes my IAN injury....I have communicated on line with a guy who has survived trigeminal neuralgia. This is perhaps by far the absolute worse case scenario of nerve damage in the face near the brain a human being can tolerate. Google it if interested. There are many drugs for neuropathic pain to cope with TN. I may in fact be a candidate over time. I am still recovering from my IAN injury and will know in the next 6 months whether I will go on long term medication like the TN sufferer I corresponded with.
His pain is also stimulated by motion like mine is and the drug he takes quiets the nerves right down. When I woke up this morning my mouth felt close to normal in fact. But as soon as I started talking and drinking coffee etc, the nerve injury got excited and more numbness, light pain and tightness return. A good neuropathic pain med may help this. Will investigate after more healing.
So If you have chronic neuropathic pain without improvement over a long period of time, I suggest you consider a drug or combination of meds to arrest the pain. You would do this through seeking a neurologist. This may help you greatly day in and day out and maybe the path I choose once I figure out what my quality of life is going to be in a few months.
Meanwhile a lump is indeed concerning. I still do not have a good sense of where where your lump is located and when it appears...size etc...aggravated by bite etc...but to me these are questions for the best Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon you can find. You may even have to travel to find such a man. But if you are not getting any answers, I don't believe its liability or CYA...they just don't know and you need to try and find somebody who can figure it out.
Thanks, I appreciate your time and information sharing. I hope I didn't sound to harsh about the medical community, it's just frustrating when they can't give you answers.The lump is at the jaw, it the same lump that appeared when I needed the surgery. If this lump hasn't totally resolved itself in two years, I would think that would be the simplest of things for my oral surgeon to have the answers for, my search will probably end with one more visit to an oral surgeon. And possibly a neurologist, In the mean time I'm just thankful, it could have been worse. Best of luck to you too.
Honestly, pretty much everyone of us is angry. Vast majority went into surgery feeling well and came out the other side with the worst thing that has happened to each of us. So we are a combination of angry and , bewildered how it could happen. Doesn't seem possible in 2014 but look at how many are here. So when it comes to impacted wisdom teeth extraction, something has to change in dental procedures because this isn't right. In 30 years none of this will happen I am quite sure.
Personally I wouldn't waste another visit to the same oral surgeon. My oral surgeon wouldn't perform my tooth removal for example. She said it was too difficult. Oral Surgeons are not all the same. She is quite prominent in fact but I needed to go to the best person I could find. For you, they could do probative surgery to figure out what that lump is...if a CBCT scan doesn't reveal its nature. But a guy who pulls teeth for a living isn't going to do that. You need a face surgeon....an expert on the jaw, TMJ etc like the man I went to. A man who reconstructs faces due to injury or disease....not a guy who pulls teeth...no disrespect to them.
The more MD's you see the better your chance to determine the root cause of your lump. But best to be focused on finding the best guy to go to first and to me that a Maxillofacial expert.
Keep us posted what you learn. If the pain is overbearing and I know about that though for me its subsiding thankfully....see a Neurologist and get a good prescription to quiet the nerve(s).
My best to you in your recovery.
Last week I went back to my regular dentist to get the crown on my implant site. I asked him how many clients he has seen with an issue like ours. In 30 years of practice - I am the only one. I have known this man since high school - he was my husbands best friend and he stood up to our wedding - in other words - I trust him totally. He recommended following up at the university and persuing medication, and not just settling with this outcome. He said that they are no longer recommending impacted wisdom teeth be removed unless there is a problem in people over 30 - sure wish I had heard that a year and a half ago. :(
I did have a strange experience while there. He needed to use a laser on a part of my gum to fit the crown correctly. He wanted to numb me but I refused - he said it usually doesn't hurt, but because my gums are hypersensitive, he was afraid it might. I told him to do it anyway - I could handle it. I did not feel pain at the site, but I did have a strange firework like feeling in the middle of my lip - like tiny sparks, kind of burning but not overly painful. I swear afterwords my mouth felt more normal. Since then it kind of varies and I would guess it to between 85 - 95% of normal. Over the holiday, I had hours where I didn't even notice it. I remain positive that I am on my way to total healing.
Peace and good wishes to all those here - healing prayer being sent to you all! xoxo
Pretty remarkable your dentist whom you trust has not seen this issue in his many years of practice. Yes, in the literature, statistically it is not common or occur at a high frequency due to wisdom tooth extraction but its clear the anatomy of some (us) are at higher risk for #3 molar extraction because of location of tooth roots to the IAN. Also, this issue being age specific doesn't comport with all occurrences here as you know. There are a couple of recent posters that are well under 30 years old as well. Suffice to say, this issue apparently is far from an exact science or there wouldn't our small community.
First want to say what great news about your continued healing. If there is further variability in the medical literature, I believe it relates to when each of us will heal. I have read a few accounts of healing occurring up to the 24 month time period and beyond. Our bodies in fact are in a constant state of healing and hopefully everybody here will continue to get better moving into the future.
A couple of questions please about your recovery. You mentioned you are at about the 85% mark or so. Can you describe what symptoms you have that suggest you are not fully recovered? Do you have any pain or numbness? Is it principally tightness that separates you from being fully recovered and if so, is this tightness stimulated my motion such as eating or talking?
Guys, its exactly been 2 weeks now. Im starting to feel different. Not sure if its because im getting used to the numbness or its because im healing.
The weird part about my healing is that im starting to feel half of my lip which was numb but the chin and gum areas seem to be burning at lot.
Is this normal? When i touch my chin, it feels like its on fire. Is this recovery?
Although, my gums and teeth area still feels tight.
Im not sure if the homeopathy medication is working.
Has anyone else tried any OTC medicine or even a precription?
What you describe is perfectly normal and in fact classical symptoms of the nerve healing. Going through this, I will tell you how remarkable I believe it is so many go through this without meds. I too have been gutting it out with an occasional anti anxiety med because all the weird feelings in my mouth freaks me out. Right now at 3.5 months, I have a lot of sensation back but still some weirdness at the lower section of my chin outline and a fair amount of tightness. If there was a magic drug I knew of to take for this, I would be on it. I hope your ride isn't as bumpy as mine has been Ianinjury...and you recover faster. If you go into depression or feel anxiety over a period of time, I suggest you get a med like I take. I wrote about it above. Keep in mind there is synergy between your mental outlook and susceptibility to pain. When depressed, pain is more intense.
We are here for you and I suggest you talk to your oral surgeon if the pain becomes too great. He may have a suggestion for a med to help.
Keep us posted and stay close to those you love as the days go by as you heal. The pain will get better with time....but it may be a while as in my case. Each of us heal a bit differently.
Heal fast Ianinjury.
Unfortunately for me, i also have dry socket. Taking antiobiotics and pain medication. Every evening, i have fever because of the throbbing pain. Hope you also get well soon. Its atleast good to know that the burning sensation means that its healing. Im still wondering how the lips start to feel before the chin. As i understand, the nerves are coming from down below and the roots spread on the lips at last. So the first thing that should heal and feel is the chin and last thing that actually start feeling should be lips. Not an MD or an expert, so please excuse my lack of knowledge.
And, why arent there MD's here on this forum, who can answers questions.
As to progression of healing...not necessarily. Probably depends how each of our IAN's was injured during tooth extraction. For example, my lip healed before my chin. It is common for the chin area to shrink as it heals. My chin is close to normal to right of center...my right side was the injured side...but still healing toward the extreme right side below my lip to the bottom of my chin. So likely healing is different for each of us.
I personally believe I am on a 1 year path to recovery. Only a guess.
I see you are a 29 y.o. male and you seem mentally strong. This will be a good challenge for you as it has for each of us. Best words I can give is...each month you recover, the next will be better. I have dealing with this one day to the next. I am looking forward to getting a couple more months down the road and closer to normal.
My best to you.
It's been a bit over 2 weeks now. About 2-3 days after it occurred, I started to get a tingling sensation that most have reported here. I had it consistently for about 2 days, and since then have not really had anything in that regards. Everything else remains numb. Sometimes my chin feels a little sore, as if I just got punched there and is recovering, with a very light pain - that has not bothered me too much.
In all, it's been about 2 weeks and I have seen very few signs of recovery. Good thing is, however, that I have mostly gotten used to it and rarely ever even think about it anymore. I really hope I do not get any throbbing pain in the near future. Wishing everyone else luck
The numbness phase generally hangs around for 4-5 weeks for many including me. This is in part due to inflammation at the extraction site. Then you break out of it and for many and perhaps not all, this is when the pain begins as the nerve starts to rewire which is a long process for some. If you start to feel a measure of pain...many for example had periods when their chin felt on fire including me which has passed for me now at 3.5 months...read back through the forum to understand the stages of recovery. While many if not most of our symptoms are similar, our paths can be a bit different because of how the nerve was injured. Consider taking supplements to help your body heal the nerve.
Heal fast and my best to you.
Hi! I had a busy weekend and just saw your post with your question about my 85-95% healing. It is hard to describe and possibly it is a random quantification - the reason I give it such a high level of healing is because it feels soooo close to normal, but it isn't normal. lol - how's that for a scientific answer? :)
What keeps it from feeling normal:
- if I rub my chin, I get a mild tingling in my lip - it used to be a major transfer of sensation - now it is just a tiny bit.
- my lip has full sensation, but compared to the normal side it is different - fuzzy, hypersensitive, tickly...again hard to describe.
- my gum below my 2nd, 3th and 4th from center teeth is still slightly numb, but I feel pain if I press on it - doen't make sense!
- my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th from center teeth still feel a bit tight and if I clench my mouth together it doesn't feel normal - has a slight tingling.
That's the best description I can give - over the weekend I barely noticed it - today because I have more time and am thinking about it, it seems worse. The good thing is I can say that I generally have NO pain! Unless I press on my gums - it does not hurt. :)
I hope everyone is having a good day - please remember that this is not a straight line to healing for most of us - I had very bad days mixed in with weeks of better days, so if you are struggling today - have hope for tomorrow. Peace and blessings to all. xoxo
Thank you blessed2bme52 for your description. Makes perfect sense and I asked because I maybe headed to where you are in terms of sensation in a few months. I get the same transference thing only in reverse. When I rub my lip there is transference below but not the other way around. The connectiveness it seems of sensation is related to incomplete healing as mine seems to lessen with time as my chin and lip continue to heal as no doubt yours has.
A last quick question please. You mention the unpleasant days. My mouth is moving closer to normal but a long way off yet and still have a lot of intermittent tightness that moves around my gum area around the periphery of my chin in particular. You say your pain is gone and I believe you may be just past a year or so from your tooth extraction. Can you approximate when you rounded the corner where you had very few bad days and more better days when this issue didn't occupy your consciousness as much as in the early days? Was this at the 6 month point, earlier or perhaps later in your recovery?
Continue to heal blessed2bme52 and thanks again for sharing your recovery.
When you return to the forum, a last question pertaining to your recovery please blessed2bme52 over and above my question of when you recall the pain subsided to the point it was no longer a factor in your daily life...
I wonder if jaw motion...like eating or having conversation ever causes or caused you discomfort resulting in your nerve to flare? The way it works currently with me is....if I don't move my mouth the nerve isn't as agitated but when I talk in particular as in normal conversation the nerve becomes agitated and tightness and discomfort set in. About 5 minutes later after I stop talking, the nerve settles back down to its previous state which isn't normal but a lot better than when my mouth and chin are in motion due to enunciating words.
Did you have this condition at any point in your recovery and/or do you have it now in degree but less than say a few months back?
I am trying to determine if this will be a longer term issue with me. If so I will need to seek a neuropathic med that has an anticonvulsant quality that decreases nerve impulses...in other words quiets the nerve. This of course is a bigger step than I would like to take because neuropathic drugs have side effects.
If you get a chance to respond if you would...
People, go to acupuncture. Sooner than later. It's working.
Just to recap, I had my wisdom teeth out July 28th, 2013 (so about 13.5 months ago). I've had paraesthesia ever since. There was pain at first (especially with cold, talking, and eating), but that subsided in the first couple of months and left me with altered sensation. I read that a few of you had transference of feeling. I get this, too. Where when I stick my fingernail in a certain spot of my chin, I'll feel it elsewhere (lip, below teeth, other parts of chin). With me, the location varies. It's so weird!
Anyways, at my 1 year follow-up appointment, my oral surgeon suggested that I try acupuncture. So I did. And it's working. I really don't like to talk too much about it, because I feel that I might jinx it, but YOU guys need to know, because it might help you, too. The numbness continues to lessen each week, which is just hard for me to even fathom, after a year of basically no change. I am now hopeful. And I haven't been hopeful for quite a while.
Jaw motion for me definitely caused discomfort, tightness, and agitation. I don't know exactly how far out you are from the removal, but I think you are behind me. That part did get better. I remember trying to read a book to the kids I nanny for and in tears thinking that I was going to have to quit my job because I couldn't read a book without my mouth killing me. Or dreading meal times. Especially eating out. I'd eat because you have to eat, but I'd eat in tears. Just thinking about that brings tears to my eyes now. It was a bad time. It did get better and I'm hoping it will for you, too.
Thank you for your important post to me and others that may go through the same thing. So good to hear that jaw motion that agitates the nerve in the first few months gradually goes away with time. This as you well know is a big deal as not being able to talk with others and shying away from eating or not wanting to eat is a life changer. Like you, I have simply bulldozed through the pain when I have had to. My mouth is healing but it is such a slow journey. I am just over 1 week short of 4 months now from my surgery.
Also, acupuncture gets mentioned a bit in the context of our injury and THANK YOU for telling us that this is helping you. I know exactly what you mean about 'hard to fathom' you (we) are improving, and yet we are. We are so mentally affected by the slowness of the nerve recovery. I WILL do acupuncture because of your endorsement. I believe it works in ways most of us (me) simply cannot understand however this may be the perfect application for acupuncture as it turns out as the nerve continues to regenerate.
Can you tell us how often you are going for your acupuncture treatments and about how many you have had so far? Also, can you tell us how they are applying the needles....is it from the extraction site forward along the jaw....needles into the lip and chin area?
Thanks again for your important post Rachael and heal fast.
I'm going once a week. I'd honestly like to go more, but I just can't fit it in to my schedule.
He puts needles behind my ear (this hurts. Monday it hurt for the rest of the day), in front of the ear, sort of along the jaw line, and quite a few on the actual chin. I have progress where I now have more feeling on the right side (the left feels more numb), and when I mentioned this to him, he decided to put lots (maybe 4) smaller needles directly into the numbest part (right below the lip). Then he hooks me up to the electroacupuncture machine and turns it up (just two...one for either side of the face). This is also a bit painful. If you are still in the pain phase, you might not even notice!
I also get needles in my hands (2 the first few times), and now the leg (so this last time, I got one needle in my hand and 2 in my leg. I think they are like a base or something.
I'm sitting here typing this and my lip is tingling and my chin has been itching like crazy today. Both are great signs!!
One thing he gave me for homework is for me to pull on my ears. Hard, make it red, he said. For at least 15 minutes a day. Yup...I look like an idiot, aerobic walking and pulling on my ears. By doing that, the nerve is being stimulated.
My oral surgeon wanted me to find someone who specialized in facial pain, but I couldn't find anyone nearby with that specialty. If you could, that might be good.
Did you ever get the horrible throbbing on every heartbeat? I don't remember exactly when that was, but it was awful. I basically kept a hot rice bag on my face, it was the only thing that helped.
Thanks so much Rachael. May I ask if you are male or female? I thought you maybe female by your user name but your bio shows male.
Thank you for explaining where the needles are placed. So the needles in your hands and legs are related to your face...interesting.
On the ear pulling thing...which way were you advised to pull on your ears?..down on the earlobes maybe?...or grab the ears higher and pull back maybe?
I have a niece who is a homeopathic doctor out in California. When you wrote about acupuncture and it has been talked about before relative to IAN injuries, I thought about her. I will contact her for further advice. I will schedule an appointment with the acupuncture doctor in town and start going once a week as well. I will be sure to let the forum know what I learn as well. I don't know if they have the electro-acupuncture machine you write about but perhaps they have a slightly different take and I will share their approach as well.
As to pain. I believe at almost 4 months from my tooth extraction, I am rounding the corner. I will say I have suffered a lot and sounds like you have as well and others here too. I know having written that, I will have more days of pain ahead with hopefully more layers of healing. :-) Your and my inability to speak and eat without pain is a major game changer as you know and now I can talk without as much disruption. There was a time Rachael where the pain was just as you wrote about. Btw, I also had some tongue pain on the tip. So I suspect a slight lingual nerve injury as well in my case...but this is resolving and it was only slight. But the pain would radiate into my tongue. Of course I was pretty desperate and I wanted to leave my body. Previously I was one of the healthiest people on the planet for my whole life. I have been blessed with just great health until this happened. But thankfully I am healing at long last which I am so grateful for.
I will tell what has been remarkable. I have never gotten sick throughout this whole ordeal. This has been a blessing and hard to explain with all the stress this has caused. I am doing a ton of cardio on both the bike and in the pool and trying to keep my immune system strong which so far is holding up in spite of the stress of this injury.
I never got the dreaded horrible throbbing. But I wrote above about anxiety and I did so to advise others that may suffer from the awful grip of this as they go through the healing process. I have been close to the edge at times which is as awful as the relentless pain. I want everybody to know, there is help for this if mentally you are struggling with this injury. This will keep you going through the healing process. Once you reach a certain of level of healing, hopefulness and lack of pain will get you closer to your old self. I have only resorted to Ativan a couple of times but it is good to know it is there if needed. Otherwise, I would drink but alcohol is bad for nerve recovery. ;-)
Will do Ianinjury. I have an email into to her right now and am awaiting her comments about acupuncture and she will likely offer other homeopathic suggestions as well. I will ask her about Staphysagria 200.
I just spoke to the acupuncture doctor in town and she reflected similar needle positions to what Rachael suggested...including hands and leg etc.
Will let you know as soon as I learn.
I am a 34 year old female...I haven't done anything with my profile at all, so I have no idea what it says! Haha!
The acupuncturist just told me to massage/pull on my earlobes. He demonstrated by pulling down.
Ugh about the lingual nerve being injured as well. I'm glad that part seems to be resolving for you.
Thanks for the thoughts on the ativan. I don't think doctors (oral surgeons/dentists especially) truly understand how life altering and horrible this is. They've never actually experienced it and unless you have experienced it, you just don't know. But the mental and emotional aspect of this is almost as bad as the physical pain. I wish my oral surgeon would have mentioned, "Hey, this is going to bring you down...there are medications available if you need them, no shame..."
Thanks for your response Rachael. As mentioned, my local acupuncture doctor seems to employ similar technique to your doctor based upon a brief phone discussion. Will ask her about the earlobe thing as well.
Will also inquire about what sounds like enhanced acupuncture based upon additional electricity that your acupuncturist uses which is interesting.
As to my lingual nerve, hopefully most of those days are behind me. Damage to my tongue was minor compared to my IAN but the combination was pretty overwhelming. My recovery sounds in many ways like yours, blessed2beme52 and Starbrite and a couple of others. Starbrite had the same tip of tongue numbness and neuralgia I did and hers healed by the 1 year point. Rachael, I want you to have hope you will continue to heal. Our timelines aren't the same. You aren't close to the 24 month point yet. You may completely heal closer to the 3 year point. Starbrite had break throughs at the 4 mo., 8 mo. and even 1.5 year mark to full recovery.
I will tell you when it was all going wrong, it took every bit of resolve to get through that period and you know what I am talking about and yes why I mentioned Ativan which btw is a life saver if having panic attacks. So please for anybody reading this, if you feel at times panicky during your recovery, go visit your regular doctor and get a prescription. It maybe the most important thing you do to stay on a more even keel. It isn't like Prozac or other anti-depressant meds which you need to take over a sustained period. April mentioned Prozac helped her which she takes at a very low dosage. Ativan works quickly and only taken as needed and also a great security blanket because the pain in the early weeks/months is variable and we need more help at certain times. There is a real synergy between pain and brain serotonin levels and why anxiety can creep in when under the stress of pain.
A last note about oral surgeons and dentists knowing about what we are going through. No they don't as you say. Stepping back and reading the literature, the broader perspective is, even though we have assembled a small community here of sufferers...and no doubt there are more every day that don't find this site, the reality is we are statistical outliers. The vast majority of those that have their wisdom teeth out, have no issues. Further we are a subset of a small subset. For those that do have a modest IAN injury, most will quickly recover because the injury is minor. So for those with this injury that just joined the forum here, you may recover quickly in fact. Its a bit of a lottery really. For those that recover longer term or may have to live with a slight deficit over the long run....we are quite rare indeed. But even though we are rare doesn't change the fact of what we have to go through to get our lives back and yes, quite right, the average oral surgeon has no idea. My doctor who teaches this stuff when I had my tooth out at the university hospital told me I was at some risk and precisely why I had the tooth out there. But I had no idea what the consequence of that risk was and he didn't convey it well in my opinion. Perhaps because he felt it was remote or just didn't know worse case. I thought maybe I would have slight numbness or very slight alteration that would resolve over time and even that was a small likelihood. So my reality turned out to be much different than what I thought going into the surgery.
Continue to heal Rachael, and thank you for sharing your recovery which has helped me and no doubt others. We are all in this together even though are paths to recovery may be slightly different.
Darn computers. Here's a tip. If constructing a long message to someone on a blog or forum, open up MS Word or equivalent in Apple and construct your post. Even if you don't complete your post in one sitting because of time, save it to your desktop. Then as time permits, go back in, finish and save it. Then, select the text by highlighting, right click..copy...then go to the forum here and hit paste. Even if the forum freezes or blanks, you still have your text without having recreate it. On shorter posts of course, no need but frustrating to lose your work on longer posts and sorry that happened as you tried to respond to me..
I look forward to your response bless2bme52 as time permits and thanks for your note. Hope you are well.
I mentioned I have a niece who is a homeopathic doctor out in California and I emailed her about what she suggests for inferior alveolar nerve regrowth.
These is her response:
Nordic Naturals Pro Omega 2 caps per day (PROO3)
Alpha Lipoic Acid 600mg 2 times per day (ALP37)
Active B complex 2 caps in the morning (IT10032)
Multi vitamin (continue yours) or Clinical Nutrients for Men Integrative Therapeutics (CLI43)
hypericum homeopathic 6C 3-5 pellets as needed (HYP28), this will either work or it won't
Acupuncture is a great idea. They're excellent at controlling pain. No specifics to advise, but I think this would really be of help to you.
no refined sugar, no alcohol, no processed foods, no fast food, limit dairy and gluten
focus on lean protein, fruits and vegetables
If somebody would like the website of where above it available, please let me know. It isn’t my intent to advertise or suggest a place to purchase supplements therefore I am not including it. Perhaps above is available in a common health store. I will add as much as we all would like to drink alcohol because of this issue, alcohol in the blood stream is not good for nerve regrowth and so I personally have resisted drinking...at least most of the time. :-)
I asked her about Staphysagria 200. She said, she wouldn't purposely suggest it. It would take a consultation to address your specific symptoms. She also stated that Staphysagria is dosage sensitive as are many herbs and meds and this is specific to the individual if not requiring some trial and error...starting at a lower dosage first. This comports with experiences reflected on the web as well. I did list her suggestions above as a general guideline for recovery which I hope helps you if you choose to follow any or all of it.
I hope you are feeling better. The early months are much worse than the later months as I can attest just shy of 4 months post op as I am rounding the corner to much less pain and getting my life back.
Based upon our conversation, just a couple more questions because our paths to recovery have been so similar...
We talked about transference of sensation...you mentioned when you touch your chin, you could feel this in your lip and I mentioned that for me it works in reverse...when I tough my lip it would move down to my chin. I believe this is based upon lack of healing as transference seems to have reduced as I have healed a bit more. But wanted to ask about temperature and cold in particular transferring as well. When you touch something cold on your lip or chin, do you feel it transfer as well? It seems that cold for me transfers to the areas that haven't healed yet and wondered if you had the same experience?...or did at one time prior to your more normal state? For this reason when eating for me, I have preferred room temperature or heated food.
Second question pertains to tightness as it relates to talking or eating.
We both shared the awful sensation of pain in the early days by talking and eating. Jaw motion aggravated the nerve and therefore speaking and eating were difficult. This has changed for both you and me...but wondered if you are 'completely' unaffected by any change of tightness due to speaking? For me because I believe I lag your recovery because of my timeline, when engaged in conversation, greater tightness can occur which suggests that area of my chin...the more outboard section and up to the lip, hasn't healed enough yet. Again, from the early days, I have improved dramatically but I am still getting more tightness with prolonged talking and wondered if talking affects you at all today? Is your tightness the same day to day?...or does it change a bit with each day?
The transference of feeling actually seems to be a newer thing for me (maybe since 9 months). It's not so much when I just touch an area of my chin...I have to actually dig a fingernail into my chin to be able to feel the pain elsewhere. I discovered this while trying to figure out if I had any more feeling in certain areas of my chin/lip. There is pain when I dig my fingernail into my chin/lip. I have to dig really hard, but there is normal pain deep within (not nerve damage pain). The transference of the pain is really weird and amusing to me.
I'm not sure about the cold/heat transferring. It hasn't been something that has bothered me too much. Although early on, any bit of cold or wind hitting my chin would cause excruciating pain to the whole numb area. Interesting...
As for the prolonged talking, I honestly don't know. Maybe? It's become something that I just deal with. There is never a time when I talk or eat that I don't notice the parasthesia. I know sometimes it bothers me more than other times, but that could just be because I'm dwelling on it more at that time than other times. I wish I could answer more completely.
Do you mind me asking your age?
I bet you end up healing completely soon!! Thanks for the info from your niece.
Thanks Rachael for adding that clarity. Yes, how we 'feel' or sensations we each experience are difficult to describe aren't they? You can probably tell I am trying to figure out my path moving forward based upon the experience of others and our paths will be a bit different depending on how the nerve was injured. But I have a different agenda as well. I would like to seek the truth for everybody and come up the best solution for each of us. You asked my age. I am likely the oldest here. I am a 60 y.o. male. My age in fact is an impediment to removing an impacted wisdom tooth because of increased jaw bone density which is more problematic to the nerve and of course to recovery as well because the immune system of an older person isn't as robust as someone your age for example. What helps me is I am unusually fit for my age. I perform three hours of cardio most days out of the week...two on the bike and one in the pool. So I am young for my age and this issue has been daunting for me because I have never had any health issues.
As to me healing completely soon....I appreciate the kind thought but unknowable really. Based upon how I feel just prior to 4 months post op, I maybe in this for the long haul. I have been improving each week and month but a long way to go.
We share a similar characteristic which we shared early on as well. Pain when we talk and ate. This has abated for you in particular...but you are reminded of an altered sensation whenever you speak. Me too, only I believe just coming out of pain when speaking, my issue maybe more pronounced. I am hopeful this becomes less of an issue over time. For me having a five minute conversation really inflames the nerve and I get a lot more stiffness and discomfort....just not the intense pain of the earlier days. Sounds like your nerve gets a bit incited as well when you speak but nothing like in the early days.
One purpose of discussing this....is what can we do about it? Of course we don't want to live with it. I am the last guy to suggest meds on a long term basis because I have never had to take any on a prolonged basis....but it is 'possible' that there is an anti seizure med out there that will quiet the nerve such that motion will not cause the nerve to become inflamed and therefore alter sensation. I mentioned a while back I had a most interesting conversation with a man who suffered from trigeminal neuralgia. If you don't know what it is...google it. It is so much more insidious than what we have. He had what was tantamount to brain surgery to try to shim a nerve which is close to the brain from a nearby blood vessel. 'Sparks' to his brain...not unlike the sparks we felt in the early days only ours more remote are the symptom of TN. The most horrifying of diseases. He takes a low dose cocktail of two meds that keep the nerve from getting inflamed and is living pain free. So it is my hope through conversation here by combining our experiences and discussions with the medical community, that each of us try to find the best solution for us so we can each live our lives with the highest quality. Even if the best med isn't here today...but it likely is....perhaps in the next 6 months or year it will be. TN sufferers are so desperate Rachael, they resort to extreme countermeasures. Honestly, reading a forum on TN is very difficult. These are people just like us going through a more extraordinary challenge. They even resort to mechanically altering the nerve through surgery so it sends less of a signal to the brain to mitigate pain.
I will say lastly, that in 2014, it is clear to me we are in the 'stone age' of dentistry. Also in terms of nerve regeneration even the literature admits knowledge base is 'embryonic'. Not much is known...or rather, not enough.
The future will unravel some of these mysteries. We for example may benefit from future research as more techniques are learned over time and the next generation with this clearly will and there will be more prevention.
So a conversation about alternative medicine, acupuncture, possible meds and maybe even a machine to stimulate nerve growth is a good discussion to have. And of course keeping the greatest machine...us....in the best health so our healing is enhanced through best diet including supplements and exercise is very important as well.
Continue to heal Rachael and thank you for sharing your recovery.
I see there are a lot of new posts. I haven't posted in maybe a few weeks so I will give an update on my situation. I am a little over 2 months now and I would say I'm 70% healed. I can feel anywhere to the touch and almost have full normal feeling back.
I still feel there is an area starting at the corner of my lip that runs down towards the chin that is partially numb and it causing the tightness not to go away. I can also still feel that I have this problem with the slightest movement of my mouth.
Also this may be good actually but it feels very odd. When I eat cold food or ice cream etc.. I get a cold feeling running down my chin almost as if cold water is falling down my chin. This was worse a few weeks ago but still happens on a lighter scale. Hopefully this means more healing.
I still not had much pain throughout my healing but shooting pains were occuring last week nothing to much.
Also I had a cbct scan but just have not been back to view the results. I suspect it will just show bruising of the nerve. Anyways I am still hopeful that by 3 months I will be totally healed and rid of this tightness!
I'm back for another update on my healing and to check in to see how our group has been doing. Seems like we have a few new members, which saddens me of course that others have had this happen to them, but I'm so happy they have found this online community. It certainly helped me tremendously and especially during the hardest moments of healing in the beginning.
Incase people haven't gone back to read my early posts, I had surgery on February 21, 2013 so it is 19 months later. I'm 32 years old now, but when I had the surgery I was a couple weeks shy of turning 31.
So 19 months later and I am still not 100%, sadly, however, as I posted a couple months ago on here, I'm doing very well and I have regained even more feeling lately. When I rub my finger over my lip it most definitely feels better than even from just a few weeks ago, so YES, healing does continue way past the 1.5 year mark! I cannot stress this enough!!!! I actually felt a spark in my lip yesterday and sure enough, it resulted in some more feeling. I know in my heart that I am getting closer and closer to full recovery, but I still say it's going to take a bit more time. I've mentioned before in one of my old posts that a prominent plastic surgeon told me nerve damage like this generally takes at least 3 years to completely heal, if not longer. It's a very slow process.
When I rub my chin lightly with my finger, I still feel tingles, which I'm told is a good sign...like for example rubbing my chin makes me feel tingles in my lip, so clearly it's still altered. The only other thing that is still lingering is some tightness in my teeth, but that has definitely loosened up to the point where I only notice it when I think and focus on it. When I'm busy working, or out and about running around and talking to people, etc., I never notice the weird sensations anymore.
I also had had a burning tongue, although I never had a numb tongue, but the burning tongue resulted in taste loss. That completely came back at the year mark after going through many ups and downs of some days feeling better and then some days feeling horrible. I am extremely thankful that all healed perfect.
So I am still hoping and praying for a full recovery of the chin, lip and teeth. but right now I still want to say I'm in the early 90s percentage mark of healing. Certain days I feel great and then some days I feel it gets a tad tight again, but I know that when I have a "bad" day, good always seems to follow.
I hope everyone else here is doing well and for those newcomers who have joined us, please don't be scared :) It gets better, I promise!
Good to hear from you. Cold transference isn't talked a lot about here but what you have is exactly what I have still at almost 4 months. Touching cold on my lip runs down my chin...it actually feels like it is on the inside of the mouth running down to the bottom of the chin when eating something cold like yogurt or ice cream. For me it is a narrow corridor from near the edge of my mouth down...not the whole right side of the chin. As you wrote, this is specific to the area that isn't healed yet...same with me.
Just remarkable you have been spared pain during your recovery. I have had many repeated days of electric pain which felt like bees stinging my chin which have thankfully subsided. I am a lot better as well from the early days but being much older it has taken me a lot longer to get this point compared to you and/or perhaps your IAN wasn't as damaged as mine. Please keep us posted on your healing and I in particular I am interested if your cold transference issue resolves along with your healing process.
Heal fast Des.
Thank you for your informative posts as always. You are my roadmap to recovery as our paths have been so similar reading back through your journey you have graciously shared. I personally believe I am on your timeline or trajectory of healing.
I am so encouraged reading your post about length of recovery. This gives so many hope here. Some if not many are over 1 year into their recovery and yet still have some lingering unresolved area that isn't perfectly healed. So learning that healing can continue albeit incrementally, is such great news for those with perhaps a slight deficit or tightness after the 1 year mark. A lady came on here a while back who had another nerve in her face injured and she said it took 3 years to resolve.
You nicely articulate the difficult to explain sensations many of us feel.
Thanks again and continue to heal Starbrite.
PS: The tip of my tongue was also affected similar to yours. Mine has been improving but as with my chin and lip, recovery has been far from linear. I expect my tongue to return to 100% as well in ensuing months.
As I have mentioned a couple of times reading your postings, my recovery is very similar to yours including my tongue. Also includes some days of recovery of the tongue and then a regression. Not unlike my chin and lip...basically a moving average of ups and downs. The tip of my tongue initially was numb and then intermittently would have electricity moving through it. As to taste, at times my tongue would feel burnt...seemed to extend beyond the tip. But other times this burnt tongue sensation would subside and I would still have a bit of tip numbness which I could feel when enunciating words. I would say gratefully, my taste as least has been there for the most part on both sides. I recall reading that you had a couple of assessments that your tongue issue was not lingual nerve related. This maybe my case as well. I don't know. Because of the radiating pain from my chin, gum and lip, I believe there was some transference to my tongue which seemed to aggravate it. My tongue in fact now on a good day is close to normal and then perhaps the next I can feel it to be less than perfect. You mentioned yours was variable a bit but after 1 year it got better and all your taste returned. I believe my tongue will be fine in the long run or at least close to normal such that it doesn't bother me.
I will say further, today just shy of 4 months my mouth continues to change somewhat dramatically. Today I feel at times that my mouth is getting back closer to normal but I still have a lot of tightness in my chin. I am hopeful to be much better at the 6 month point and much better by Christmas. But this is just wishful thinking. I maybe on a 2 year recovery or perhaps longer. Really unknowable but there seems to be a lot of changes with my mouth which I interpret as positive. I am not a drug taking kind of guy but have to say the wild ride I have been on has to be like being on a LSD bender....unbelievable is all I can say.
I wish you well Starbrite. To me you very brave. It is easy to follow in the footsteps of others. You somewhat led the information sharing on this forum. Your words explaining how protracted recovery can be have given me comfort and patience and I am grateful to you.
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