Thank you for your help. I ended up in the er yesterday because i woke up really dizzy, and felt like i was going to pass out when i move,and had a bruise come up on the lower part of my chin that is red and really sore. they ended up doing iv antibiotics and a contrast ct scan. Which showed there is air in my jaw tissue and throat tissue. The dr couldn't figure out how it had got there since the dentist didn't use a drill to take the wisdom tooth out. They said that the air should resolve its self, they also put me on a new antibiotic to help with any infection that may try to occur. I went to the dentist this morning and the dentist that seen me today wasn't very nice, she was very rough when she check me out and made me hurt so much worse that i left in tears, she didnt seem to care that i was in pain or sympathy for what is going on. I still have the numbness in my chin, lip, face and a little in the side of my neck. They told me to come back Thursday for a recheck.
Can you explain the circumstance by which you had to have your wisdom tooth unexpectedly extracted? Was this an emergency procedure and if so why?
This forum will be an asset to you to navigate your recovery and hopefully comfort you by providing you the information you need. Unfortunately the dental community doesn't really convey the reality of nerve damage very well but those here who have lived it can explain what to expect moving forward. By the sound of everything, you need a lot of TLC as btw we all have needed along the way. I hope you have family to comfort you over the weeks to come.
I also want to provide you assurance that the pain you feel in your face and jaw will diminish with healing.
The next 3 months will determine the status of your nerve and hopefully you will be on the road to recovery.
I had went in to have my lower partial fixed because it broke, while I was there I showed the dentist what I thought was a tooth\ bone fragment that my partial had been rubbing on that was sore, the dentist numbed the area so he could make a small incision to try to remove it. It ended up that it was my wisdom tooth coming in. The dentist said it needed to come out or eventually I wouldn't be able to wear my partial at all. He said all he had to do I make the incision a little bigger and pull it out, like it was no big deal, never said there could be any adverse side effects. So I said OK, might as well get it over with while I was there, I had left work early anyway, and didn't want to have to take more time off work to have to come back. It took the dentist a long time to get it out 20-30 min, he kept saying that it was stuck that he had to get it in the right position to come out and then several times he said he needed to make the incision bigger. At one point he did something not sure what but it hurt so bad I jerked my legs up and ended up grabbing his arm and screamed out really loud because it hurt so bad he also slipped several times and I felt the scalpel jab the back of my throat.... Since Sunday I have been getting a lot of dizzy spells and feeling sick to my stomach, many times feeling like I'm going to pass out. And this morning I woke up with blood coming out of my mouth, at first I thought it was the incision so I went and rinsed my mouth with water and looked in with a flash light but there was no blood so I spit again and I had bright red blood in the sink again, I got to looking and I had bit a chunk of my numb lip and it bled pretty bad for about 10 minutes and with it being numb I didn't feel a thing. The whole side of my face and neck constantly hurts, and i cant take the pain meds till night time because i work m-f 7am-5pm and then after that im with my 3 kids so i have to wait till there asleep before i take anything more that tylenol. On top of all of this i am also scheduled to have surgery on the 29 of this month to repair a abdominal wall hernia, im so scared that something is going to go wrong with that surgery like it has with this..This whole situation feels almost unbearable, I litera feel like I'm going to go insane :'(
A tough set of circumstances. I won't second guess your dentist because something might be lost in the translation but if the dentist had taken an X-ray he would know it was your wisdom tooth and not just a fragment to knock down for clearance to your partial. Further if the dentist pulled out the wisdom tooth not knowing proximity of the wisdom tooth root to the Inferior alveolar nerve, this is irresponsible. But again, maybe the sequence of events was different and he took the proper steps. Wisdom teeth can very difficult to extract. Mine took 1 hour for the surgeon to remove in the hospital and I was knocked completely out.
Biting the lip is common with the numbness most of us have felt after our tooth extraction. Normally the lip, chin and gum are numb and not painful if the nerve has been disrupted...but no doubt each of go through a slightly different healing process. As to jaw pain which I had a lot of...removing a wisdom tooth many times will injury the jaw muscle. Sure did in my case and took several weeks to calm down. I too had throat pain. The throat can become raw because of this surgery.
You are going through a lot and myself and others have felt terror over what happened to each of us. Some can cope with this fear without meds and strong family support and others will struggle which I believe makes this injury much worse to deal with. If you feel like you are going off the deep end, then you need a medicine to calm you down. Have this discussion with your dentist or family doctor. I mentioned the medicine I used sparingly when I felt desperate in my previous posts. There are also longer term anti depressants available if you struggle longer term. Once you get though the next couple of months, your healing will give you hope that you will be OK and mentally you will be better. We know what you are going through because we have gone through the same thing.
As discussed, your nerve waking back up which many times will incite pain is an indication that the nerve is still intact. This can take 4-6 weeks. If you have complete numbness at the 2 month point, then you need to have a CBCT scan to assess the status of the nerve. But you are long way from that point now and should just rest and heal.
My thoughts are with you and all that are suffering on this forum.
Hi! It has been awhile since I have posted but I consistently read the comments. This support community has been a valuable lifeline for me, especially in the earlier days of my injury! I read and re-read all the posts.
I am now at 16 months. Honestly, I don't know how I would have coped knowing the injury would probably not fully heal. I have NOT given up hope or faith, but I think I am at the realistic stage for my personal progress. Time really does make a difference.
Fortunately I did not have the severe pain that many of you experienced. I, too, had the lightening flashes both sudden and sometimes constant. Today, it is just the tightness and numbness. I feel like I want to "stretch" out my lower lip down to my jaw and the tightness will release - but of course it does not. I still have that horrible habit of subconciously biting on the numb lip. I now have a little protusion there. Any suggestions on how I can quash this bad habit?
My heart breaks for the younger folks on this blog. Did you read that this also happened to my son in his mid 30's? My 18 yr old grandson is having his wisdom teeth removed this coming weekend and I am really concerned for him. I wonder if there is a genetic disposition to this injury - we were born with these nerves closer to the surface than others? But a close friend who is a dentist in another state says he NEVER recommends removal of wisdom teeth in adults, only younger people. My daughter had her wisdom teeth removed in her mid teens and she healed just fine.
Initially my doctor suggested pain medication targeted toward nerves, but I didn't think I needed it. However, I would not hesitate to take both the pain meds and an antidepressent if necessary. We are fortunate to live in a time when this sort of help is available. So, when will they develop a treatment for our nerve injuries ;-)
Best wishes to this blog community! Thank you for your insight and support. And prayers that many will heal or find the strength to cope!
Hi, I had my lower left wisdom tooth extracted 7 days ago and he left side of my chin has a numb feeling . I can feel hot and cold but when I run my hand over the chin area there is a numb sensation. I am also experiencing itching and tightening sensations and was wondering if that means its trying to heal.
If you already have some sensation 7 days after your tooth extraction, that is a positive sign. Yes, itching generally is a sign of healing and tightness is typically a by product of an area still not healed. Hopefully damage to your IAN is minimal and you will experience a rapid recovery.
Best of luck. If your injury lingers which it has for many on this forum, read back through the forum for the experiences shared to give you further perspective.
Heal fast ivy.
hi to you and all on this forum. Regarding the tightness in the lip and chin i do believe this is the worse part of the injury. My injury occurred in May this year and sometimes I think there are improvements with more sensation in the chin and less burning but the top of my lower lip tingles sharply if i run my finger over it. I have days where i feel positive and others when I don't. I am willing to try anything to resume my former life, albeit medication or acupuncture etc. The steroid injection may be worth looking at also. I don't like taking medications but needs must.
There are many worse illnesses than IAN injury and i keep telling myself this and this helps me be positive. I think distraction by focusing on other things and keeping busy is helpful. I hope you and all continue to heal and stay positive.
I have not posted in a while so I will give an update on my situation. Its been a little over 3 months since surgery and not much healing in the past few weeks or so. I would say I'm at the same level of healing about 70-80%.
I still have the tightness and can tell it is still somewhat partially numb a bit. I also still get hyper sensitivity in the small area affected. I'm hoping it will eventually heal.
I have been busy finishing up y degree in engineering.
thanks for your fast reply . my dentist made me aware that my tooth was very close to the nerve and planned to do a coronectomy on the tooth but when he started the procedure the tooth was too bad so he had to extract. the tooth was movable and came out in one piece ,whole thing was done in about 10 minutes. I started taking B1,B6 and B 12as sublingual methylcobalanin, magnesium and choline inositol as I heard these help the nerve heal. .I read thru the posts and it sounds like you have to wait it out and see what happens. i'm going back to my dentist tomorrow so I will see what he has to say
I wrote in an earlier post specifically about tightness because we agree, tightness is the scourge of this injury and likely causes the most discomfort once transitioning past the neuropathic pain phase of the recovery process.
Since you and I had our wisdom tooth out in May about 5 months ago with injury to your IAN and likely not too far apart in our healing process and both with tightness, lets explore where we go from here.
Unfortunately we are at 2014 and not 2090 or so. I believe by then all the suffering here will not exist. We are in the stone age of dentistry and even though this injury occurs to a very small minority of those that have their wisdom teeth extracted, it still occurs with alarming regularity by all that still come to this site and it is pretty devastating to many when the injury lingers.
So first question is...how long to wait kazlilly before we do anything about it? I agree with you, having tightness every day if not most minutes of the day is not a good way to live. Yes, we are coping at some level but this is very bothersome. So will give you my thoughts.
I don't know what level of recovery that I will have as I type this at 5 months. I hope I travel the same path as Starbrite and have nearly full recovery at 1.5 years, but I have no confidence this will occur. I only hope it will. My dilemma of course is how long to wait before taking further action. First, since we live in an apparent stone age of dentistry when this is still happening to the good people here, there aren't a great number of options for us. We are in effect our own focus group or guinea pigs for how to cope with this uncomfortable nerve damage.
So these are my thoughts:
1. I need to see some level of change or recovery. For me, I have. I have gone through tremendous pain btw. This has been the most grueling event in my life so far. I am a lot better than I was. My mouth seems to change weekly. I still believe I have a shot at close to full recovery...or in the 90% range at least with minimal discomfort. But still a long way away.
2. So my belief is I need to wait to see what level the nerve returns to. What quality of life I will have, recognizing that the tightness I have today is not something I want to live with.
3. When does tightness occur and what does it mean? When I wake up in the morning...for the first 1-2 minutes before I move my mouth, my mouth feels close to normal. After 5 minutes it doesn't and gets tight. So my tightness is motion sensitive. The injured nerve becomes aggravated by motion. When I talk and eat for example, I can go from a state of coping, to a state of being highly agitated and distracted. Jaw motion really bothers my IAN injury.
4. There are probably three ways this can change:
a. nerve heals
b. neuropathic drugs with anticonvulsant properties to desensitize the nerve to motion or lessen it.
c. a method of killing the nerve at some level...one option being a pulsing radio frequency probe into the affected area disconnecting the nerve from the brain.
To me, those are the three options as they exist today.
So kazlilly since we agree about tightness being an awful way to live, above as I understand it today based upon everything I have read are our three options.
My thought is we and probably others that suffer tightness here need to let the healing process run its course. To me this is the 1 year mark. So I have been taking a wait and see position a bit on this in spite of the discomfort also driven by all the positive changes in my mouth and chin. There is a clear downside to take neuropathic drugs and will take trial and error to tune not only choice of med and dosage but related to effectiveness and side effects. So I have been gutting out the discomfort of tightness like many here, hoping that healing takes this tightness away. But judging by the forum here, that may only be just a hope and not reality.
Another point...will taking neuropathic drugs inhibit the nerve healing process? According to my nerve specialist, no. So I am considering by Christmas or so, to start to experiment with a med or two that diminishes tightness if this is even possible. Unfortunately I haven't read of a single person who has take neuropathic drugs for tightness...only for pain. I wish we had somebody to compare with or a study that has been performed, but we don't seem to. So I believe we will have to take the lead on this which hopefully can not only help ourselves but others who suffer as well.
A last point. Killing a percentage of the nerve is probably a last resort after the healing process has run its course and perhaps more than a little experimentation with meds to quiet the nerve. In other words, the nerve regenerates on some level and the result is highly uncomfortable and the patient decides for more invasive action and relief. So blocking the signal to the brain is the only relief. To me pulsing a RF signal into the nerve comes with risk. How much of the nerve do you kill? How much sensation loss will there be? Can tightness be effectively targeted without further sensation loss? Many unanswered questions that we may need more answers to if this path is even considered. But this procedure is an option for pain sufferers in particular.
Above are my thoughts and please let me know if/when you plan on evaluating different meds to reduce the tightness many of us suffer with.
Some that have read through the forum here know there are many ways to damage the inferior alveolar nerve (or lingual nerve) during surgery.
1. 3rd molar extraction
3. Direct needle injection during anesthesia
Below is a case study of a lady that had her IAN injured due to a needle injection and she suffered long term pain as a result. She also had some other jaw related pain.
To address the IAN pain, Dr. Wesley Shankland of Columbus Ohio
prescribed Medrol dose pak and has had great success with the regimen of local anesthetic mixed with Sarapin and oral Medrol. Basically the nerve is injected to remove the pain and reduce inflammation. I would like to have a conversation with Dr. Shankland to see if he could provide relief to some of us here and if it would improve the tightness many of us feel daily.
It seems like there should be a procedure for injecting the tight area for relief.
Here is the case study and it makes sense that the nerve has to be infiltrated or altered at some level to eliminate pain or tightness if the nerve doesn't heal properly.
I found Dr. Shankand's website for contact information.
If somebody else doesn't first, even though I am in FL, I will contact him or his office for discussion. He may have a colleague closer to me, but if not and I don't have a higher level of recovery over time, I would even consider traveling to him for his procedure or a derivative procedure he may recommend.
I saw the dentist today for my post check up and told him about the numbness to the left side of my chin...he tested me for feeling by pocking my chin with a needle an then had me close my eyes and tell him in what direction he was touching my face. I was able to feel both and he said that was good sign and he also asked if i had any sensations and when i told him i had itching he said that was a good sign too. The wisdom tooth was very bad and i was told that i was about to get very sick from it if i left it in so there wasn't any choice. I have another appointment in two weeks, hopefully there will be some more improvement.
Hi Guy's. I guess why not join your group. Am a newbie and would have certainly been more enjoyable to just read your posts but may have never discovered how uncomfortable life can be with this type of injury until I myself have experienced the numbness. The numbness is in my lower lip half of my chin and gums after implant placement. It's been a month now and can't stop searching for treatments and info about what to do with this problem. It is certainly consuming my life. Used to enjoy jogging and the freedom of running but now, feel like something is heavy on one side of my face preventing me from running as fast. It's sooo strange. Tingling has diminished but the heavy swollen feeling constantly is debilitating. From the moment I wake up to the time I go to sleep. Glad I'm not alone.
If I were you, I would seek a CBCT scan ASAP to determine if your implant is still putting compression on your inferior alveolar nerve causing your numbness. An implant should not damage an IAN unless it was improperly sized thereby crushing the IAN. If the implant isn't removed and properly resized, your IAN will not regenerate which would be a double wrong perpetrated by your dentist. So don't walk but run back...today if possible to your dentist. Find out if he/she has a CBCT scan machine if not seek an oral surgeon with this capability to determine the depth/position of the implant relative to the IAN.
Hi to you and all posting, thank you for your detailed reply,I can sometimes get a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information there is and at the same time still too many question marks. I read the case study on the misplaced injection to the ian nerve (this was what happened to me), although I do have very similar symptoms to you and others on this site who have had different procedures resulting in this injury. I have taken note of the medication-treatment used and hopefully will be able to ask the consultant about it (still not seen) when I get an appointment.
I admire your proactive approach to this 'illness' and feel this is a good way forward. I try to be philosophical and patient but I go from calm to panic attacks within hours. I do note that when I am calm the injury doesn't seem as painful, so I do think the pain and tightness are exaggerated when I panic about it. Sometimes when I wake up I think it's gone but like you after moving the jaw more the burning and the tightness is back, which adds to the anxiety. I suppose I have to be grateful that it is not debilitating in that I continue to work and seem to others to be relatively 'normal'. I feel we have to keep positive for the future and hope that time does heal! Take care everyone, we all know what we are going through and we're not alone.
I wanted to follow up a bit as I prepare to contact Dr. Shankland in Ohio for his advice. I wrote above about Tightness which is pervasive and uncomfortable to many on this forum and tried to understand the root cause and may have stumbled onto something I want to share. I also wrote, that unlike many here, I am not content to settle for discomfort past the one year point as many have. I would like to seek relief and get my life back and also help people here which would do my heart a world of good if I could relieve others of the pain and tightness I have experienced due to this injury.
If you think about tightness...what is it? I believe it is spasming of tissue and muscles that comprise the chin, gum and/or lip because of alteration to the IAN. Some of you may know about muscle spasms, myofascial pain/release and trigger points.
My belief is this is what we have with our condition and why Dr. Shandland's therapy is perhaps our gateway to relief. I dug around the web some more to see if I could find more of an understanding of what Dr. Shandland provided in his case study and I found the following link:
To me this is very encouraging. An injection that releases the trigger point as the root cause of tightness.
I will be contacting Dr. Shandland for this advice in the next short while and share further thoughts. I want to say lastly, that I need hope as I go through yet another repetitive of pain and tightness 5 months out that I don't have to live this way. I am hopeful that none of will with the proper steps.
PS: for those seeking local pain relief or trying to. One of the problems with this issue is find those in the medical field that can help us. They are out there I believe like Dr. Shandland, but not easy to locate. But as I linked the article just above, perhaps this type of trigger release injection is not an uncommon therapy however it is not widely known to be effective for the relative low incidence of IAN injuries. If you read the case study I linked further above, the case study article starts by saying there are a lot more IAN sufferers in the world than even the medical field understands.
People finding this forum everyday confirms what we certainly know.
Many including me have had them. I strongly encourage you to not gut those attacks out. This is too much burden over and above the pain you (we) are going through. I wrote a while back about taking Ativan on occasion when needing help with anxiety. This is the best medicine ever invented and yes there is synergy between pain and anxiety due to diminished serotonin levels. See your family doctor for a prescription before you suffer with panic any longer. I have only needed it 3 times in the last 5 months but they kept me off the ledge.
There is hope on two levels Kazililly. One is that we will continue to heal. You and I are at 5 months and have a way to go yet.
Second level is therapy. It is unclear if the rest of the country has caught up to Dr. Shankland in terms of the therapy he administers for this injury. Perhaps not. But we have him. Yes, please ask your consultant about this therapy and see if it is a common practice. If it is, it sure isn't known on this forum. I admit to being shocked how much suffering there is here relative to how little therapy is pursued.
If I can't find a local pain doctor or the hospital to administer this therapy I will travel to Ohio at some point if my pain and tightness continues. In fact, I may only go to Dr. Shankland because of his pedigree and I don't want to put myself in further harm's way by further experimentation. Each of us being knows the medical community has room for improvement.
One of the signature questions I want to ask Dr. Shankland is, how long should we wait for the nerve to heal to know that there is little chance for further healing and if this point in time is necessary to pass for him to inject the nerve. Point being, I don't want to administer a therapy that may Impede further/complete healing of the nerve. This is a pivotal question and I will share his answer.
it is now 11 days post surgery of my wisdom tooth. my symptoms are numbness in my chin and a tight feeling that comes and goes, I find my self wanting to stretch my mouth to release the tightness. I know its early in the game so I am trying not to go into panic mode. My heart goes out to all those suffering with this injury.
I had my implant November 2013 . I had a burning lower lip, sensation chin since this surgery . I saw a neurologist , I did a MRI . I take Oxcarbazepine 150 mg 2 pills per day . Nothing is help . My family told me I need to be patient because nerve it takes long time for heal .
If you read accounts of different sufferers of neuropathic pain on line, you will learn that many experiment heavily with not only different med's but different dosages of those med's. With med's of this nature there can be side effects as well. Further your body weight affects dosage. I corresponded with a suffer of TN (worse that what we have) and he went to a no. of different neurologists and said there is little science associated with what med or combination of meds and related dosages will help. So you have to experiment if a given neurologist and/or med and dosage doesn't work out with what they suggest.
Discussing your background maybe helpful if not to yourself or perhaps others. A faulty implant is a common method of injuring the IAN. You said you had a MRI. Perhaps you could explain if you had your implant removed and replaced with a more shallow implant to take pressure off your IAN. A MRI should expose this relationship. I can't visualize a scenario where an implant is installed, injures an IAN and then stays in place or deemed acceptable by a MRI. Perhaps you could explain further.
Hi Timeheals and everyone
thank you for all your shared information it really is a comfort to me. I am at about the same timescale as you (from May 2014) and nearly approaching the 6 month mark. The waiting and anticipation of this injury make it quite difficult to deal with at times. I would travel to the other side of the world to get rid of this, so I will have continued interest to find out anything that helps.
I have an appointment to see the maxillofacial consultant in December, therefore I will try and wait to see what he says.
I hope you all continue to heal and get back to normal.
Let me know if you would like to catch up and have a dialog. One of my frustrations is...discussion on this board is somewhat unilateral. Not sure why that is. But I don't want to occupy the bandwidth here without conversation because the devil is in the details as you know. I would say the vast majority of posts here are 'drive bys'...people post and then don't come back or perhaps choose to not communicate. Not sure why as I am completely the opposite. Because this injury is so life altering, I want to get to the truth but hate speaking in a vacuum. :-)
What would you say your ratio of pain to tightness is? Lots of pain? Lots of tightness? Let me know if you want to compare notes. We could even do it off line via email. Let me know.
Hi to you and all
I have to inform you and everyone at the time i set up the communication with the forum I used an email that I share with someone but it is registered in his name, therefore my profile suggests I am male- I am in fact a 56 year old female, might not make any difference to most people but thought I better clarify this.
with regards to the pain and tightness ratio at present is pain level 4-5 and intermittent burning - pain level 3-4. I think the overall pain is tolerable, particularly if it is to get back to normal. I believe that the worst part of this is the not knowing if it is permanent or if the healing will continue.
Now my own email is up and running I would indeed be interested to speak off line as I feel we are at the same time level and can offer one another support. Not sure how to facilitate this though?
I have sent you a private message with my email address and hope you receive it.
As stated and to all:
It is my goal to research this injury to the best of my ability and then post coping/therapy strategies for the best quality of life moving forward. Dr. Shankland who administered the nerve block therapy for the woman in the case study I linked above....has responded to my initial email and I have just sent him another query with follow up questions. I will share what I learn about best options which should have particular value to long term sufferers who are due for some much needed relief.
I believe with the proper steps, each of us that don't completely heal from injury to the IAN can still experience a good life without pain provided best practices available are followed.
It is my hope that with the information I provide in the next couple of weeks, this will be a springboard to more therapy options as our strategies are further expanded by sharing our collective experience.
Hi Timeheals. Again I find a great health community in the US - I'm in Australia and we don't do this sort of thing anywhere near as well as you guys. I found this forum while doing a Google search for 'numb chin' :-) I've read a lot of this particular thread and I give you a lot of respect for your pro-active approach to your issue, as well as your obvious commitment to sharing the information you uncover in order to help others. After reading some of the stories people have shared here, I feel like I don't have too much to complain about. I had what is known as terminal dentition - despite maintaining good oral hygiene my teeth were breaking leading to multiple dental abscesses and quite a few hospital stays. A week ago I bit the bullet (not literally!) and had my remaining 21 teeth extracted. During the same surgery, my lower jaw bone was shaved and prepped, and 4 implants were then inserted. 2 days after surgery I had a temporary prosthesis fitted to my lower jaw and a full upper arch denture to the top. My oral-maxillofacial surgeon advised me that doing implants to both jaws would be too much for me, so the plan is to do that in 6 months. The post-surgery numbness has gone, except for the right side of my chin which is completely numb. Since the implants were evenly distributed between the left and right side of my jaw, I'm not sure why only the right side is numb. It'll be interesting to see if the numbness resolves, and if I get any of the tightness you describe. I already have total paresthesia of the front of my thigh, courtesy of spinal surgery - it's been 10 months now so I don't think that's going to get any better. Anyway - very nice to make your acquaintance - I've read your story and you've been through a great deal, as have many others whose stories I've read. Wishing you and all posters here a resolution to your health issues.
Thanks for your kind words and welcome to the forum. You have been through so much and yes we all have....too much really. Least I can do is try to distill some direction that we can draw upon or try to make some sense or order from the dis-ease each have been subjected to by this injury.
As discussed previously, there are three principle ways the IAN can be injured in the dentist chair...and likely many more through accidents resulting in jaw breakage etc. Most involve wisdom tooth extraction, anesthetic needle injections into the nerve or dental implants. Implant injuries are due to either the implant fastener crushing the IAN or the drill to create the implant fastener going too deep. As to why you suffer on one side and not the other, there are two plausible reasons. Our bodies are not perfectly symmetric and therefore the nerve does not have the same symmetric depth relative to your gum line and every time an oral surgeon drills into the jaw to create an implant he/she may not do so with the same precise depth. To me, implants as effective as they may be, seem to be higher risk than the public understands going in.
So it really comes down to the due diligence of the oral surgeon in terms of knowing precisely where the nerves are...with either a MRI or CBCT scan ...and then....making sure when he drills or chooses an implant depth/size, that does not violate the IAN. I think a couple of things are happening in the dental chair. 1. doctors aren't being as careful as they should...or 2. giving them the benefit of the doubt, even jaw bone density may affect the depth of the drill. Suffice to say with all the implant injuries to the IAN, this technology needs to improve.
So where do we go from here. You need to be vigilant for the next 3 months in particular to gage how much sensation is restored to your chin. If you get no return of sensation say after 2 months, then perhaps further intervention is in order to repair the IAN with microsurgery. I would seek consultation say at the 2-4 week point. It is not uncommon to have a lot of numbness even at 4 weeks. At 6 weeks the nerve should be waking up however and if it isn't, further testing is in order.
As to recovery after that, it largely depends on the magnitude of injury to the IAN. This is where I want to construct a list of options for those of us going through this because options aren't really well explained on the internet and even among the MD's we visit for guidance.
I am a big fan of Aussies and your fun loving culture and wish you well with your health and recovery. Kazlilly just above is in the UK and I am in the US so this injury is global in the lives it unfortunately affects.
Heal fast Beth and please post with your progress or any concerns you have.
Hi again Timeheals, thanks for your lovely welcome and very interesting info on these types of nerve injuries. I found your discussion of how the IAN nerve can be injured in the dentist's chair (or in my case, on the operating table) very enlightening. I think your plan to develop a list of options for people who may be unfortunately facing a permanent nerve injury is great, and I know that such a list would be of enormous benefit to so many.
Yes, I think that the possible risks of implant surgery are perhaps not widely understood. It's quite popular in Australia for people to go to Thailand for their dental care, including implants. While I recognize that it is so much cheaper to have this surgery overseas, I wonder if people really weigh up the risks of doing so. Even if a surgery is successful, the after care is so important and you can't be hopping on a plane to Thailand every five minutes.
I do have a lot of confidence in my oral-maxillofacial surgeon, took me ages to choose one! In addition to having a private practice, he teaches at Perth's major public hospital and takes great care to explain everything. Should the numbness in my jaw persist for more than 6 weeks, I will let you know his understanding of why this has occurred, and also what (if any) solution he proposes.
I must admit, I'm a bit worried tonight about the numb area of my jaw - although there's still no surface sensation the area seems more swollen, painful and hard than in previous days. Although I'm reluctant even to write this (as if writing it will make a difference!), I have a dreadful feeling that the area is abscessed. It feels just the same as other abscesses I've had in the past. If it is an abscess, it means that one or more of the implants has failed and I'll be back in hospital tomorrow. If I may use a common Oz saying - bugger! I had prophylactic antibiotics through my IV during the surgery, and have been on orals at home, fingers crossed.
I'll ring the surgeon in the morning - he's actually given me his mobile phone number and told me to contact him with any concerns, but it's almost 11pm here and I know he has a 2 week old baby, so I'll leave till the morning.
It's nice to see that Kazlilly is from the UK and participates in this forum (hello, Kazilly!) - although of course it's not at all nice that these types of injuries are so widespread. Such a wide geographical spread seems also to indicate that there is not much support or information out there about these types of injuries - something you've already found and are working to address, bless you for that.
Yes, we're a pretty laid back bunch over here. I've only been to the US once, to New York. Have to say both my husband and I absolutely loved it, we found the people so friendly and of course there is oodles to see and do - too much for a couple of weeks so we're planning to go back. We'll be retiring in the UK in a couple of years, back to Liverpool where my husband was from originally.
I hope your day is going well and that you've found at least one thing today to have a really good belly laugh about - even in the most difficult of times, if we can have a laugh then we're doing ok :-) Best wishes to you and all on the Dental Health forum, we'll talk again.
Hi Everyone! I'm sorry I have been gone so long - I moved in October and just today I was able to connect my computer - the trials and tribulations of Comcast! Lol!
I read through the posts - sounds like we have a few new people - welcome! And to those here that have been around as long as I have - is there anyone? Lol - hopefully you are 100% :)
I have pasted the 18 month mark....not 100% :( In a way, I am worse than I was at the year mark - I know no one wants to hear that. I am not sure why, but since my implant has been finished, I have more icy feelings and annoyance. I can only attribute this to the fact that for a full year, I did not chew on that side of my mouth - thus not irritating it. Now I chew on the implant and I swear it just feels like something cold is dripping out of my mouth. I continue to want to stretch out my lip and it feels like the weirdness will go away - but it doesn't.
Anyway - no pity party here! I moved to my dream property!! I am living the life I always wanted to - God has blessed me and I believe and trust that I am struggling with this issue for some greater good. Those things that are meant to harm me will work to my greater good. Peace my friends - find joy in the small things, work to make someone smile. If you feel alone and afraid - help someone that is struggling and please know that someone on this forum is praying for you! xoxo
You have that great Aussie spirit which will help you get through the next few weeks. Be sure to let your surgeon know exactly what it going on. Inflammation and infection can increase numbness as you may know and hopefully that can be knocked down with antibiotics. If numbness persists for the next 2-3 weeks, options should be discussed. As much as you like your surgeon, if your IAN is under compression by an improperly placed implant which does happen, then it won't heal. So this needs to addressed if your numbness persists once swelling and/or infection goes down.
Heal quickly Beth..
Communicate exactly what you are going through with your dentist.
The only way I know of for your IAN to be damaged based upon braces would be the numbing process with an needle to numb you. Injecting the nerve can damage it but this is rare. Hopefully this didn't occur. If it just happened, you need a bit more time to determine your status. Stay close to your dentist and let us know what he/she says.
Best of luck.
Nice to hear from you and glad your move went well but sorry to hear of your continued suffering.
You repeatedly state this is 'God's plan' but I wonder if you consider therapies to reduce your dysesthesia? Personally I don't agree it is God's plan to have you or anybody else suffer but this a difference of opinion on a theological level.
I will share my opinion of your condition if I may because I may very well be in your shoes in another year. I don't want to suffer long term. Once I have determined there is little opportunity for the nerve to regenerate in a manner whereby it doesn't communicate pain or discomfort, I will consider intervention at some level.
Your options will be based upon current technology which include:
1. neuropathic meds to reduce pain sensation,
2. therapies to block pain through the nerve. (I am learning more about these options based upon discussion with Dr. Shankland in Ohio. I will share his thoughts after his response to my recent email.
I hope you aren't in too much discomfort and my best to you.
Hi! It is great that you are looking into Dr. Shankland in Ohio - I eagerly await your info on him and his methods! I am impressed that you are so thorough and so sharing here.
But please, let me clarify something - I really think you have taken some of the things I have written not as they were intended. I never meant to imply that God wants anyone to suffer - I do not believe this one bit. It is a mystery why bad things happen to good people - I just meant that God can and will use it to your benefit. Good can come out of bad - that is what I meant.
It might be appreciating a beautiful sunset, meeting someone that you would have never known, changing your habits to live a healthier life - many good things can be the result of a negative thing - if you are open to it - I try to be open and encourage those here to be also,
Also, I didn't mean to imply that I am suffering - I am not. I have no pain - just a persistent icy feeling when eating and general tightness - it is irrating, but it is not bad enough to make me consider medication. I choose not to focus on this and instead I count my blessings!
Wishing all here a quick and total healing! Peace!! xoxo
You have an interesting philosophy blessed2bme and I suppose it is difficult for anybody to interpret precisely what you have written about God without the elaboration you have just provided. The counterpoint to what you wrote of good coming from bad is...good can come from any circumstance including good as well which is my personal preference FWIW. But no doubt your particular belief works for you. What is most important is you say you aren't suffering but rather have an 'irritation' based upon your condition. I suppose it could be proposed having an irritation is suffering. For example, I would say that that my condition at 5.5 months is mostly irritating. But I believe I am also suffering at some level as this irritation occupies my consciousness and I find my mouth less comfortable compared to how it used to feel. I am fussy about how I feel. I like feeling well.
So this is a good conversation to have as many will choose different paths in terms of what therapies they would consider moving forward. In my case, I have an appointment with the nerve specialist at Univ of Florida late this month. I have decided that if I feel no improvement in the next three weeks, I will seek a prescription for neuropathic meds. This is partly based upon previous discussion when it was confirmed that taking a neuropathic med has no bearing on nerve recovery. I wanted this confirmation. I am in no physical pain and neuropathic pain for me has mostly subsided however I am considering two meds based upon discussion with different MD's. The reason is...I want to feel as good as I possibly can or back to how I used to feel. So I will try a medication to block what I also consider an annoyance or irritation or what I would generically refer to as suffering on some level.
Semantics I suppose.
Because we may have a slightly different perspective, its a good conversation to have.
I wish you the best of health.
I think it is a good conversation to have also and I am glad we cleared that up. I am so grateful that you are on this board and have been so involved in the search for healing. Of course, I don't mean that I am happy you are suffering - I just mean that you are a great asset to the forum.
I look forward to hearing about your consultation with the specialist later this month - this could very well be the answer that many of us here have hoped and prayed for.
Wishing all total health and happiness! Peace! xoxo
Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate you being here as well and sharing your journey with the forum including keeping this injury in perspective relative to all that life has to offer.
My hope is to learn more and as each of us make an effort to communicate with the medical community, our knowledge of different therapies will grow. Because of our timelines and even extent of injury can be different, I believe it makes sense to develop a roadmap of sorts which maybe slightly different for each of us. I hope you get to a point where this injury is of no consequence in your life.
Thanks again and be well.
I never thought I'd participate in a conversation like this again. :) I had what I've read as my panic moment back in 1998/9. There was no great google search. I believe I stumbled upon a site because of altaVista.
Short older history. I had my wisdom teeth taken out back then and I ignorantly thought of it as a tooth extraction. I found myself coming down off of the high of the knocked me out drug, but i noticed the numbness wasn't going away. I remember even tapping my nose with my finger and feeling the numbness.
OMG did I freak when I woke up the next morning and it was still numb. I felt horrible for myself despite reading about all the folks with pain associated with this problem. I was so bummed. I'd never kiss again or whistle or be able to drink.
Fast forward .. just one > not two >> :) and so I was able to get most of the feeling back X amount of months after, but there was a kind of round'ish patch that I'd bite off a fingernail and bump it up against the skin to sort of go, "whoa.. still can't feel that .. but at least I feel the pressure".
I love going to the dentist for cleanings on that side, "Do your worst!" I would think and i wouldn't flinch at all, but then they'd get to the other side and I'd feel like I should cry. :)
Fast forward > just one. I noticed that sensations of healing were still coming. I couldn't remember the last time I'd read a forum or even cared, but I just marveled at the remembrance of people explaining how nerves can figure out how to simulate regeneration even if the regeneration is not there.
Fast forward > to about a year ago when I realized that although I was in the 90th percentile of numbness being gone, that it was indeed all gone. No more feeling like i was dribbling or water slipping out of my mouth I was healed.
Fast forward > Stop ... This Tuesday. Pain in the third molar left side that I'd ignored forever. Molar .. needle.. nerve.. no please :) Although I wasn't consciously thinking that I can see now, "Ohhhh yeah you were". :) The pain would flair up when I'd get upset or if I'd chew something hot on that side.
Originally the doc was going to let me go (OS) and then I said something that sort of troubled him and so he examined me further and decided to see what was under the tooth. Voila! Broken filling and possible infection. I spare you the rest up to EXTREME PAIN from the nerve. It hurt so bad. 13 hours until I was in the chair again.
Not only did we do extraction, but we went for implant beginning procedures as well. As the novocaine wore off I was like, "uh oh" :) Since I'm here I bet you've guessed it.
This time however it's my left side. My lip is numb past the halfway point and all of the other wonderful goodies we've all read about in this thread. My doctor was looking for the nerve, but didn't see it when he was doing the implant and the implant isn't even as far down as the roots of the tooth.
I feel tingling and I know this won't be as bad as the first time I was participating in this rodeo, but like blessed said, "everything happens for a reason". I'm so glad I read this thread because I haven't seen anyone who is a 1998-1999 survivor of this. :) Do I get a card or a gold star? :)
I think the advice I would give is almost as darn close as people have done for almost a decade in this thread. I will disagree with the agists though. For those who are looking for data please take that with a grain of (insert X). There are not enough cases studied in a scientific environment with regards to iAN (we totally didn't use the acronym back then) to prove age means your nerves age slower.
Please don't anyone waste their time trying to prove it to me. Just like people say they can't prove God here, you can't prove to me that there has been enough proof regarding the study of nerves with regards to iAN to prove they are factually based.
Since you've found this page let me share this with you. You need hope right now. Disregard anything negative because if I'd listened to those who diagnosed my recovery probability I'd still be numb on the other side. Miracles happen a lot more than people give them credit for and trust me having your nerves regenerate or simulate regeneration isn't like parting the Red Sea or finding someone alive after being lost at sea and they are still alive years later.
The pain, depression, saddness, and fear are real though. I went through them. I accept my positive words surrounded by so much reality of actual people ranked by age, condition, type of extraction, sex, etc. All of that has to say something valuable, no? Yes, it does indeed.
With all of these posts though you have to remember that none of them are you. You've been up against crazy odds before and you can again get your life back by focusing on using the power of your mind to help in the regeneration of those nerves. You cannot see what it will do, but I guarantee it can happen. It might not happen as quickly as you'd like, but I guarantee you it can happen.
Hahaha.. after I said that I felt a little numbness under my lip turn into a tingle from deadness. My hand to go, that just happened.
I'm back with you all on the road to regeneration and I'm telling you if you've recently found this site please make sure you read that those who may even sound like they are saying, "you may never" or "it may never" or anything that sounds negative that they are not being negative. They are being realistic.
I'm sort of like a female Willy Wonka who like blessed also believes in God because of the miracles that have happened in my life. How blessed am I to have this happen to me twice? Well, until today I wasn't sure, but if I can light a candle of home for those who like me in my panic period are googling for life. Then I'm happy this happened to me.
There were hours of sadness when I look back at it (boy .. I'm going to keep typing because tingling happened again a little further to the right of the previous tingle) :)
My point is that in retrospect the amount of sad I felt timewise versus the amount of happy positive though I came away with from this experience. The time doesn't even compare. You can recover from this and when you put your mind to it and focus on nerve regeneration I'm a living witness to the power of the mind (even during this post).
What was the movie, "Shawshank Redepemtion" -- 'get busy living or get busy dying' .. I'm suggesting strongly that you tell your nerves to get busy living and then trust it will happen. If you have a faith you believe in then supercharge it with that and most of all remember to love.
Blessed.. thanks for your posts at the tail end of this. I was just reading and shaking my head at things I read and I was going to stay out of the "it's your age" talk, but I decided to weigh in with an experienced take on it AND from someone who is back in the pool and still feels like, "ok, what do i have to do tomorrow?" versus "oh, why me". I've been there, done that, and I've got the t-shirt. :)
Cheers everyone and thanks to one and all for contributing to this VERY important thread.
Has anyone used a tens unit? My acupuncturist (who stuck 50 needles in my chin last time) told me to try one. My mom just happened to have one for different nerve issues, so I am using it for the first time right now. Who knows!
Crossing my fingers and toes. This has been a long 15 months!
Epic post. On one hand, I am sorry you are here but on the other, what perspective you bring and thank you for placing your important thoughts here to broaden perspective. I am the science guy in the thread you are perhaps implicitly referring to ;-) clumsily trying to determine some level of cause of and effect i.e.bring reason to the chaos our lives have been thrown into and you are quite right, when it comes to the regeneration of the nerve there as much unknown as known. The medical literature in fact admits this...nerve generation being referred to as 'embryonic'. The problem with case studies as you say, for every case study there is an example or case as you say that repudiates collective wisdom. So each of us have to be very careful as you say about drawing any conclusions about who will recover or who 'may' not from this...recovery also being perhaps a matter of degree versus absolute but acceptable.
If I may ask a couple of questions please about your recovery the first time.
And of course you went through the same dark despair many of us have and now you have come away recovered from the first time really a stronger lady with the perspective to get through this next episode which sounds like will be less severe.
If you think back, how long did it take for your nerve to recover? I couldn't really tell from what you wrote. Sounds like it was longer than 1 year. Was it more than 2 or even 3 years?
Did you take any sort of meds along the path of recovery to help you cope if not promote healing? Did your doctor(s) place you on any neuropathic drug or anti anxiety med at any period of your recovery?
Now I will share a brief story of an encounter I had the other day. I was out on my bike ride and stopping to refill my water bottles and a couple stopped to ask me for some directions. The man made a comment about my bike...I have a go fast carbon Tour de France level bike as I am heavy into cycling and like to ride long and fast and I told him the bike was a big contributor if he and his wife was interested in riding faster or farther with less fatigue. So he asked me my background and I said mechanical engineering and he said he had an undergraduate in chemical engineering and so we had a bit in common. We talked further and he said he went to grad school and I asked him if he had a PhD in engineering and he said, no, he decided to go to medical school and he had been a surgeon for about 25 years. Nice guy. His wife was by his side and conversation was pleasant and easy and I asked him if he knew much about peripheral nerves and he nodded yes. So I told him my story of my wisdom tooth extraction and related damage to my inferior alveolar nerve and he said he was sorry to hear that and I asked him how long it may take for the nerve to recover. Exactly as I asked, both the woman and man at the same precise time said in unison....two years. I was quite surprised. So I looked at the women who had been mostly listening attentively and I asked, are you a MD as well. And she nodded yes. :-) A surgeon.
Now their story:
The woman went onto say that a few years back she crushed her finger in a door and it required pretty extensive surgery. This is a women who made her living operating on people and she needed the dexterity of her index finger. She said it took two years for her to get the feeling back in her finger which she now has. And then the male doctor told his story. He said a while back he had an intern give him an injection in his arm. Because of her lack of skill...not her fault he said as she was inexperienced, the needle hit a vital nerve in his arm and she injected the nerve and it killed it to a degree. He said he was still recovering from it and neuropathic pain is the 'worst' which many of us know only too well. I asked him if he took anything for it and he said yes. He took Gabapentin and he suggested I take it for my mouth...which btw I am considering in the next ensuing weeks having read about this med before. I asked him if this med slowed him down or affected the other nerves in his body and he said no....it really does target the damaged nerve and he has suffered no side effects.
So I wanted to share this story because not only are these MD's trained to understand the anatomy and recovery of nerves in the body, they actually experienced injury to their peripheral nerves.
I wish you well in recovery one4love now the second time around which is just remarkable and I am so glad you have come here and shared your story. I am still going to try and piece together a framework of coping for myself and those suffering as they heal but yes, none of us will fully understand not only the damage mechanism of the nerve...the dental/medical community clearly doesn't by all that come here and no doubt thousands more that don't find this website.... but ability of the body to restore the nerve as well. All we can do is cope the best we can and devise the best strategies we can...one of which being the strategy of hope that you are so right about.
I don't know about the tens unit you mention but want to ask, are you in much discomfort? If so, can you describe it?
Are you taking any meds or considered taking any meds to help?
I was worried about the way my message would come off. I'm glad it came across as respectfully as I meant to type it.
That was a great story about who you ran into. Isn't life cool like that? :)
I really can't tell you how long it took because after a while I forgot. It could be the two years that I heard, but I just remember going back to work and telling everyone about it. To keep it lighthearted I remember I'd type smiley faces with a drool. Like this :-)~
I'm telling you that one, because I laughed out loud about it and two because I can remember when I was like, "i can't do that anymore because I can feel over there."
It comes back so slowly after you acquiesce that it's never going to come pack. I would still do my routine of pinching or sticking something into it or flossing my teeth for years after and realize I had no feeling. I really wish I could pinpoint a date, but it just didn't matter after a certain point.
I do remember that two years later I still had some numbness, but you really do just get over it. (i am one who didn't suffer pain, only numbness)
After I realized I was one of the lucky ones because I did have signs of healing I sort of checked out of reading the forum I participated on. It's still funny to think what forums looked like back then. So I would say longer than 2 years, but after that you just don't realize it.
Feeling kept coming back over a decade though. I just didn't notice it or I thought, "no way .. because I was told X would happen and this is not a letter this is more like X2Y3Z8... it doesn't make sense"
I was just by chance that i was rubbing a thread on my chin this year that I was like, "wait? did i really just feel that?" I went over it super soft.. and it was indeed feeling. So this is like 15 years later.
Yes, it is ironic that I celebrate that moment with what just happened this week. :) Gotta love destiny! lol
Love your attitude one4love,
Yes life is cool based upon wonderful people we meet which makes us tolerate the pain along the way.
Your story is quite remarkable and hopefully your second time around is much easier and shorter lived in terms of recovery.
Your smiley face is hilarious...love it and everybody here gets it and has been there. :-)_ (mine's on the right side)
Your words are very helpful and Thanks again and heal quickly.
PS: longer term healing is so uncharted in the literature as you know. I read one report of a TN sufferer....TN is the absolute worse for facial pain who was on neuropathic meds for 10 years and then one day she decided to get off them to see what would happen and the pain was gone. No, there is no precise roadmap for this.
Hello!! Thank you for that wonderful post and for your timely encouragement! I am sorry you are back in this nerve limbo, but I know you will make the best of it and now you are being a light for those here. I am so excited that you had complete healing - not many have reported that after so long. It sounds like your new injury will be much milder and hopefully you will recover very quickly.
We seem to share the same mindset - get on with your life and count your blessings - thanks for being one of those blessings for me today. :-)_ I don't know how to get the squiggle drool on my computer, but that sure made me laugh and is exactly how I feel when eating. Lol
Timeheals - I LOVE your story about meeting the two doctors - this is exactly what I am referring to when I say God can turn negative things into positive. I see this as a miracle to give you hope. I understand that might not be your belief - we don't have to agree on that. Thank you for sharing that with us - it gives me hope also and uplifts my day. You are a blessing to me also. :-)_
Racheal - I don't know what a tens unit is...more info??
I believe we all share the grieving for our lost health. This is part of the suffering. I would never take issue with any small difference in philosophy. You are right and we are all the same.
I was inspired by all of you and I am humbled by the nice things you said. Oh and just because I may write pretty I don't think that I'm getting by on the fact that I'm no different than anyone.
That day that I had EXTREME pain.. there was none of this nice me. I was sooo not a happy camper.
Anyhoo.. yes it does seem my recent incident is trying to heal quick. It's still numb, but not as heavy numb.
Come to think of it that's one of the things I want to share. What happens at the initial OMG WTF moment you realize the numbness is not going away you also are upset because the numbness also feels like it has a weight to it. I didn't think about this until now, but I think that's one of the signs that healing is happening.
Over the years it was less about it being numb and more about it being less heavy. You guys know what I mean?
So like right now the numb is still there, but there's a lot of tingling and I know my nerves are trying to wake up. It's like a non-stop thing now. When I posted the other day (or was that yesterday) it was just deadsville, but now it's tingle city. Including.. the itch! :: shaking my head ::
I was getting my hair done and I was telling my stylist about it being such an extreme itch and she was like, "just scratch it!" and so I told her no because then it would feel worse. Eventually she convinced me to try. UGG!! lol..
:-)_ nooope! :-)_
Ok, ok.. I got sidetracked sorry. My point is as the tingling cray cray continues I just realized that it wasn't as heavy. I was putting on lip balm yesterday and my lip felt so heavy! Today it's still heavy, but I can feel the lip balm in a different way. I really apologize if I'm not communicating this well.
If you do get what I'm saying then good because it's a nice thing to remember. You go from feeling like you have a busted poofy lip to just having a heavy lip, to having a normal lip with no super feeling, to it making it under the lip and the longest time for the feeling to come back was between the chin and lip.
Before I had this happen I was finally rubbing the softest thing i could on my chin (in the former numb area) and it I could feel it. AND THEN here I am
I think one of the things sometimes lost in discussion is how different our experience is considering how many symptoms are shared. For example. You mentioned you didn't have any pain the first time around and your recovery took years. There was a lady a while back on here that had an implant improperly installed and she had complete numbness followed by 10 days of pain and the whole thing resolved in 3 months. Take me. The first 4 months really I had electric pain so intense in my chin that I felt like jumping from a high place. It even ran though the base of my tongue and I was tongue tied. Speaking and eating was excruciating. Today, at just under 6 months later, I have mostly tightness. My mouth has healed to point I never though it would get to. I believe in 1 year, I will be where Starbrite is or very close at 95% or close to fully healed. Maybe in 2 years, normal or where you got to one4love after a longer period of time.
Point being the journey isn't even close for some even though we share a very similar experience in many ways. Because recovery is so slow, doubt creeps in all the time including about our resolve to live with it. I really struggled a couple of months ago and am much, much less today because I am more healed. I couldn't even focus on my life 2 months ago and today I get on much better.
So even though you really didn't have any doctor intervention along your path to recovery, I believe many will or perhaps should. I gutted through the pain but I needed an anti anxiety med sparingly to cope. I should have gone on a neuropathic med for example because the pain was so intense but I didn't.
Then there will be a small percent sadly with long term pain. For those with this condition, please listen. There is help...especially if you are desperate. Those with Trigeminal Neuralgia face this each day. Google it if interested...a much worse manifestation of related nerves in the face.
There are therapies for those reading this that are suffering with pain and/or tightness past the 1 year point which looks to be turning into long term.
So our experience isn't exactly the same....some resolve quickly and others are much longer term and may require therapy to cope with pain.
I was going to remark about how much focusing on time kind of weighs one down, but then I noticed the screen name you chose and so I get that's where you are.
You are where you are because there is something to be learned from time.
I need to think about this more because I am so time averse. I can not debate it's existence. I just think using it as a measurement reduces the impact of mind powers.
Everything you're saying speaks of truth. Differences, better, worse, more time, less time, symptoms, suffering, triumph. All of those can be associated with time. Hmmm...
I do want to share that I so hate that you had to experience pain. To me that hurts the most when people share because we know that pain in our mouths is one of earth's extreme trials. The thought of impacting the positive experience of eating with the negative of mouth pain. It just ***** and although I'm empathizing with a past you it feels like now when I read it for what seems like the first time.
I like your depth of thinking one4love and enjoy your perspective. My username is somewhat limited in terms of what it portends. Time doesn't heal per se. Healing just happens to occur with time and that independent variable of time as you have taught us doesn't correlate to any meaningful studies.. So you are quite right. Time itself is somewhat incidental in fact. Healing or lack thereof is the irrefutable truth we each have to live with and pain if a companion,as you mentioned is the worst....closer to the brain, the worse it is and the IAN and lingual nerve are close to the brain. But TN sufferers have it much worse than us and why it is coined the suicide disease as many have taken their life because of it...unbearable.
Then there is a the subject of suffering which was discussed a couple of posts back. Suffering on a philosophical level infiltrates our lives in many ways. I mentioned the great president FDR a few weeks back because he is such a triumph of the human condition. A man with unfathomable gifts who was stricken with his health and suffered unconscionable pain throughout the last half of this life and couldn't walk a step. He was athletic and a great dancer the first half of his life. In the face of his pain and suffering, he went onto being our only four term president. Many believe he never would have been president without this suffering which gave him a depth of character to understand the human condition that few could. Prior to his illness he was said to be slightly arrogant because he was blessed with so much and why wouldn't he be? But as with this, it is humbling to the core and in his case, few things are as bad and yet he rose above it. This plays into the narrative of what blessed2beme talks about in the context of God and greatness coming from adversity.
But on a tangible level, pain completely ***** :-)_ and the longer it languishes (time) it can either break one down or perhaps develop the ability to cope.
Part of me being here is to promote conversation and discuss options. I don't want people to suffer. I want to help if I can. I am glad you are here and I hope you get back to your best health real soon.
hi new to asking questions.but I have had two teeth beside wisdom tooth that was in jaw hing cut out.dentist put stitches in.had those removed. had a pocket in gum were one stitch was set up infection gave antibiotic that worked.Still have lower lip,chin numbness with tingling.just on side were teeth were took out.Feel lip when rubbed across teeth,move lip but numb with tingling and chin numb.feel when touched.when eating food feels odd keep biting lip and feel heat and cold.Is this healing or need to panic?
You may be in for a bumpy ride as most of us have been here, but history is on your side for recovering as most do to a high level with enough time.
If you read back through the posts, the biggest unknown is time. Some seem to recovery relatively soon and others can take months if not years. Much too early to know what your path will be. Next step is to be in constant contact with your dentist or oral surgeon to let them know exactly what your condition is. If you read back through the posts on this forum you will learn a lot and develop ideas or strategies to cope with this. You may need meds for the pain for example...or a med if you are feeling anxious as many do.
Heal fast mrslost99
PS: to facilitate healing I strongly suggest you consider taking supplements. I wrote about this a month or two back. You want to provide your body with the best nutrients to heal itself....active B complex, Omega 3, Lipoic Acid, multi vitamin....balanced diet...vegetables, protein, no alcohol...may have to break that rule once in a while ;-)...no sugar or salt (if possible)...also a lot of rest and exercise if you can.
Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Just got caught up on all the posts. Appreciate the discussion, and know that I haven't abandoned the thread! I will be checking back and updating as long as this issue continues for me!
I still have most all the same feelings. But I am slowly but surely noticing every once in a while that...."oh yeah, I sort of forgot about my chin!" This might not be a big deal to some who have never experienced our trials, but I think all here would understand. It can be such a constant never ending struggle in our minds! Ugh! I am trying to stop touching and moving my chin around so much throughout the day.
But I am staying busy still, sending our query letters and looking for a publisher for my children's book, blogging, studying all about health and what to eat, not to eat, etc, raising my 5 children, loving my husband, studying for my pre-nursing class, laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc. etc. etc. and on and on!
I was really glad to hear One4love's testimony that completely healing happened finally for her! Though it sounds like to me it took many many years. At least I can hold on to hope that I won't be like this the rest of my life! I appreciate timeheals60's continued perseverance in researching options (the FDR story has been a great encouragment since you posted that), and blessed2beme's faith. Hope and faith has been the biggest contributor to be actually being able to function and live my life with any enjoyment really.
Just a few things to add that I thought of on the drive to pick up my boys from school.
I don't remember if I shared this before. If I did, it has been a while, but seems to fit with One4love's testimony a little. I sliced the side/tip of my finger off on Valentines Day 2011 (What was I doing with a knife and cooking dinner on Valentines Day, you say?! I'm not sure, but I will forever blame my husband for that little mishap! haha!) Anyway....the area was numb and tingly for a few years, but now it really feels completely normal. So a good sign? :)~
Also, I was thinking about the discussion on suffering. This is something I was having a recent friendly discussion over facebook with an agnostic friend. And I do really think I understand his perspective on suffering in this world being a huge stumbling block to faith. I guess that my belief just boils down to what I believe the Bible teaches. Suffering wasn't part of God's original design in creation. Rebellion entered, and the world forever changed. But because of His great love for us, Jesus suffered tremendously on a cross to show us that love and restore our relationship with Him. I believe the Bible teaches that he WILL one day remove suffering and make all things right again. Because of his great suffering for me, I would like to believe that I would be willing to suffer any great loss or trial in this life for Him. This is the faith that allows me to endure my current difficulties with this nerve injury. Not wanting to start an argument or prove anyone wrong or anything like that, just felt compelled to share the hope that I have.
Thank you for your update!! It sounds like there is some improvement as you noted that there are times when you forget about your chin and just go on with the rest of your life. That is where I am at too - if I stay focused on what is important - I don't dwell on the injury. Really, I think that might be the best advice for those in this long term. It seems like people either heal quickly (< 6 months) or they learn how to block some of the irritation and just focus on living. Not to say that we aren't always on a quest for total healing - just saying to enjoy life while you are on the journey. :)
Thank you also for sharing your faith here. I think it is an important aspect of getting through this injury. Honestly, I don't know how I could have endured the early days without my faith.
Timeheals60 - thanks for your recent post to me - you are truly amazing in your generosity to beliefs that may seem different than your own. I have nothing but respect for you and I look forward to your future posts.
I honestly resisted getting in the belief discussion blessed2bme52. I certainly respect your faith, April's faith and others who are of similar mind. We could have a very involved discussion about theology and even talk about differences within Christianity...being born again etc not to mention the majority of the world being muslim and other faiths and we know how that it working out. :-) The greatest mind of modern time is Stephen Hawking and he is an atheist and has studied the universe and theology on a deeper level than most alive. So there are all different views of God and each is to be respected.
And on the subject of perspective removed from religion or partly at least,, I will give you a counterpoint to those that are suffering or in your words...have a long term irritation. Yes, you can immerse yourself into your belief including justification or rationalization of this injury and/or distract yourself...or...you can take a medication to block your dysesthesia. I will be at 6 months in a week or so, and that is my plan. My life now is going pretty well, I naturally distract myself with a lot of activity, but I want my body to feel like it used to before this injury and if lingering pain or abnormal sensation can be blocked with a medication while the nerve continues to heal longer term, I would like to try it.
All the best blessed2bme52 and hopefully your symptoms will resolve soon.
I am wondering what the side effects for this medication could be? I am sure you have thoroughly researched them - as much as is available. I agree that if the side effects are minimal and it would take the dysesthesia away completely - it might be worth it. Don't for a second think that I am not willing to get rid of this "longterm irritation!" Lol
To update everyone on my condition - I feel better than last week! :) I am currently NOT having the icy dripping feeling everytime I eat. I have been trying to quantify and zero in on the exact weirdness - this is what I have come up with:
The most affected spot is the inside of my lip and around the gum line of my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th from middle teeth. I have recently regained more feeling in the gum - but it still isn't normal. I have total feeling everywhere else, but still a tightness when I move my mouth in unusual ways. I still have a transfer of feeling when I lightly touch my chin below my lip. Nothing hurts or is too irritating to be blocked out. That is the current status - as in the past, it could change at any moment.
So, would I take medication to get rid of it - maybe - I'd like to know more. I have not mentioned it before, but I was a clinical scientist and my husband is a doctor - clearly I have a lot of confidence in medicine.
Peace and healing my friends - wishing you all a beautiful weekend and a joyful start to the holiday season! xoxo
When you do try a nerve medication, I would love to hear the results. My oral surgeon recommended gabapentin. My brother, who is a doctor, recommended trying Lyrica. Right now, the disruption to my life is minimal, so I will wait to try medications until I feel I really have to. My understanding was that these medications would block the pain, but I don't know about the paresthesia being addressed with them or not. If they do work, I think I would probably love to try it!
Hello everyone. I am happy to find this website and read your posts. My appreciation to your timeheals60 because you are genuine and full of empathy for people who are suffering in pain. My daughter is on her 16th day post wisdom tooth surgery and yes, she has numbness on her left chin and corner of the lower lip.I took good care of her after surgery and fed her soup and pineapple juice until she removed the stiches. I read that pineapple helps a lot to heal damaged tissues On her 14th day,she had her stiches removed. She complained to her doctor about the numbness . When he pricked her jaw with a needle point, she didn't feel anything.The doctor advised her to take a soft brush and mildly massage the area until she feels a tingling- like sensation. He told her to do it everyday .. Aside from the numbness, my concern is about her shots of Dexamethasone . She rcvd 3 and was prescribed another 2 for speedy healing of the gums and nerves . But I read a post in FB that this drug has a very bad side effects .Prolonged use may cause heart attack even to young ones, sterility, damage in the kidney etc. It was written that even one shot will prevent your body to absorb Calcium for one month and 2 shots may cause Osteoporosis even for younger patients. I discarded her last 2 vials and I was very upset why the doctor didn't warn us about the side effects of this drug. Now my daughter is worried that the 3 shots she rcvd may weaken/ damage her bones . She is 32. I read that many of you here are suffering from post surgery injury to different degree. My heart goes for everyone who suffers . I hope and pray that my daughter will heal soon , likewise to all of you who have to live a daily life in pain and discomfort. I have 2 implants ( upper front incisors ) but having read the danger of implants in the back lower teeth, I guess I will just leave my empty gums as they are, my lower 2nd and 3rd molar ,and wisdom tooth both sides are gone. I am so glad to read your posts, now I know there are other more severe cases than my daughters and I am hopeful that this is just temporary discomfort for her. My admiration to you timeheals6o .Many thanks for your information and comforting words. Peace and love.
To Blessed2beme52 and Aprilchristine:
You both ask really the questions I wish there were already answers to but apparently nobody here with all the IAN injuries recorded on this website has stated with any certainty what neuropathic meds will accomplish and the associated benefits with side affects. I believe I may take the dive even though at 6 months in less than a week I am getting back more to my old self but still a good distance to go.
Blessed2beme...I am so happy to hear you are feeling better. As one4love has taught us...some of us with longer term injury to our IAN maybe even on a 2 to 4 year recovery....unknowable. I do believe I will be a lot better at the year point, but hard to say if I will be fully healed. Meanwhile, I would like to block the weirdness...tightness and cold translation and really the 'variability' of the damaged nerve brought on my speaking and eating. But I am probably like you all at a point I really don't need a med. I honestly needed a medication at the 2-3 month point where I was in a lot of pain but that has subsided. Since nobody has really experimented on this forum...or they aren't talking about it...with different meds and dosages to know what the benefit and tradefoffs are...it would sure be good if somebody did and I think I am going to take this dive.
But will share something I learned based upon talking to a very brave and enlightened survivor of TN. He said that each of us are so different and our pain if not nerve discomfort is so different that there is no science to quantify improvement based upon particular meds. He visited with many neurologists and experimented with many medications and dosages over a five year period just trying to survive day to day. He said his latest neurologist ended up going with a medication he never used and now administers to many patients. That is how wide open this is
On Nov 25th, I am going for another consultation and will request a neuropathic med like Gabapentin...or equivalent. Even if this is the best med for my particular condition of mostly tightness at this point in my recovery...dosage would be key. I am a pretty tall guy at over 6 feet and 180 lbs and I would likely need a higher dosage than a smaller girl for example. And then there is drug sensitivity. Some like the TN sufferer I mentioned respond to a very low dosage. Some may suffer side effects if going with a higher dosage. The MD I referred above who was personally using Gabapentin for a needle injury to a nerve in his arm said, he had no discernible side effects. One of the things that makes this injury so perplexing is our symptoms are slightly different and we may respond to a different dosage or perhaps a given med better than another.
So we need more anecdotal accounts of experience with meds. On a more homeopathic path, I am taking a pretty large array of vitamins and other supplements I mentioned earlier to give the nerve the best environment to regenerate.
Both you and Bless2beme ask I believe the signature questions that I don't have an answer to or can find an answer to so far. All of us aren't in much pain but we have perhaps at times more discomfort in terms of tightness or variable numbness. For example, sometimes my lip feels normal and other times it almost buzzes with numbness. Same with my chin. My thought is a neuropathic med will likely abate this variation by calming the nerve. The only way we will determine if tightness for example can be relaxed is to take a med and evaluate it. I plan to try this. I received an assurance by my MD that taking such a med has no effect on the regeneration of the nerve. So I would like to be less affected by this injury if possible while the nerve heals which maybe over the next few months or even year period
You are so kind. Thank you for your kind words. There are so many great people here including the two ladies above you and many others I have corresponded with. Wonderful people living with more discomfort than they deserve. I am sorry to hear about your daughter. She is lucky to have such a thoughtful mother and it will be your love that will get her through this. Yes, I would like to help everybody here and end the suffering tomorrow. The only way we will minimize suffering is for our group to help one another as much as possible with sharing information including from the medical community. Please give your daughter assurance that not recovering from this injury is extraordinarily rare. The percentages are much in her favor that she will recover. Yes, it may take some time and perhaps even a lot of time. Be sure to seek medical advice and have her stay close to her dentist for advice in the next few weeks. If she goes through a lot of pain, consider going on meds short term to get through this difficult period. If she suffers with anxiety which myself and many have because of this injury, there IS help and it will help her a lot...please read earlier posts on this. Please post with any concerns for your daughter. Meanwhile your support will get her through this.
My thoughts are with everybody here and heal soon everybody.
Definition of Neuropathic Pain:
As discussed, our symptoms can and generally are different based upon the extent of injury to the IAN and the timeline of how much we have healed.
Below is a definition of neuropathic pain perhaps we all can relate to. This is not specific to the IAN or lingual nerve but peripheral nerves in general:
Patients who have neuropathic pain may report a wide variety of unusual sensations or pain complaints. These may include burning pain, pain radiating into an area of anesthesia, or an absent limb, pulling, drawing or crawling sensations, lancinating explosive pains which may be spontaneous in their origin or induced by mechanical or thermal stimulation.
Above passage was borrowed from the following article and defines the difficulty of treating neuropathic pain or discomfort and identifies different drugs and some of their tradeoffs:
The 'pulling and drawing' sensation is highly reported on this forum and perhaps the biggest discomfort I have at my present point in recovery. The electric pain I had prior was many times worse but that has subsided for me thankfully. So I am curious to see if an anti convulsive med would reduce the tightness in effect by relaxing the nerve...the nerve I believe convulsing on a microscopic level which creates the sensation of tightness.
As the nerve heals, this tension or tightness is reported to generally go away and if a med exists to feel more normal during the healing process, that would be a great path to seek provided a dosage could be determined without side effects.
Most of us don't want to go on any sort of med. I don't take a single med currently and have never my entire life. But...I have never been through anything like this and I would like to eliminate if not reduce the tightness in my chin if I could and why I am considering it.
It's been a while since I last posted - life has been crazy busy. Here's my situation in brief. I had my lower wisdom teeth extracted last May. I had a lot of pain and could not feel my lower lip and chin. After about a month I felt some improvement. 6 months later I have a lot of feeling back - about 75% and I am not in any pain. Yet I have the uncomfortable tightness in the chin and lower teeth that many of you are experiencing. During the day when I am busy, I pay little mind to it. But by nighttime, I feel drained and sometimes a sense of despair that this will never go away. But I am grateful to have gotten to this point where I can lead a functional life.
Has anyone found acupuncture to help with the tightness? It is something I thought about trying.
Nice to hear from you. As I read your post, I would say it is 'exactly' where I am at. I too had my wisdom tooth extracted in May and my symptoms and recovery has been identical to yours. Also Kazlilly had her IAN injected with a needle accidentally in May based upon a routine dental procedure and her recovery is the same as ours. It is very hard to look forward, but look how far we have come. I have to believe in another 6 months to 1 year we will be very close to full recovery...but only speculation. If you have a chance, read through Starbrite's recovery....she posted monthly for over 1 year. We are on the same trajectory I believe and she was having breakthroughs at 8 months, 1 year and later and is pretty close to fully recovered.
Heal fast and good to hear from you. Be sure to come back and let us know how you are doing.
I Have not posted in a while but I will give a quick update on my situation. It has been iver 4 months since my surgery and time goes on. I would say I am not fully healed but at about 85 % however would like to be fully healed like evryone else!
I don't know what will happen and if I will get any more healing all I can do is hope. What I feel now is only a very slight numbness in a little section. I can notice this when I move my mouth around. Other than that I have normal feeling. But when I pull my bad side of the lip it does feel a little different and hurts unlike my good side.
I haven't posted for a while but thought I would just update on my injury. It is 6 months since the injection caused the injury. I think there has been some change over the months and think I am about 75% ok now, but I can see this is a very slow healing process. the left lip and chin are still a bit numb but most of the sensations are back now but there is the pulling that most suffer from when moving the mouth, I have pins and needles on the inside of the lip and the lip is very sensitive to touch etc. When i drink something cold this radiates down the lip and chin which can be quite alarming. I am interested in acupuncture but that's as far as I have got with it. I am also considering trying Gabapentin to see if that eases the tightness. Welcome to the newbies to the site, albeit unfortunate but at least we all know what we are going through.
i had my lower right wisdom tooth pulled on thursday the 13th... it took them 2 hours to extract it! it had 8 days today and i am still in great pain... my chin, lower lip and some teeth/gums are still numb. my ear is killing me and i think im dying! :( not really ( i hope not) but i feel awful!! also my right arm is like numb or feels weird or something
First 2 weeks can be tough. Hope you have suitable meds for the pain and are getting a lot of rest.
Be sure to stay in contact with your dentist and let him know your status.
Feel free to ask any questions you are concerned about as we have been there.
You have a lot of support here and we wish you the best in your recovery.
Hi - welcome. I'm sorry you are struggling with this issue. You are in the early stages and MANY people recover very quickly. I will hope and pray you are one of them. The pain is certainly the worst at the beginning - I promise it will get better - hang in there - we are here for you! :)
Good to hear from those with recent updates - it sounds like everyone is progressing to some extent - it can take a while. My own recovery has progressed slightly even since my last post. I have a habit of biting the inside of my lip - it is an intentional gentle bite, not a hard painful bite. Well, I actually use it to determine if there is an improvement in sensation, and this weekend there was an improvement! I start at the corner of my mouth and bite slowly toward the middle - it actually feels totally normal at the corner - no weird sensation - and I can bite a bit toward the center and it feels normal! Woohoo!! I am still healing - past the 19 month mark and there is healing!!
Good luck tomorrow!! I am so excited for you - I hope and pray that it will answer some of your (our) questions and it will further the knowledge on the treatment of this injury. Can't wait to hear how it goes!! :)
Thank you for the well wishes bless2bme52. I sure appreciate your posts and so glad to hear about your improvement. Couldn't happen to a nicer lady I will add. I tried to describe the very thing you mentioned a while back as it stuck with me as a means to evaluate improvement. I believe I am where you were at a while back. Trying your technique which I too use as indelicately as it sounds...sucking on my lip to evaluate the status of the nerve...the way I describe it is....it feels let's see...awful? :-)...crusty or wire-y...no words to describe it really. Obviously not healed yet. :-) By contrast you will laugh...in the morning when I just wake up after my mouth has been sleeping...I quickly do the lip suck test and guess what?...pretty close to normal. So when the nerve is a sleep or un-agitated....the nerve and mouth for that matter feels closer to normal. During the morning and more mouth movement yields the weirdness often described. If you are beyond this point where your nerve doesn't get agitated to create this discomfort even during talking and eating...I say horray!...fantastic news. I am so happy for you and gives each of us hope who are suffering longer term.
I am almost used to this discomfort but every day if not hour I wish it would go away. :-) So tomorrow I ask about meds to 'maybe' quiet the nerve down to the level It is at when I just wake up. Guess will see and will be sure to share my findings.
I will also have more to add about Dr. Shankland who has not responded to my second email with more difficult if not more probing questions. I suppose his silence is somewhat telling as well and will try to draw some conclusions when I make my next entry.
Congrat blessed2bme52!! Now go out and celebrate. :-)
The numbness is going away slowly ... as expected. I can now feel the back of my gums on most teeth and when using my makeup brush I get a freaking CRAZY wicked itch where I cannot scratch and feel it make a difference.
Things are beginning to accelerate, but in the accelerate we all know as "that's better than yesterday, but in no way is it better than it was before this happened."
I was thinking about something today. You know, since for the majority of us this is a temporary thing. Temporary meaning it's not for life. We get a rare look at something that most don't get. We get to see what it's like to be permanently impacted by something as slow healing as a lip and gums. It forces us to have a different perspective on time.
For those who are just having this OMG, WTF happened moment I am telling you as a person who has now had this happen twice on both sides of my mouth (15 years apart) that the second time (lol) is way easier! :)~ Is it fun? No! Chewing into my lip bites and not being able to bite down like knowing I'm not going to chew my lip or bite into it is not fun at all. However I have a perspective. "It won't last forever."
That perspective is important because how you treat people while you're going through this is who you really are. It's not anyone's fault (usually) but it is a circumstance of your life. Please remember that.
We didn't lose a leg, we didn't get told we are going to die. We are experiencing a tragic event that heals. Again, it bites that it is happening. Before you tell me to shut up or flip me off, don't forget this is my second time around, so give me some love here. :)~
I get the panic. I get the constant pinching and feeling your chin all the time. I get the "omg.. I can't tell if there's something on my face" wipes. I get the fat lip because you've bitten into it.
It will pass, but how you react to this and people around you won't pass in your mind. Regret is the one of the only things we don't ever live past. Remember that and know from a repeat numbed lip person that it's easier the second time. :)~ I pray none of you have to experience this twice, but if you do .. omg! is it so much easier.
If there is a silver lining, and many of us strain real hard to see it :-) the silver lining to this daunting rain cloud is just as you write one4love. I see the positive you write about and this is something that blessed2beme has written about. A bad thing, albeit a temporary but a lingering bad thing, happening to good people gives broader perspective and greater humility and empathy to those that suffer that they will in turn share with their fellow man. Adversity does build character without question. You are an example one4love. Your circumstance which brought us here which is our good fortune is what give you not only your perspective but us as well.
On this forum there are many really good people that share their insight. But who understand suffering associated with this better than someone that has had this misfortune not once but twice?...a statistical occurrence that can't even be calculated it is so remote. And yes, this is passing. But it stays around long enough to give each us of serious doubt. So we not only have pity for ourselves but its a lot easier now to understand the pain of others and be less quick to judge why so many see things differently. The simple reality is we don't walk in the same shoes. As a previously healthy man, I really never understood pain and suffering until now. And then there are life altering events that don't pass with time as you state. Those would be so much harder to accept and we have been fortunately spared of..
All said, I hope your second round one4love, passes quickly. I will tell you at 6 months, my mouth tends to feel a bit different each day if not week but I still have a long way to go and this journey is made easier by you and others that have shared their path.
PS: on a tangible level, I would like to share a test I perform everyday...or most days I think about it. When I take a shower I compare both sides of my chin and lip with the shower head up close. In the very early days when I had numbness, of course the shower head couldn't be felt at all and I was waiting for the day I could feel the force of the water on my injured side and that day came about 1 month after my IAN injury. Then for me came the long battle with pain...about 3 solid months of neuropathic electric pain as sensation returned to gums, chip and lip. Resuming the shower test a couple of months ago, I have gone from a pretty intense sensation on the injured side...a hypersensitivity when the water would strike....to each day or week a more normal feeling. Its not normal at this point. But basically the nerve with time is quieting down and it becoming less agitated when stimulated. It is healing albeit slowly. So for those looking for a means of tracking the change of their nerve which is very difficult to quantify as sensation is very difficult to even define, use this test from the beginning. You may want to suspend this method during the pain phase of the healing process if you go through it like I did and some do not. Fortunately pain for me has largely passed. The nerve does become agitated with motion still but in the early days after breaking out of numbness, I could barely eat or speak the pain was so intense. I am so grateful I have recovered from this dreadful and scary period and anybody reading this going through this, you will too.
I will share a last bit of positive with each of you that maybe on a tread mill called life. We don't have to be. There are a couple of ways of looking at this. Aprilchristine for example threw herself into a very intense schedule of accomplishment to no doubt help distract from the mental and physical pain of this injury. Me? I find the nerve bugs me less when I am doing things I enjoy doing the most. So what I have done is taken a year vacation of sorts. Not a traditional year off, but rather I have rearranged my life to do the things I enjoy doing the most which make me the happiest. This is my best medicine for coping with the adversity of this injury. Good offsets bad effectively. Yes, as I get closer to normal, I will no doubt rejoin the legion and get back on the treadmill but right now I say ride the metaphorical wave while the surfs up. :-) I should have been a surfer anyway. :-) Cheers to all.
So sorry for not posting here in awhile. I have been so busy with work and life in general, and I guess the less you hear from me, the better since it means my nerve damage is not on my mind as much anymore ;)
However, I do always want to check in and see how everyone is doing. I will be two years out this February and while I am doing very well, I still have those days where I stop and think, 'will this truly ever go away?' I am still noticing break throughs every once in awhile though so this does continue to heal even after so many months. I cannot stress that enough!
I still feel tightness in the middle of my chin and the lower part of my teeth, all in the same middle spot. I remember my doctor telling me that this will heal like a coin, so it originally was a silver dollar (all numb) and then it will slowly just get smaller and smaller until it gets to the size of a dime and then eventually be fully healed. I have to say, that's pretty much how it seems to be working. The surrounding areas are almost 100% back to normal, it's just the very middle that is still causing an "issue" for me. I really go about my daily life now though barely thinking of it. It's only when I truly sit alone and move my mouth around when I notice that things are not all correct yet.
I've mentioned this in a past post how I had a very prominent plastic surgeon who has peripheral nerve damage himself, and also works with patients who have had it happen, and he said 3 YEARS is what it takes to be fully healed so I'm sticking to that number :)
I hope everyone is feeling better and please do go back and read what I wrote during my first year. It was extremely difficult, but I am happy and lucky to have at least gotten to the point I am at now. Of course I hope it's 100% normal again someday, but I cannot really complain as to how far I have come.
I have not posted on this site in a few months. I hope everyone is on the road to recovery and not in much pain. As for me, I was 16 months on November 25. I am still at about 80%. I have good days and I have bad days. Today is a bad day. My lip constantly tingles and hurts. I had to take 4 Motrin today just to get rid of the pain. When I talk a lot, it makes it worse. My dentist says that as long as it is hurting and tingling; the feeling will return. I am praying for a miracle for all of us!
To me, at 1 year and 4 months with lingering pain from this injury...you are a candidate for neuropathic meds. Have you considered this option? Motrin isn't really effective for neuropathic pain as the pain mechanism is different that other pain induced trauma.
I have just started Gabapentin yesterday and am very slowly ramping up as advised my MD. I am taking this really only a trial basis because I have achieved a fair amount of healing since my injury 6.5 months ago. However, I believe I still have a way to go..can't even quantify it...30%?...and if a med exists that will make my mouth more normal, I would like to try it. The lingering affect of this injury for me is discomfort due to tightness and increased numbness or nerve agitation due to eating and speaking aka jaw motion. So I am curious if Gabapentin...the go to med for neuropathic pain...will alleviate some of this discomfort.
Tightness is the overwhelming long term symptom expressed on this forum due to an IAN injury and it would be most helpful if somebody through trail and error could identify a med that would relax the nerve's tendency to get tight. With all the people injured here, I haven't read a single account identifying a med that will reduce tightness....much of the reason rooted in many with this injury haven't taken meds to alleviate their discomfort...which I find somewhat surprising I will add.
My best to you omgthispain and will be sure to share my experience in the ensuing weeks with Gabapentin.
Hi to everyone and also to Bethiam, sorry I didn't reply to you earlier, but yes it is amazing what a wide net this forum covers. Such a small world - my daughter goes to Liverpool University and note you mentioned that you may retire there as your husband is from there. Welcome Articwater, not the best reason for joining a forum but at least we are here for one another. It is over 6 months since a block injection for a filling caused my IAN injury and things have improved since the early days, but I still have hypersensitivity on my bottom left lip and tightness in that part of the lip and about half of chin on the left side. Things might be easing off a little, but this is such a slow healing injury that it is difficult to quantify. I am thinking about using Gabapentin for pain/irritation.
Unless you have suffered from this type of injury, you wouldn't have a clue what it entails and that is why we are here for one another because we understand what we are going through. Not easy, but I believe it does get better with time and patience.
Just thought I would throw myself into the conversation.
Had all for wisdom's pulled but didn't have anything wrong with them. just thought that they should come out now instead of later just to make sure nothing gets messed up.
About a week after the surgery I noticed that my bottom right lip was numb/tingly and my bottom right teeth just hurt, all the time. I went back to the dentist and he knew exactly what was happening. literally was able to explain the 3 things that could be going on right now and the difference between them. The first is just a lot of pain on the whole area all the time (nerve is severely damaged), which I don't have. The 2nd was no feeling at all (severed nerve)
The 3rd was small pain with numbness/tingling, which I have. It's a good sign, It means that I will heal. About 2 weeks after the tingling went away and only a small portion of my lip is numb, which is probably permanent, but at least It doesn't hurt. My teeth on the other hand still hurt.
He basically told me that the numb parts will probably never heal, the parts that tingle and are in pain will heal but will take a long time, and possibly more surgery. He has only had one patient that took longer than 6 months to heal and they had to use LYRICA, after which she was healed in under 3 months. He had to do surgery to correct a few things for other people after he discovered the nerve was being pushed on by stuff, afterwards they healed within weeks.
I take B6 B12 and Niacin everyday which is included in my multivitamin pack I take. Its GNC Ultra Mega Green and I feel that This has helped me a lot. The pain in my teeth is about half of what It was before. i was at 500mg acetaminophen and 400mg ibuprofen every 3 hours and am now down to the same dose only 2 times a day at most and only when I have used my mouth A LOT.
i hope this helps people mentally and physically. Pain is good, It ***** but its good. I'm going on a month and a half and am feeling good!
Welcome to the forum. What you write seems to conflict with what your dentist told you. Maybe you could clarify. You wrote: He said that numb will probably never heal which btw, is patently false...people come here with numb parts that do heal...lots of people...even some who have been numb for over a year (accounts you can read on this forum). A lot of my numb parts have healed as well. Now if what you meant to write...that somebody with a completely severed IAN who is numb will never heal, this is correct. However, this isn't true either with surgical intervention. The IAN can be reconnected with surgery which generally will manifest improvement albeit it may not be 100%. Then you went on to write that "small pain with numbness/tingling, which I (you) have. "It's a good sign, It means that I will heal." Well first you said that numbness will never heal then you wrote tingling plus numbness is a good sign. Truth is, the dentist injured your nerve and so tingling and numbness in the absolute sense is not a good sign. But, is sounds as though by your description...you said you are doing well etc, that the good news for you is, perhaps your dentist did not injury the IAN 'severely'. One of the issues here as many frantically look for answers is...the reality is, our nerve injuries are not the same. Some are lightly injured and resolve in weeks if or less than 3 months. They go quietly and gratefully. Then there are others here with greater injury to the IAN that languish longer term. Some well over a year and into 2 years and a smaller percentage beyond this period. The only way btw this can be deduced because we are still in the stone age of dentistry...(there are no machines that can reliably determine nerve condition on the molecular level where nerve impulse transmission occurs)....is by the symptoms of each patient as they report.
I am hopeful you fully heal within a 3 month period. If you came out of complete numbness very quickly and have experienced little pain and you say you feel good, then I would say you have a very good chance.
Thanks for sharing the info on Lyrica and other supplements. This is an area that needs further reporting for those suffering longer term. For example about ten days ago I started a regiment of Gabapentin and am up to 300mg 2 x's a day...will be ramping to 3 x's a day in less than a week. Gabapentin has a 'kick in' period and waiting for this to occur. I maybe getting some slight relief already...or....my nerve continues to heal...hard to differentiate. To report on my status about 1 week shy of 7 months, I will say my mouth continues to change. I can only say that some days this change doesn't feel positive. :-) But others it does. I can only rationalize this as...the nerve continues to grow and deviate in status from its previously injured state and the brain hasn't adjusted to this change. This results in an alteration in sensation. I believe normal is by definition...when the nerve continues to grow...which btw it does throughout our lives...and change in nerve growth is imperceptibly small relative to what the brain can perceive relative to how the nerve was previously. This is by definition is healing or healed. The nerve no longer changes from how it was previously. The brain doesn't like change and can't separate damaged tissue from a damaged nerve. So as long as your lip/chin/gum continues to change and still aren't fully healed, the nerve is still progressing. My take trying to make sense of a seemingly senseless injury.
Due diligence when it comes to preventing injury to the IAN? No such thing.
And now time for a mini rant. If anybody here really questions the efficacy or veracity...or lets call it 'due diligence' based upon 'so called' medical standards or protocols of the medical community, I have good proof that this is simply farcical. Procedures oral surgeons base their operations on are highly flawed if not variable or even non existent. These are pretty big words so I have to produce proof. Many here may believe that IAN injuries occur because dentists or oral surgeons do not precisely agree on established protocols taught in dental school. No. Long time dentists can't even agree on best practice based upon the experience of many procedures
What better proof than a number of dentists/oral surgeons arguing on line about best practice when it comes to preventing sadly common but life altering IAN damage during dental implant surgery? The uptake is...don't be a little afraid, be VERY afraid. Reading this is tantamount to an assemblage of middle school boys bickering about the best way to build a tree fort. Only we are talking about the mental and physical health of people's lives...likely thousands throughout the world. These are extremely well trained men and women who are MD's and long term dentists who have thousands of implant procedures under their belts and they can't agree on the best method of preventing IAN injuries. How do you feel about these people holding the key to your life moving forward and not having a lock solid grasp on procedure? Outrage? You bet. Irresponsible and unconscionable is the bottom line.
Have a read:
If anybody here would like to have a discussion about what they were arguing about and 'why it is so critical to injuring the IAN' and why what a couple of dentists/oral surgeons publically stated about procedure is both outrageous if not immoral, I would like to have that discussion and we should have it so that everybody really understands what is going on.
This is particularly relevant if anybody here is considering a dental implant procedure or perhaps had their IAN damaged due to lack of so called best practice bordering on mal practice.
Just wanted to update everybody on the status of this med. For me at least it didn't work. I started almost 2 weeks ago and after much soul searching about wondering if the drug was helping or hindering...gradually increasing dosage to 600 mg/day, I believe if anything, it actually aggravates my dysesthesia. No placebo either. :-) So, I am going off of it slowly as instructed if it didn't work out.
I suppose this isn't a revelation. Nobody here has reported much success with Gabapentin relative to decreased tightness. The benefit of neuropathic meds based upon anti-convulsive properties is to mitigate pain. In the classic sense, fortunately my pain has abated after early months of agonizing pain. I am left with tightness and abnormal sensation or a sense the nerve gets aggravated with talking and eating and heightened cold sensitivity. I am hopeful of course this lessens over time and improves with more healing although for me, this may be a very long period of time.
The one side effect of Gabapentin at 600mg is I feel perhaps a bit more relaxed but likely a hint more fatigued at the end of the day more than anything. Fatigue is a reported side effect. I am not a guy prone to fatigue and so this is kind of unusual if not important to me, but I would have lived with a slight edge off my energy level if Gabapentin would help the tightness in my chin area which it does not...at least for me.
So wanted to share this result as some have asked me privately about whether its helping.
I will only say what my best Christmas present has been this year. It has been each of you. There are so many to thank which includes everyone here.
A special gift has come from Starbrite who I believe with her monthly updates and insightful writing has put this injury into perspective better than anyone. This in the face of nobody doing that prior. Sticking with it and unknowable consequence. The definition of bravery....to share and help others. A special gift.
So she has been my guiding light. Her gift is her timeline to us which gives us the grace to do the time and not lose hopefulness. If anybody would like a Word version of her timeline to keep on your desktop which you can click on from time to time, its a story of inspiration really. Please send me a private message and I would be happy to email it to you.
I had a not so merry christmas. I had a tooth removed on the bottom right side of my jaw (not the wisdom tooth, but the tooth right before it), and now the entire right half of my lip is numb, as is the chin, inner lining of the jaw, and teeth. My tongue isnt numb thankfully. My procedure was done 12-22-2014, and now im worried this may be permanent. There is a slight burning sensation on my lip, kinda like my lip is chapped and dry and needs vaseline. My chin is completely numb with no sensation when touched or rubbed. I get the itching and tingling feeling thats been mentioned here before and the itch that you cannot scratch has become a torturous reality for me. I know compared to some of you who have been going through this far longer than me I may not have room to complain, but its been VERY difficult for me to cope with. The oral surgeon that did the procedure has a CBCT scanner, and I'm hoping I can schedule an appointment with her on Monday to see if any damage has been done to the nerve that could result in this damage being permanent.
For those of you more experienced with dealing with this illness, is it possible for a CBCT scan to tell her whether or not the nerve was bruised, damaged, or worse; severed?
Sorry to hear and would say by your description you have pretty much classic symptoms of an inferior alveolar nerve injury. We could dissect why it happened...lack of due diligence...a mistake in procedure, or perhaps you had a pathology with aggravating circumstances. We could have that discussion but most come to terms with the injury on some level as hard as it is to accept. It is not reversible and so all you have is healing moving forward.
But some basic guidelines.
When a no.2 or no.3 molar is extracted because of proximity to the IAN, a dentist or oral surgeon will always take an X-ray or radiograph to determine position of the tooth root to the nerve. If the nerve is close to the tooth root that is to be extracted, a CBCT scan is normally performed to improve resolution. Further photographic virtual 3D sections can be cut to determine the relationship laterally through the jaw. With this information an oral surgeon will be able to process the risk and construct a strategy for removing the tooth accordingly...or even suggest not to extract which maybe the best decision.
Not that it determines your fate moving forward, you may recall if this was performed or if you were advised of any particular risk. Perhaps you could share why your no. 2 rear bottom molar had to come out.
So that is the background. Now what to do. Yes, you can have a post operation CBCT scan performed and this is particularly meaningful if you are to have an implant for example...or been prepped for one which caused your injury. But what the CBCT scan will tell you is limited because it can't tell you the condition of the "interior of the nerve."
What happens when a tooth is extracted where the nerve is adjacent to the root is the fulcruming of the tooth out will induce a lateral stress concentration on the nerve...the root is like karate chop and this can crush or stretch the nerve.
Your dentist/surgeon however will likely know what happened during the extraction. Whether she tells you precisely what happened is a subject of debate. I would say most will not. They will give you a benign response which is the nerve will recover with time.
So how do you determine what your next step is. The nerve status is deduced by your 'symptoms' over time. You will know within the next 3-5 weeks if the nerve is severed by virtue of your improvement in sensation. If you don't feel a change to you lip/chin/gum in the next 5 weeks, at week 7 you want to contact a nerve specialist or have a referral. Complete numbness is due to trauma to the nerve. I would say it is exceedingly rare to have the nerve severed. And your recovery is based upon your age, overall health and how badly the nerve was damaged due to the extraction. Mine I believe was pretty badly damaged and my recovery is slow and may even be incomplete. Unknowable but I have improved to the point where I have gotten on with my life and I am cautiously optimistic I will recover more...and hopefully in 2-3 years back close to normal.
You may or may not have substantive injury to the nerve. Again, I don't believe many dentists or surgeons would even admit this if they knew precisely because of liability even though you consented to the surgery as all do and likely signed a waiver relative to possible numbness.
In summary, it is your symptoms and time and not a CBCT scan that determine your nerve status moving forward.
Btw, you may improve quickly without pain or your recovery maybe harder as mine was. You may need an anti depressant as others have through this period because yes we all were devastated by this. Many different coping strategies have been discussed previously and I strongly encourage you to read the entire forum for best perspective.
My best to you and post with any question or concerns as we are here for one another.
Thank you so much for your response, as im sure you can imagine it really is a breath of hope. To give you some more information, here is a bit about me:
- I'm 32yrs old (will be 33 next year)
- Im fairly physically active (although I have a sedentary job)
- The tooth that was removed was extracted because of a fairly bad cavity that had developed. It would cause EXCRUCIATING pain.
Now regarding my surgeon, yes, I was given a CBCT scan. When my dentist initially had taken x-rays of my mouth to get a better picture of the tooth that needed to be extracted, she said I had longer than normal roots, and the root of the tooth ran down to the nerve, and a surgeon would need to extract it. So at that point I was scheduled to see an oral surgeon, and had to take a CBCT scan to get a better picture of the nerve issue. I was given a consultation in which the surgeon told me I may feel some numbness around my lip, but the area that was described was very small so I didnt take it like it was that big of a deal. I didnt think it would be half of my lip, chin, inner lining of jaw, and teeth. I thought it was only going to be the lip, and I thought it was only going to be temporary.
Regarding the sensations, so far it varies:
- Itching sensation
- Burning sensation in my lip, feels like my lip is chapped and I always have to lick it to keep it moist
- When I yawn I get tingling sensations in my chin
- General tingling in the lip
Yup, that covers enough to give you some further perspective moving forward. You had what sounds like a bad cavity, tooth decay and the tooth had to come out. As it turns out, we don't need our no.2 (second to most rearward molar) or no.3 molar (rearmost). Many won't replace either of these for example and in my case, my no.3 molar (most rearward and closest to the nerve) was impacted and below the surface of the gum so it didn't offer any biting surface anyway. So many will not replace the no.2 molar you had extracted and use the no.1 molar in front on that side for chewing.
As to your symptoms, let me give you some word of encouragement. There was some due care at least and sounds like you had an oral surgeon perform the extraction. You are also relatively young and the jaw bone is less hard the younger you are. But the very good news in your case is...your symptoms are not extreme and you may recover relatively quick in fact. No guarantees...maybe up to 6 months...perhaps even less...unknowable...but hopefully the injury to your IAN is relatively small and your symptoms of 'sensation...light burning and itching are testament that that nerve is intact and communicating which is very good news. No feeling as it turns out is bad. But don't be alarmed with no feeling in your chin. This is pretty much all of us and if you read back through the forum you can track the emergence of sensation in your chin. Perform the shower head test each day or week and you will feel a difference with time.
A note on this is...the vast majority of those with this injury do recover and a very small percent don't but most of this subset recover to a point where they aren't devastated by it because the symptoms are not problematic. This is one of the reasons I believe the dental community is less vigilant than what I believe they should be...improving the technology of predicting outcome. It just may take a very long time and as mentioned, I am on this trajectory but I want to tell you that at 7 months, because of continued improvement I have had...one step back and two steps forward at a slower than snail's pace, I believe I will emerge with almost normal sensation over the next couple of years...and mine was a particularly difficult extraction because of nerve involvement with the root.
The one thing the doctors don't tell us is the level of devastation about this. This is for two reasons...or perhaps three. One...they don't know if there will be any deficit. They can't predict it based upon their surgery. They know the probabilities and that is all. Symptoms vary a bit depending on level of injury. I had pretty devastating pain for example and many don't. My pain has gone away with time and yours will too. Second, most oral surgeons don't encounter many patients like us. We are outliers...statistical anomalies...but there are many here because the world is a big place. This in fact makes our group understand the tradeoffs in someway better than the experts. We are our own focus group out of necessity. Third, none of these doctors have ever had this. Some may even understand the level of devastating but play it down because to accept this risk every time they extract a tooth...what they do, just adds more stress to an already very difficult job. Most of us wouldn't want to take out molars for a living.
So the sensation you have is a positive sign. As the months go by, you will wonder if or when you will fully recovery. As one lady mentioned who had numbness for over a couple of years, one day she woke up and her mouth felt normal. I will tell you I had a breakthrough right around Christmas time in fact when the sensation in my mouth changed pretty dramatically...another 'shift' in sensation on a very long and convoluted path to healing.
My best to you and hope that helps gives you some peace of mind.
PS: I suggest you take supplements to give your body the best environment to heal....been addressed in previous posts.
Timeheals all of this is so helpful its crazy. The thing that gets to me the most wouldnt even necessarily be the numbness, but its the itching. I've even stopped taking the prescribed pain killers because one of the side effects is itching and the LAST thing I need is magnified itching in that area, it already drives me mad enough as it is, which drives me to my next questions.
1. Is there any supplement (or drug) that I can take that will make the itching feeling go away?
2. You mentioned supplements to take to help speed the healing process. Do you know any of these off-hand or will I need to parse through this thread to find them?
I didnt call the surgeon today (possibly tomorrow) because as mentioned by you earlier a CBCT scan wont really tell her if the nerve is damaged or not, and based on this entire thread, you were easily able to diagnose exactly what was wrong.
Helpful is exactly what each of us need in a time of crisis and if I can provide some comfort, because I was borderline suicidal about this, I am glad to offer some comfort. I am kind of health nut and to me this was a very big deal.
Itching as it turns out is perhaps the best symptom of all. Oh, its distracting for sure. But it is sign that the nerve is breaking through to normalcy. I too have been going through some on my chin lately and I am so grateful for it. So embrace the weirdness basically. ;-) This injury is a veritable magic carpet ride on mushrooms and acid in the worse way and your early itching is an indicator, you maybe spared the agonizing pain I went through.
I sure hope so. But please remember these words. Pain is also your friend. Part of the despair of this, is just how counterintuitive the healing process is. Its like golf...fraught with opposites. :-) So when you are feeling the worst, you are right around the corner to another plateau of improvement as contrary as that seems.
I don't know of a med that mitigates itching and haven't heard of one. Further, the biggest annoyance and really more than an annoyance is tightness I would say most experience through the healing process. I haven't stumbled upon a med for that either and MD's when asked just give me back a blank stare.
My niece is a homeopathic doctor in California and of course I contacted her for advice about supplements. I honestly am not a fan of meds and prefer a more natural adjunct to overall health even though meds have their place...just typically with side effects which can be worse than what they accomplish. I am a big fan of supplements however.
So her suggested regiment is:
• 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 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 and helps to control pain. No specifics to advise, but I think this would be helpful.
no refined sugar, no alcohol, no processed foods, no fast food, limit dairy and gluten
focus on lean protein, fruits and vegetables
I am not a big drinker but over the holiday I had a few drinks...not many.
Alcohol and sugar are bad for nerve regeneration FWIW. B complex and Omega 3 are a very good thing and Loratic Acid is an antioxidant and good for you as well.
Because it is so easy to get lost in magnitude of improvement and because each of us are so desperate to achieve it, a generic test is something we can use as a gage to discern if or how much our mouths are changing. A shower test is one such method. Btw, you will have some mental flashbacks. I will give you an example. When this first happened to me because my case was extreme, I couldn't speak without excruciating pain. I had tongue involvement as well and why I was so frantic. But I looked normal and tried to fake that I was and I am not any good at faking. :-) So I would go to the grocery store and have a hard time speaking to different people there without slurring words. I am pretty conversational by nature so this was a big deal. But with the passing months, I have regained my ability to speak with less discomfort. I also like to sing and have been able to do that as well again. Yes, speaking/singing can still aggravate the nerve a bit, but I am no longer tongue tied and I use that word literally. I was tongue tied...like there were strings connected to the base of my tongue. So I was pretty scared out of mind about this and wondering if my great life had come to a crashing halt out of nowhere basically...a tooth extraction that was worse than a car wreck basically.
So I understand your fear in spades and why when new people come here I try to talk them down as I was up on the ledge.
So each day you take a shower, place the shower head on your good side and then on the injured side. You mentioned you had numbness in your chin like we all had initially when the nerve was injured. Over time your chin will emerge from this and this is normally when the pain phase kicks in. This maybe a relatively minor transition for you as you have early itching which is a very good sign. But you may have pain and I had scary pain which most don't. Then...the pain slowly abates...and your nerve continues to improve and when you compare both sides with the shower head, you will remember how far you have come from the early days....a gage of sorts.
Again, events in your life that you do repetitively will also trigger how much improvement you have realized including kissing your significant other...something pretty dam important to each of us.
My best advice is choose hope over fear. This will become easier with time because your improvement will give you hope naturally. If there is an upside to this as blessed2beme has taught is, once you get through this, everything else will be easy...
I'm new to this forum. I've read nearly everything that you have all described on this forum. My symptoms are exactly the same: numb left side of chin and bottom lip, gum line in same left side, burning sensation on the inside of my lip, tight feeling, dry lips, heavy chin feeling like it has a weight attached to the left side of it. The only area that I differ from everyone else on this forum is that the numbness came before tooth extraction. I started with a week of excruciating pain on the left side of my face, jaw, ear, temple, during the Christmas break. All dentists in the area were away on holidays except for one who wouldn't see me, but prescribed antibiotics for a suspected infection in a tooth. Long story short, after 2 visits to the ER, I was eventually taking 3 times the antibiotics originally prescribed along with anti-inflammatory and Tylenol. After a week, we were finally able to reach my dentist who suspected a bad tooth. The back molar on the left side was extracted last Saturday the 3rd of January 2015 and the numbness remains. But again, the numbness was there 4 days before the tooth was even extracted. My dentist and family physician are currently both involved and puzzled. They are sending me to a specialist if there are no positive changes by the 12th of Jan. I admire you all for what you have been through for so long. I'll keep you all posted on any changes. God Bless
Correction. I said that I read nearly everything. Didn't realize there were several pages. I did not read them all. I read the last 100, so there may be others whose numbness started before any dental work. If so, I would love to hear from you as well to see if results differ at all. Of course I look forward to hear from anyone else too! Thanks.
Welcome to the forum and sorry for your IAN injury.
I have not read about an IAN injury due to circumstances unrelated to a dental procedure but obviously something in your mouth caused an interference with the IAN. Pressure will interrupt nerve function not unlike sleeping on your arm and causing numbness. Sounds as though you had an abscess which potentially degraded the nerve...or created pressure on the nerve.
Can you provide your age?.. any pre-existing dental issue? Are you diabetic? Any TMJ? Hopefully removing the tooth and infection will restore the IAN function. Be sure to see a specialist as you propose. Prior to removing the tooth an x-ray or CBCT scan should have been performed to determine the relationship of the nerve to the tooth to see if the tooth and not the infection was the root cause.. You may have had the tooth root pressing on the nerve as well which caused your nerve dysfunction.
Please keep us posted and if you have a longer term nerve injury as a result, the forum here will hopefully help you cope with your recovery.
Just a quick check in. I'm at 17 months. I do feel like there has been some improvement over the last two months. Though there is still tightness and some lingering numbness (not complete numbness, just altered sensation), it seems to be less. I saw my oral surgeon for the last time in November, and he said he thinks that it will just very gradually continue to improve. I have some hope that by two years, I will very rarely notice the sensations. It just seems to be a bit less tight and tingly all of the time, and there are times, especially the first few hours of the day that I hardly notice the difference at all. I wish you all the best in starting the new year.
Great to hear April. Thanks for sharing your progress. I believe we are on a very similar time line although I am well behind you.
Maybe a good time for brief discussion about recovery. Some wonder if they will recover because the road is so long. All of us with this long term deficit ask ourselves this question...perhaps daily.
Over the months of recovery...I am approaching 8 months...aside from asking all MD's I cross paths with and I have asked this question of probably 20 to date, I have gone out on the web looking for answers. You have likely read my comments about the correlation between extend of injury to the IAN and recovery period. This is key. It may be simplistic but it needs to be stated that those with the greatest injury to the IAN will take the longest to recover. It is hard for the dentist or oral surgeon to know precisely the extent of injury to the IAN. This of course makes it very difficult for the patient to know what timeline they are on. Further even if oral surgeons know this answer in their gut due to extraction forces or circumstances of the extraction, they may not disclose it to the patient due to liability or why it happened.
Perhaps the best distillation on the subject is the article that follows:
There are a couple of very interesting revelations in the article worth noting:
- Frequency of injury for injuries to the IAN is low. We are rare. Of course for us, this doesn't matter. It happened to us and we need to cope with it.
- Recovery is bi-modal. This is a very interesting statement and worthy of understanding. Many here have commented they believe that their recovery is a series of fits and starts of improvement interspersed with periods of regression including dysesthesia if not pain. This has been repeatedly true for me. Generally bad days are followed by good if not best days on a convoluted path to recovery....slower than slow and far from linear. This article supports this. It talks about a lull in recovery after 6 months and then recovery speeds up after 9 months. I find it almost incredible that a timeline such as this can even be posited but apparently there must be some correlation in case studies to even post this dynamic about recovery being bi-modal.
So suffice to say as the nerve regenerates, as the brain processes the cross linking of sensation...it is complex and synergistic which explains how the sensation returns over time which many of us have experienced first hand.
- Time. The article says that recovery can take 2 years. Starbrite wrote of a prominent plastic surgeon who said it can take 3 years. I believe this is true talking to many and there is one account on this forum of a lady that recovered gradually well after 2 years when she stopped noticing the numbness which finally gave way to normal sensation.
So for those that weren't lightly injured and have a longer term deficit, above is very meaningful. I have a long term deficit as do others here well after one year. As I wake up this morning at 8 months I will tell you that I may even recover fully. I feel that way today....I have come so far. But I believe it will be 2-3 years for me because of relatively extensive damage based what my surgeon told me was a 'stretch' injury to my IAN. If I do live with a slight deficit in 2-3 years, I believe it will be minor and as the article points out....dysesthesia will give way to hypoesthesia which is a reduction in sensation that most will not be bothered by. So that is the last critical question. What will we be left with? Hypoesthesia or reduced sensation is something we can adjust to.
My thoughts. Lastly, it is a tremendous service to all in our community here to provide periodic updates and provide as much information as you can about your symptoms relative to time. Because of the rarity of this injury, we in many ways can help ourselves better than more limited case studies in the medical literature which include statistically a much smaller sample of IAN injuries.
I hope above gives some peace as we recover together.
I just want to cry all the time, I went to the dentist that performed a bridge for me because of the pain the was at the bridge or the tooth next to it. Turns out he retired two years ago just after he put in my bridge. So his son also my dentist sent me to an Endodontics he attempted to do a root canal on #28 and immediatley the bridge came off. He then proceded to do the root canal on #28 and even though I had been numb for about 20 to 30 minutes he hit the nerve in my mouth anfd I about came out of the chair at that time I had locked eye's with his assistant and she looked at me as well. I believe they knew they had hit the nerve also. As the numbness wore off that afternoon the right side of my lower lip and chin has remained numb. It has been seven days now and each day I grow more concerned what can I do. I went back to see him and he just insulted me further when I told him I was very upset and that I was drooling from the corner of my mouth. His statment back to me was that some men would like that. I got very upset even further. I feel like I need to contact an attorney at this point. I certainly do not want to go back to either dentist.
Most of us here can relate to your despair. I can. I want to tell you that this nerve regenerates. Do most of us feel violated with this life changing injury? Yes.
Aside from legal matters and your understandable response to your dentist's stupid mistake and/or reaction to your concern, you need to first attend to no.1 and that is you. You need to determine the extent of damage to your inferior alveolar nerve. This btw is not easy to assess. My suggestion is you seek a neurologist asap. He will provide the best diagnostic approach to determining the status of the nerve. If the nerve was penetrated with a drill or a serrated screw used in a root canal, it is possible it will require micro surgery which btw can be performed albeit it is very delicate and requires a specialist. Or...a determination maybe made that the nerve will heal on its own which is what is determined in the majority of cases.
The best way to determine the status of the nerve is by your symptoms relate to time. If you have no sensation in your lip/chin and gum in the next 2 months, you will likely need surgery...again very rare. 3 months is normally the time line if numbness and no change persists for surgery. Go see a neurologist to ensure you are on the best track possible to recovery.
Best of luck.
TimeHeals I love the advice that you give people. It's so spot on. The only thing I ever have a problem with is you telling people age matters. There's just no proof of that. :)
I'm not hear to tussle with you though. I read your responses to those who are so afraid because this has happened to them. OMG do I remember the first time I realized the numbness was going to stay. I felt so depressed.
Ok... so about about my second time around? Well she's still numb, but I'm going through the pain phase now. It's move from the when I'd try to blow or whistle pain to the touch type of pain. PROGRESS!! :)
When I touch my chin it's just tingly now, but I can feel where my finger or whatever sharp object I'm rubbing against it, but instead of the object there's like a mini circle of tingles.
My oral surgeon is a good one and he's still so boggled how this happened at all when he did so many scans. Even when I went back he did another one and was like, "I am so far away from it.. how did that happen?"
I tell him it's not his fault. PLUS I have been to this rodeo before.
I started writing this a couple of days ago, but got too busy to finish it. Since then I'm now in the "cold water on my face" stage. I feels like there's water running down my chin, but there's not.
Two phases, one post.
I hope those who just had this happen to them get to read all of these posts, but ESPECIALLY the posts about recovery.
I'm older than I was the last time this happened and I'm healing 3 times faster. So that's why I say throw the age thing out the window. It's the type of damage and not age that inhibits recovery. I've had this happen twice so I can attest to living the dream (that we think of as a nightmare).
Stay positive and remember you are loved. That's the important part about this journey. This road or inconvenience for almost everyone who reads this thread will end before you meet your maker. Remember to try to be the best you can.
I too suffered in silence like those of you who first had this happen. I too DID NOT take it too well and cried a few times the first few weeks. Thoughts of kissing, speaking, feeling normal seemed they would be my destiny for life. That wasn't the case.
We are not dying, but we are greatly inconvenienced. We are not complaining, but we can't look up this conditional on MedMD or watch Oprah to see survival stories. We do have each other via this site though and I hope my voyage through this crazy TWICE helps you guys see there is an end to this for almost all of you.
The ability to ask "what if I'm that one that will not recover?" What if you are no that one and you act as if you are. To me that is the greater what if that I would not want to live with after recovery. Your time on this earth is precious. Please do not waste time thinking you are damned or that you won't recover. You most likely will. Think about the positives and then get on that bicycle, get on that plane, get on that ship or whatever you need to do and make the most out of this journey because it is your destiny now to live through it.
I pray on the other side of this that you too become as enlightened as I have.
Stay strong. This is not easy, but for those chosen for this trial in life. Believe me, you can do it.
So nice to hear from you onelove. To me, your attitude and what you have gone through is inspirational. You obviously came through your first injury and recovery an enlightened person….or maybe you were just born that way. :-)
A quick discussion about the age thing. Perhaps you dispute the medical literature which addresses age as a root cause to both injury and recovery and I will briefly address why it matters:
With increased age, probability of injury goes up. This is for two reasons:
a. Jaw bone density increases with age which results in higher tooth elevation forces. This force translates to higher lateral force on the root and if the root is proximal to the nerve it can damage the nerve more severely.
b. Roots are typically longer and more formed with an older person compared to a younger person. This geometry is more conducive to damaging the nerve.
In fact, age is such a factor, that many believe that wisdom teeth should not be extracted over the age of 35 because of the above if there is no pathology, i.e. the teeth are just resting quietly without issue. This is somewhat known among dentists in fact. So many opt for the ‘sleeping dogs lie’ paradigm on wisdom tooth extraction but this has one overarching concern. What happens if wisdom teeth are not preemptively extracted when a person is young, and as a person ages, a pathology emerges, intermittent infection occurs because of pocketing and bone loss and the tooth has to come out? That is what happened to me and why I am here and btw not all that uncommon although my injury was pretty close to worse case. Some if not most older patients are a bit more fortunate. So this is why there is a subset in the medical community who believe wisdom teeth should be extracted when a person is very young…to prevent complications with age.
But you are correct in perhaps the most important regard and putting a finer point on it…position of the tooth root relative to the nerve vastly trumps age in terms of not only probability of getting injured but recovering. This is most certainly true. Where age is a big factor…is probability of becoming injured when you are older goes up for reasons noted above. The tooth root to IAN position lottery is perhaps the most determining factor however for injury and age only tends to aggravate this relationship.
A last note about age is…older people’s immune systems do not heal at the same rate as somebody in their 30’s in the event of an injury occurring…any injury to the body in fact. Of course just like probability of getting injured, there is a wide range of health among those older as well and recovery can still occur, it just may take longer.
Further clouding of an already murky issue? You onelove the second time around. You mentioned you had a good oral surgeon who performed due diligence with multiple scans to determine position of the tooth relative to the nerve and you should not have been high risk for this injury. There have been studies on this. The reality is, there is no stake in the ground about how close the nerve can be to the nerve when extraction is no longer advised. Any correlation based upon studies is blurry. Dentists and oral surgeons only know that the probability of injury goes up the closer the nerve is the root of the tooth. Studies defining position relative to injury have been mixed and your result falls in line with this. So even a person like yourself where there was clearance between the nerve and the root of the tooth…you were still injured by extraction. As it turns out there maybe something other than proximity that caused your issue and in fact may have been a contributing factor to how you became injured on the opposite side previously.
Part of the reason why in 2015 people throughout the world are still being injured by extraction of no. 2 & 3 rear bottom molars is the lack of certainty of cause and effect and of course the practices employed which only compound this lack of certainty. Further, the competence or variability of medical practitioners comes into play. This nexus will likely not change in the future until no.3 molar extraction is raised to a higher level of technology closer to brain surgery where neural disruption has even greater consequences and why more extraordinary measures are taken to ensure nerves become less damaged when performing surgery on the brain.
The silver lining I hear from you other than the perspective you gained the first time is…your injury this time around is less severe than the first time and hence your recovery time will be less. When I wrote about the woman who recovered from numbness after 2 years, I was making reference to you. You had already somewhat accepted you may have to live with numbness and yet one day it disappeared after a time period you can't even recall precisely because it was so long. You were obviously seriously injured your first time and yet you made a full recovery in spite of one of the longest recoveries ever recorded on this forum. This makes your contribution invaluable to help others including me with long recoveries. This is why it is so important for all those injured to share their stories…both with a minor injury to the IAN and more severe.
Thanks again for sharing your remarkable story and the only thing more amazing is your outstanding attitude which is to be admired.
I have not visited this site for a long time. It has been 1.5 years since my daughter's bi-lateral nerve injury. I did not post because I did not have good news to share. But then I remember wondering what happened to some people who stopped posting here. So I decided to post our update. I tried to pursue legal action through a specialized attorney but it did not work out. This injury is exteremely hard to prove malpractice for. My daughter who is now a freshman in college still has not hardly recovered. She has not felt much change over the last year and a half. But she learned to live with it. I have heard some people recovered in a few years (not in full but 85%) as well. So I decided not to stress and sweat over it. It is a shame this happened to my such a young child but she remains strong and positive. In the meantime I was diagnosed with cancer and started going through my treatments. Life brings all sorts of challenges. The importance is to stay positive and strong. We all will eventually get used to most of our difficulties or inconveniences. Good luck to you All.
A post such is yours is too significant to not be responded to. First I offer my greatest sympathy to not only your daughter but yourself for what you have gone through past and present.
Your daughter enduring the unthinkable of being injured on both sides is something that is almost too much to even fathom….hard to even conceive. Her enrollment in college is not only testament to how brave she is to move forward with her life but an acknowledgment that your love and support have given her the strength to do so.
I hope you come back and read this and if so, please respond to the following if you would.
You mentioned your daughter has shown little if any improvement since her day of being injured on both sides.
Can you tell us if her nerves were completely severed on both sides? And if so, what were the circumstances behind this? Pure incompetence? If her nerves were not completely severed, it is highly unusual to not have some level of recovery…mean is 80-100% or so when the IAN isn’t severed over a long period of time. Did you seek a neurologist and consider micro surgery to the nerve(s)?
A last comment. All of us tend to view this injury based upon this snapshot in time…the present. I am hopeful there will be continued advances in neurology such that one day, repair to nerves will restore a much higher quality of life to those injured. Your daughter is young. This may not occur even in the next 5-10 years but perhaps later on in her lifetime. I also what you to know if she is in pain, there is intervention to mitigate this through nerve blocks and radio frequency therapy.
Finally, I wish you all the best in your battle with cancer. As difficult as your post is to read and comprehend, everyone here is hoping you and your daughter continue to recover.
I'm sorry to hear that your daughter has only had minimal improvement after a year.
The first time it happened to me I can attest to it taking 15 years to heal. Around the 10 year mark I can say it was pretty close to 100% of not caring, but it took a LONG time. It was literally last year and right before I had my molar extracted where this happened again where I rubbed a feather up against the normally non-sensitive area and felt it. After 15 years I was like, "Mission Accomplished".
Then as this world and life closed that door it opened the next one. Unexpectedly the same thing happened to me, but it was on the other side this time. For my second time around I'm experiencing a recovery that took years for the things I've been experiencing in weeks to happen. Please tell her to be strong and know anything is possible especially with faith and especially with the love of her mother. It will just take time.
Now I turn to you and want to share my feelings of most sincere positive power to you as you make it through this stage of your own life journey. Her road is a tough one, but it's nothing like being diagnosed with cancer can be.
You will have some long days and I'm sure some lonely nights. With that said you continue to soldier on. You continue to focus on the light of love and that love will lead you not only out of lonely nights, not only through the long days, but it will lead you back to your life. Believe the light of love is within you and you will prevail. I not only believe what I tell you. I see what I tell you.
Be strong and then if that's not enough be stronger. Fight for love and that fight for love will inevitably save your life.
Your first injury taking almost 15 years to completely heal is just a remarkable story one4love. Amazing.
A couple of questions please:
- I believe you say you were pretty much devoid of pain from the time of extraction to time of complete healing. Is this right? (by contrast I had pretty intense pain for a couple of months in the early days)
- So did the numbness you experience involve the chin, gum and lip like most of us with this injury? Did this numbness in your chin, gum and lip all go away about the same time?...or did one area linger longer?
Yes, I was devoid of pain from the time of extraction of my wisdom tooth.
Numbness involved, chin, gum, and lip. They went away sort of at the same time. I'd say the chin was the last thing. I would love going to get teeth cleanings for that one area. :)
Yes, 15 years. I remember this year thinking that I felt the softest of touches. I got a tiny feather like material and ran it softly over my chin where the numbness was. I smiled when I realized it was over.
Thanks one4love. A remarkable story and as you have stated, it goes to show how different not only symptoms but recovery can be...and even what is known within the medical community. My MD...I have seen several doctors... is an example. He says after one year there isn't going to be much change and there are several accounts here and in the literature that refute this. Standard period of recovery for more serious injures is 18-24 months. This is why our group is so important to each of us. We are writing the book on recovery because of the high population of injuries here...not a controlled study where one in 200 are injured.
Further, true long term accounts aren't even known like yours. I have read of no studies longer than 48 months. In fact, you may have never returned here had you not been reinjured on your opposite side and nobody would know that healing continues. The reality is our cells grow, mutate and die throughout our lives and we reproduce every cell in our bodie every 7 years.
So thank you for coming here and giving some clarity to what you have gone through. I hope you have a more standard recovery to your injury on the opposite side which it sounds like you are.
Last quick question please. During your very long and protracted recovery from your IAN injury where you noted you had no pain per se and only reported numbness which slowly faded over time, did you have tightness as well as most do? I am curious if tightness was a companion to your numbness...or your only symptom was numbness as a result of your injury?
PS: even though you reported your injury is much less and healing much faster this time around on the opposite side, are the symptoms this time the same as the first time?
Great questions. I never thought about the fact that if this did not happen again how I would not have looked online again. I was actually searching for the old forum I used back then. :)
Yes, the tightness was there. I had forgotten about that part of the injury until you guys mentioned it here. I was like, "oh.. I thought that was the numbness" but you're right it is different. There is a tightness.
If you read through one of my last posts you'll see that I'm going through all of the recovery symptoms, but this time they are accelerated.
What's new this time is the pain during the recovery. It's a progressing pain. For a while if I would say "w" words it would hurt as I got the air in my mouth to push out. I was scared about that, but now it doesn't hurt anymore. That lasted several days.
Now it's painful if I press on my chin. It hurts a lot less than it did a few days ago. Like now I can rub my finger against my chin while pressing in.
I still have no sense of touch in my lip. The far left lip right before it gets to the corner of the mouth (which has feeling) is the worst of the lip numbness.
I found out that the pressure hurts because of the shower head test. I can no longer do that without moving away from the shower head. It's a tickle'ish pain, but it does hurt too much to try still.
Ask as many questions as you want Time. You are the maestro and YOU should write the book. :)
Well first of all you are the maestro aka teacher and I am your humble inquisitive student. :-) Oh, it is slightly selfish on my part I suppose as I am trying to figure out if I am going to recover and still trying to piece together cause and effect in this silly play with seemingly no theme or a plot. ;-)
Thanks for sharing your experience onelove. A big help. I am past the pain phase but deep into the tightness and numbness phase. Good news for all that your tightness...many here struggle with tightness.... let go after many years along with your numbness. Hope to all. I have tried to determine if tightness is related to numbness based upon all the accounts I have read. I still don’t know but they seem to be almost independent.. I thought that numbness maybe a reduced manifestation of tightness….tightness being a precursor to numbness but don’t think that is right either because it seemed in the early days, there was just numbness that broke through to pain and then tightness and lastly reduced numbness. Tightness eventually fades with lingering numbness and then numbness hopefully fades away as well. Sounds like how it went for you after many years.
Also, in terms of electric pain, hard to know if pain is good or bad in terms of how severe the injury to the IAN is as well. There have been accounts here of electric pain for a week or two and then complete healing inside of 3 months. So it seems that there is little rhyme or reason to the sequence or duration of recovery. It varies by the individual.
Wishing you a speedy recovery this time around onelove.
Thank you for the encouragements and kind comments. No my daughter's nerve was not severed. She had about 30% recovery within three months but then stopped. According to the oral surgeon and the dental malpractice attorney who handled 100s of cases like this, some just stops recovering after the initial recovery and some continues. But most would feel some changes periodically, which did not happen to my daughter. But one positive sign is that my daughter did not have the pain that a lot of people had. Some people had to have their IAN cut on purpose due to the severe pain. I am still hopeful that one day her nerve will wake up. The surgeon told me that she needed to stimulate her chin all the time.
Thank you for your comment. Your story give me a big hope. It if took you 15 years,1.5 years is nothing. I am still hopeful. Thanks for sharing your story and I do hope you will recover quickly this time.
I know you are going through the challenge of your life with cancer and perhaps delving into your daughter's injury maybe inappropriate if not too painful to discuss but there are many unanswered questions based upon what you have written. For example you speak of the nerve in singular and yet you stated her injury was bi-lateral. The only way for a bi-lateral injury to occur is for tooth extractions plural on both sides of the mouth injuring both branches of the inferior alveolar nerve. You seem to speak of her injury in singular. Almost inexplicable that the injury would be the same on both sides. Perhaps it isn't. Also, her level of recovery is quite rare at 30% as well but yes, a small subset do suffer with pain that fortunately your daughter was spared. Its hard to know what kind of injury to both branches of the nerve would result in such a low level of sensory recovery.
I will further say severing the nerve as therapy to mitigate pain is almost obsolete or not performed with much frequency today in extreme cases. Today, a local nerve block...I wrote it about it a couple of months back is used...or a pulsed radio frequency is administered to the core of the nerve to kill the pain related nerve impulses. Severing the nerve results in complete loss of sensation to the chin, lip and gum and would be an absolute last resort before all other therapies were pursued.
My best to you usagi3841 and your daughter.
Many of us have suffered from this injury and my quality of life continues to be degraded as well as much as I have moved on. We could have a very detailed discussion about mal practice. In principle I blame the medical community more in whole for not having a more solid road map in place to guide dentists and oral surgeons who graduated near the bottom of their mental schools. No question mal practice is prevalent and very difficult to prove.
Thank you for the detailed answer. Yes you are correct. Both nerves were injured. English is not my native language. So I tend to make this mistake. :) I had her case reviewed by an oral surgeon who works as a consultant for malpractice attorney. He concluded there was no malpractice. He stated that the initial swelling crushed some subsets of her IANs, which was an unfortunate accident. The oral surgeon who operated my daughter only gave her one disposable ice pack not the one that covers both of your cheeks. So she cooled one of her cheeks with that ice pack and the other with a bag of ice, which may not have been as effective. My attorney did not want to give up. He recommended her to be seen by one of the best in the country. Soon after that I was diagnosed with cancer and it made it very difficult for us to travel to Virginia. The deadline for filing a suit is July this year. Therefore, we decided to drop this case to our regret.
Although my daughter is still 18, she has always been slow to recover from any type of injury. That may have something to do with her small recovery rate.
Thank you again and I am hopeful that you would recover much faster this time.
It has been awhile since I last posted here. I am still in pain. Yesterday and today have been quite annoying. The pain is almost unbearable. I have taken 800 mg of Motrin and I still feel the pain. I find that in times like this I often get a lot of feeling once the pain wears off! I hope and pray everyone is doing well during this healing process. Godspeed!
I am so sorry you are suffering in pain. Pain with this injury is the worst as you say. I took a minute and read through your post log and it appears you have been at this quite a while...your IAN was injured about 1.5 years ago. The way you describe your pain in your post just above is...you speak of a break through after the pain. So I am guessing you are not in chronic pain all the time...you only have pain when the nerve regenerates some more and the brain doesn't recognize this change and after it does, the pain subsides and more sensation occurs. I hope that is the case.
If you are living in constant pain omgthispain...at 1.5 years....then my suggestion and only that would be to see a neurologist and plot a strategy. Motrin is almost no defense against neurological pain.
I know about the pain phase as I suffered badly. The difference between us, is I haven't had chronic pain in 3 months or so. When my nerve changes, I have abnormal or what I call uncomfortable sensation but not what I would classify as pain. My mouth continues to evolve at 8 months.
If you continue to struggle with pain, consider seeking a neurologist as that is a most difficult way to live and they will provide options for you to reduce it.
All the best and each of us feel for what you are going through. Better days ahead.
Just wanna check back in and let you all know how im doing. I had my surgery/extraction on the 23rd of December, and its now been a full calendar month (plus some days) and it seems as if the feeling is beginning to return! When I touch my lip/chin, there is a serious tingling sensation that follows whatever is touching it. I still cant quite feel hot or cold temperatures on my chin, but if I were to poke my chin with a fork now it would DEFINITELY hurt. The best part is that now if my chin itches, I CAN SCRATCH IT!
All in all I'm positive now that im on the speedy path to recovery and this forum (timeheals especially) helped me so much. For those of you reading this that are going through this experience, just know that the nerve will heal, and its only temporary. Dont let it consume you. Just have faith knowing that people who have experienced this have recovered from it, and you will too.
Hi everyone. Just wanted to update you on my progress with this unfortunate IAN injury from a dental injection in May 2014.
The burning sensation has eased a lot. I still have tightness and sensitivity in the left side of bottom lip and chin. I also feel a slight ache in the area of the tooth he injected which i hadn't noticed before - hopefully this is a sign that something is happening to the nerve - waking up and healing some more? I had some acupuncture sessions which helped me relax but I don't think I will be having any more as I didn't really see any improvement with the nerve. I still remain hopeful to either heal fully or not be too irritated by it as some have said that they are able to ignore it eventually. I don't have much pain maybe at level 3 and therefore learning to live with it might be achievable.
I read every post on a regular basis and wish you my sincere best wishes and hope that you all continue to heal and stay positive. I do believe that nerves can continue to heal - they just take a very LONG time!
Hi everyone. Just wanted to update you on my progress with this unfortunate IAN injury from a dental injection in May 2014.
The burning sensation has eased a lot. I still have tightness and sensitivity in the left side of bottom lip and chin. I also feel a slight ache in the area of the tooth he injected which i hadn't noticed before - hopefully this is a sign that something is happening to the nerve - waking up and healing some more? I had some acupuncture sessions which helped me relax but I don't think I will be having any more as I didn't really see any improvement with the nerve. I still remain hopeful to either heal fully or not be too irritated by it as some have said that they are able to ignore it eventually. I don't have much pain maybe at level 3 and therefore learning to live with it might be achievable.
I read every post on a regular basis and wish you my sincere best wishes and hope that you all continue to heal and stay positive. I do believe that nerves can continue to heal - they just take a very LONG time!
Good to hear from you **. The early days are the hardest by a mile.. Your continued healing will give you more hope that you will get through this because each week or month you will feel better. But because the healing period can be so long and convoluted with improvements and setbacks along the way, its easy to be less than certain each of us will improve at times.
I am hopeful you are one of those with this injury that heal rapidly....some do in fact and you may notice that they post initially and then no longer do. Please come back as time permits and share your recovery with us. Those struggling with this injury want to hear how you are doing as you recover.
I was wondering how you were kazlilly as we hadn't talked in a while. A while back I too had some aching related to the extraction site which has faded and yours will likely as well. We continue to have similar symptoms at about the same time of injury and so we are in this for the long haul as others here have reported as well. We draw strength from not only accounts of long term healing after 1 year and of course in general feeling better each month. Yes, unclear where we will end up. Some of the literature talks about the end point being that of reduced sensation which most can tolerate pretty easily...what you mention as being able to ignore. When I get immersed in a project, I even am even at this point now, but to be reminded later when eating or speaking in particular which incites tightness if not greater numbness.
So I too am hoping the tightness and numbness will fade with time. What Starbrite and one4love in particular have taught us is...this is indeed possible and the nerve does continue to heal as you say.
Time heals I had my own way of testing how far along in the healing process i was. It may seem archaic, but I would touch my chin with the tip of a fork. In the beginning i could've stuck the fork completely through my skin and wouldn't have known. Now when I touch my skin with the fork I feel it, and it hurts if I stick to deep.
While im not completely healed, im far enough in the recovery to say that if im not 100% back to normal by June Id be shocked, and even if im not 100% back to normal by them, I have enough of the feeling back that having the patience to wait at this point is easy.
Best advice I can give is like Timeheals told me, be patient, and know that you WILL heal, the patience is the tough part.
As it turns out some may need more patience than others because we heal at different rates. In contrast with what you consider to be rapid healing...at least in the contrast of an IAN injury which heals incredibly slow...your progression suggests your injury is not severe. By contrast myself and others are on a much longer time line and its hard to maintain that patience level over time but of course we don't have a choice either way.
In the last couple of days for example, I am having a bit of setback which I haven't had in a couple of months...or one of this magnitude. At first I denied this was happening and didn't pay much attention but this regression is undeniable. I feel more tightness if not borderline pain in my chin than I have had in the last two months. Its impossible to precisely compare to what Startbrite wrote of her setback at 8 months on her way to long term healing and I can only hope this uncomfortable period that I thought I may have been beyond at this point...I hope this discomfort is a precursor to more healing as often discussed. I can only hope. I hate regressing of course and that is what it feels like the last coupe of days for no apparent reason. I am never ceased to be amazed the tremendous swings in sensation as the nerve heals...astounding in my case at least. No change in lifestyle...everybody is going well...great superbowl party yesterday and yet more discomfort :)
So recovery is not the same for each of us and I only hope by June you are all healed BJF32...would be fantastic.
Just wanted to give a quick update. I will be at 2 years on February 21st and I've regained back almost all feeling now. I'd say 90-95% there.
The most exciting thing is I can finally feel the tickles on my lip when I rub my finger on it in the shower. Not quite as strong as the healthy side, but I feel it, woohoo!!!!
Don't let ANYONE tell you that if you aren't healed at the one year mark then you never will be. It is 100000% false information, I cannot stress that enough. I have regained back almost all feelings this 2nd year and still expect to regain back 100% by the 3rd year.
My teeth are still a bit tight which is my biggest complaint, but it does tend to get looser and tighter at certain times. One of my doctors says that it's spasms and a good sign of more healing to come.
I see a few posts talking about the long recovery and so I thought I'd share.
As most of you know this is my second time around. The only advice I'd give to you guys who are so close to 100% is that it took me at least a decade past the time I thought I'd be 100%.
I think after you're in the 90s you just don't care as much. Nerves are so tricky about the way they heal that it's not like normal healing. Congrats to all of the healing good news.
Time.. I can tell you that last time I didn't really have pain, but this time I have had it. When I put on my makeup, my makeup brush went from causing a serious itching sensation that I couldn't scratch to super painful (mink soft brush) to slightly painful, but so not as bad as it was.
I can feel all touch on my lip, but it's just that I can feel touch, not taste yet. Last night I was actually able to scratch an itch and it went away. That was mixed with a little bit of pain as it hurts to scratch (or press down on the chin). Level of pain out of a 10 is about a 3 or 4 (10 being the worst).
Tightness and gums are still about the same. Regardless, although different healing this healing seems to be going faster. The best news is that I don't care really. :) It pays to be a veteran of this type of thing, no?
Reading both Starbrite's and one4love's posts both past and present, I am struck by a common theme to their posts. Attitude. You both have such a great attitude. In an effort to cope with what has turned into a long term injury for me which is what I suspected but was hoping against hope wouldn't happen to me, I mentioned that I have used Starbrite's recovery as a guide of sorts for a couple of reasons. Staying realistic about just how long a long term recovery can take and trying to stay positive over this long period of time when it seems there is almost no change even though there is, albeit it is excruciating in its slowness. The thing I am reminded by and this includes the earlier days of Starbrite when she wasn't recovered to where she is now, is just how extraordinary her attitude was and is Then one4love comes along and bowls me over with her unthinkable story of not one but two IAN injuries on separate occasions and the same thing. Attitude to be admired. To me, both with attitude of the highest level. So both you ladies set the bar high of how to respond to the adversity of this. I am a very positive guy by nature but this has been the test of my life. This injury bugs me. :-)
Starbrite, congrats on all your recovery. I also agree with one4love that that last couple of percent of improvement back to complete health may take a very long time as was in her case. But as she pointed out, once you get to the 90% mark, it doesn't matter so much...this injury is much less of a burden. I am not at that point yet at 8.5 months. I have also tried to sort out if our injuries are almost identical. Possible....or mine is perhaps a bit worse. Not sure. Your great attitude may be the difference. :-) Hard to tell.
One4love, what can I say about what you have been through and yet you are who you are. I tell your remarkable story to all my friends and family for greater perspective about what life can deal us. Your attitude is simply amazing is all I can say. I am not sure how I would respond to your circumstances but as in the case of Starbrite and certainly in your case, I am pretty sure I couldn't handle it nearly as well as you have.
You ladies are to be commended and thanks for your example to all of us.
I'ts been 7 months now since my surgery.I had part of my impacted right lower wisdom tooth removed.The oral surgeon said that he only removed the crown.I am a fifty five year old woman.The oral surgeon felt that removing the whole impacted tooth was too risky because of my age.Well as I said it's been 7 months now & I am still not back to normal.My chin & the right side of my lip are still numb & I have pain in the right side of my jaw.I also have pain when I'm chewing or opening my mouth too wide.Sometimes when I am chewing food,I feel & hear something snap in my jaw.It is so depressing.I don't think I will ever be back to normal.I really have given up hope of that.I may go back to the oral surgeon.The first month after the surgery,I had burning in the right side of my lip.I went back to the oral surgeon & he prescribed steroids.I took them for about a week and the burning went away & it hasn't come back.Thank God..I don't think I will ever recover completely from this surgery and that is really scary..
Many here literally feel your pain and so you are among those that understand completely. I hope you figure how to cope with this and your life improves. I really believe it will and you have to believe this too. I was very desperate a few months back. If each day becomes too much of a burden, I suggest you seek some anti anxiety medication to help you get to a higher plateau of healing. Once you start to feel better, and it may take another 6 months to reach this point, you won't need this help any longer.
Don't needlessly cope with despair if there is some help you can get along your path to healing and there is. So please consider this for yourself and for your family.
There is a real interconnection to many of the accounts here. I will mention a couple as it relates to you and me. I too am older and in fact older than you and of course the risk of injury goes up for us because roots become further established with age and the jaw bone becomes harder.
The procedure you had done is called a coronectomy...whereby the crown of the tooth is extracted and roots are left intact because of the risk of injury to the nerve. I will tell you why it relates to me. I have a science background and I tend to research things because I have an innate curiosity about how things work and if there is a health risk to me or someone I care about, the stakes for knowing related risks are much higher of course. I had a very difficult case. My tooth had to come out because of intermittent infection and yet, the nerve and tooth root were intimate and removing the tooth was going to have consequences to the nerve and not in a good way. I sought many consultations. The local oral surgeon wouldn't remove the tooth because of the risk to jaw breakage and she felt it was beyond her skill set which btw is considerable...she is very good...but believed the tooth should be extracted in a hospital setting. So I travelled a long way to the best oral surgeon in the state...MD & PhD...head teaching doctor at the state university. He said is was a very difficult case however he would ease the tooth out and I should be OK. The rest is history. I did not come out OK. As I struggled with tremendous pain, numbness and dyesthesia, intense hot/cold sensitivity, any awful feelings one could even fathom, I turned to reading as much as I could about this issue because I was incredulous that his happened to me based upon all the steps I had taken. I believed if I did my due diligence, all would come out OK...seek the best doctor in a hospital setting etc... but it didn't. Further, this was a very expensive operation I had to pay off and of course I came out of the surgery for months feeling like I got hit by a truck. So, myself and everybody here or at least most with a long term IAN injury know how you feel.
Why I tell or retell my story is because of the procedure as it relates to you. For many months I thought that I was deceived by who I thought was the smartest man in the room. I went into the surgery feeling pretty good and only with occasional discomfort and came out feeling like my life was no longer worth living, due to being in the hands of a man who puts faces back together due to injury and disease and who is encyclopedic about jaw and nerve anatomy and this isn't the easiest stuff to understand. I thought I was going to be cured and not extremely injured. As I read about different options, I found your procedure, a coronectomy and based upon the success rate of this procedure, I could NOT believe he wouldn't have performed this procedure on me. My doctor took the tooth out completely in one piece. When we me after the surgery and I told him how much I was struggling with the aftermath, he told me he has performed 2000 extractions in his career...he is an older man with tremendous pedigree and he said, my tooth removal was the single most difficult procedure he has ever performed which is quite astounding. Why me? :-) Dam. So for months I blamed him for being wrong about the procedure he used because of what happened to me. But then, I read further about others like yourself where the oral surgeon utilized what they thought was the best practice and performed a coronectomy and yet the same outcome occurred. Damage to the IAN in spite of leaving the roots intact.
So the bottom line to all of this is, there just is no guarantee. This whole thing is much too complex and too many extenuating circumstances. For those with a predisposition to injury, if the tooth has to come out, there will likely be consequences to the nerve.
So where am I at today? This injury for me has been a roller coaster of epic proportion but instead of smiles, it has been pain. I wrote a few days back, that I felt I was going backward. But I always try to keep in mind when this happens that there 'may' be further improvement on the horizon that is so often discussed. And this turned out to be the case this time as well, after probably 500 repetitions after almost 9 months. Today, I feel like I may heal completely. A week or so ago when I had my relapse of heightened dyesthesia aka borderline pain and numbness and just awful nerve agitation, I felt like I would be stuck in this state moving forward, but not so. I don't feel too bad today. But I know for fact...with certainty...that I will likely go through another 100 repetitions of feeling poorly with my mouth on this jagged and beyond slow ascent to recovery. For me, I believe it will take minimum 1-2 more years and I am almost at 9 months.
In theory, with your coronectomy Jackie, your IAN should be relatively intact. No, there isn't a good explanation why you are going through what you are. But the probability that your IAN was badly damaged is low which is good news to a full recovery even though it may take a very long time.
In closing, I have a suggestion. The only possible scenario that would slow your recovery is...when the crown was extracted and the tooth roots were left intact, is that somehow due to the extraction process, the roots were shifted which are placing a light compression on the IAN. Ask your oral surgeon about this. Have him/her perform a CBCT scan to determine if the roots have shifting placing possible pressure on the nerve. This would slow the recovery process. Only a suggestion.
My thoughts are with you and continue to heal Jackie and you will.
Thank you so much for your kind words and I am glad that my positivity on all this has helped you :) I have tried my very best to stay optimistic through this ordeal, which is funny because in general I am a very "glass is half empty" kind of person lol.
I can assure you though that I have had many ups and downs about this, especially in the beginning and still do occasionally, although it's not so bad 2 years later. I still get sad about it at moments, but now that I am in the 90's it's true that it doesn't seem to matter as much anymore. I want to heal in full of course, but if god forbid I didn't, I just have to stay strong and learn to continue living with that bit of tightness and weird sensations.
My main goal now in all of this is to make sure that others out there are fully informed about what can happen on such a routine type of surgery, wisdom teeth removal, or tooth implant. I absolutely hate how nonchalant the oral surgeons are on all of this and it's really not fair to unsuspecting patients just how emotionally crippling this type of injury can be.
May I ask you please, when did you finally realize that all the tightness was completely gone in your teeth? Please don't tell me that it took 10 years, lol!!!
That is just the one gripe I truly have left with my healing; that it's still a bit tight in those few teeth (canine). Most of the feeling has come back and the tightness is almost all gone, but almost isn't gonna cut it.
I would just never guess by all your posts even through the dark days you were a glass half empty girl. That is surprising because I am a glass half full guy who has had his glass tipped over by this injury I could never even imagine in its disruption to my life. ;-)
Your goal has been achieved in the information you have provided Starbrite. You are brave as there wasn't a good timeline on this forum prior to you coming and posting yours each month. My recovery continues to silhouette yours including a recent break through after bad days at 8.5 months. I also suffered rare tongue electrical pain on the tip that you had as well which has resolved. Perhaps my tongue isn't perfect but very close and as I type this if feels normal. I have come so far. I had some very uncomfortable days with my tongue like you did as well.
So our injuries seems to be very close. I don't know if my injury is slightly more severe. Because of my age and in spite of my overall excellent health and all the cardio I do, my recovery may still take longer than yours but I am getting better albeit very slowly. Your advice about how long this takes talking to all you have has been most helpful. I told you that the two MD's I encountered while cycling...man and wife, both said 2 years.
I know you are approaching this date. You mentioned the plastic surgeon who said 3 years. One4love has taught us there really isn't a time line. She achieved complete recovery the first time around after many years. A remarkable journey for all of us.
Thanks for being here and giving hope to me and others and continued healing.
It took about 8-10 years before I didn't notice the tightness anymore. I actually didn't know what to call it until I read this forum.
I remember going to having things done on my mouth years after and they'd use novocaine and I'd be so afraid that nothing was going to come back. It's funny how you are happy to have numbness return to the level you were used to.
The other thing that was nice was during cleanings. I'd be like, "have a party! .. on the one side because I couldn't feel a thing." That stopped happening right at the end when I had made a full recovery.
The chin was the final part to heal. The inside of the mouth came back faster. In fact right now I have started to be able to feel the toothbrush bristles again when I brush my teeth. It's a faint feeling, but just last week I couldn't feel anything at all. I was like, "I forgot about this part." :)
All I do is massage or touch my chin. It's just a habit.
Ok, sorry about that... back to your question. Yes, it takes a while. Yes, you will get frustrated at times. Ultimately however you will be more and more relieved that it was not like it was the month or day after you realized your numbness wasn't going away.
This is totally a time lesson. The best thing I would suggest you do to help your body is to remember that our bodies love positive. They love knowing that the work it's doing is appreciated. Those nerves are working 24/7/365 to repair those pathways. It's their job to protect the mouth and they never stop working to get things back to normal.
Give those guys mental shout outs every once in a while. If they feel that it's not worth it because you don't are they'll abandon that area or only focus on areas the brain tells it are important.
I back up what I'm saying by listening to people who come back from unbeatable nerve injuries. They all say the same thing. BELIEVE. So I have told you my timetable. Now it's up to you to BELIEVE your nerve team can do better than mine because my team had no idea if it could be done at all. Your does.
I wonder if the guys (nerves) who are working on fixing the other side so quickly are like, "we've learned so much that we're halving the time this took last time." That would mean 8 years of this. It's really going much faster than that, but mentally I want the guys to know I have faith in them.
Ok..so I know right now I toooootally sound cray, cray. :) I feel being an adult should not preclude our beliefs in pretend or imagination studies for the well educated. :)
My point really is that nerves are such a delicate group of our bodies. They seem to be driven by emotion and negative or disbelief in them causes them to shut down and to give up. Never give up! Never surrender! :) I love my nerves. I get frustrated at them, but they are only there to help. They like to work as much as the heart, mind, or any other vital organs.
One quick update with me is .. When I scratch it still hurts enough that I cannot do it too much, but I tried anyway. :) I noticed the itching happening again (where I couldn't scratch) and I feel that's a sign from my nerve team that they are working.
A little patch (the size of the top of my fingernail) is scratch able now without pain and it wasn't last week.
Speaking of age just so you know me a bit better one4love. :-) I am the anti-aging guy. I don't have any grey hair. I can ride a racing bicycle 20 mph for 50 miles and have done 200 mile days. Translation? I can drop 99% who ride a bicycle at any age. :-) Line 'em up...lol. I can sustain a higher heart rate then the max heart rate of men 20-30 years younger. This is what gives me the speed on the bike and in the water. Aging? What's that?
I bike and swim a total of 3 hours a day. I am a ripped old man. I don't believe in aging. :-) This is why I have been so rocked by this injury. I have been spoiled with great health and have never been injured before and have enjoyed the best of health throughout my long and athletic life. My life aside from science has been dedicated to health and play.
Thanks for who you are and remember when I am riding my bike and swimming today, I won't be thinking much about my mouth but rather the endorphin buzz I am addicted to. :-)
Hi Timeheals and everyone. You really all are an inspiration to me. Whenever I feel a bit down, I read your posts and always feels uplifted, mainly because I don't feel isolated and you are so positive about the future.
One4love makes me smile when I read her posts and I think she has a point to make because if I feel good, the nerves don't seem to be as irritated - I am sure there is something in it.
Starbrite, I have followed your recovery and this is of great benefit also, even though the injuries aren't identical, it is helpful and reassuring to read how you have coped with this with such determined enthusiasm.
Hi Everyone! It's been awhile. I tried to catch up with the forum and it sounds like everyone is healing - be it slowly. Great to hear from you - Usagi - I have thought of your daughter often and continue to keep her/you in my prayers.
So progress - I went to the dentist yesterday for a cleaning. At one point it was extremely painful in my lip - transfer of pain while she was cleaning my teeth and no where near my lip. It felt like a thick needle going through my lip - very reminiscent of the early zapping sharp pain. I was quite surprised since I have not had pain like that in a long time. Anyway, I thought I might feel worst for a few days due to the irritation. NOPE! :)
I feel better today than before the cleaning! I really feel I am so close to complete healing. I never get the icy cold dripping sensation anymore. It just remains a bit tight and has a different sensation when I touch a small part of my lip and gums. I would describe it as hypersensitive - no numbness at all.
Anyway, peace and blessings to all my friends here! xoxo
Thank you so much for your response. I've been busy so I apologize for not seeing this earlier. Ah, 8 years huh? Well, I've already gotten through 2 so I guess 6 more years of tightness lol! Can you please explain the feelings you experienced with that over the course of 8 years. Did you notice any major changes along the way, or was it very gradual until one day it was all gone?
Sometimes I feel the area gets more tight than other times. In fact, there are moments where I think it's almost fully healed and completely loose, and then a minute or two later I realize that isn't the case. I was told by a doctor that when it gets super tight those are spasms and are a good thing because it means more healing is to come.
Right now for me, practically all feeling has returned, although I still experience tingles and some altered sensations when I rub that side of my chin, but it's not so bad. In regard to hot and cold temperatures as well as objects that touch my chin and lip, well that is pretty back to normal now, not 100% but I am going to say 95-98%. As I mentioned, it's just the lingering tightness that I hate so much. Once that is gone, I will be healed in full.
Asked: "Can you please explain the feelings you experienced with that over the course of 8 years. Did you notice any major changes along the way, or was it very gradual until one day it was all gone?"
I wish I could tell you for sure. It's sort of like you're noticing. You just don't notice until you notice.. dang! still numb! (fyi.. my wording is not as PG when I said it) :)
It was about a month or a few weeks before round two of this wonderful event happening (sarcasm). I ran a super tiny hair on something super duper light. I cannot recall exactly what it was. I just remember feeling everywhere in the last area that was still not sensitive to touch.
I felt even the lightest touch. I remember the feeling of closing that chapter. :) It was sweet, but at the same time it was like, "wow".
Then we know what happened a weeks later. IAN Injury Deux. Like Rocky II though.. I feel this one has been a much better story. :)
Oddly.. it was just this year that I got, "Yo' Adrian.. I did it!" I forgot she told Rocky to win. :) I'm slow.. but at least my mind keeps thinking, right? :)
You mentioned the tightness and that leads me to my latest update. I don't feel the tightness that I felt the last time I posted. It's still tight, but it's not as heavy.
The pain is still there though. When I try to scratch too hard I have to sort of peel off and scratch somewhere else. The pain isn't as bad as it was a few weeks ago, but I will call that all better when I am able to scratch without worrying about the pain.
I am still sort of drooling more than I'd like. Because of the tightness I don't feel my lip kicks in. Not in time at least. :) I look forward to that stopping.
I am not sure, but if your doctor hasn't been through what we've been through I think the doctor is just being positive. WIN for the doctor! :) I don't think they are spasms or a sign that anything is healing. I think it just means our bodies are doing something. That something is a good sign that repairs are still going on.
My body healing the way it does sort of makes me proud. What an invention our bodies are. So many things working day and night. Our bodies work to get us back to normal 24/7. It really is amazing all of the things going on as our bodies try to resume normal operations. Maybe that's overthinking it, but I think it fits.
For round two the hot and cold sensations are back and so are pain. I've been biting the upper inside of my lip and before I'd notice from a bump appearing. Now it flipping hurts when I bite it. Time for my body to learn how to chew again. :)
Reading all of this scared me a bit seeing how a lot of you have gone through many years without relief. I recently had all four wisdom teeth removed about a week ago and I am feeling numbness on my left chin, lips, gums and teeth. I had a visit with the surgeon and he did not seem to alarm by it and mentioned that in time it will heal, in about 3 weeks he stated. My question is, how old were most of you when you had this done? I am 22 and he mentioned due to my age I am looking at full recovery in a couple of weeks?
To be as precise as I can to the key question you ask that all of us asked which is how long will it take for me to heal and will I heal in total?...the answer isn't clear but will share some insight. The lack of clear cut resolution to this injury is what is so panic evoking, nobody has a precise answer because each injury is different.
So your oral surgeon is wrong in predicting any time frame for you to recover. You may in fact be all better in 2 weeks. Or it may take you a year or longer. It comes down to the level of injury to the nerve based upon the tooth extraction. Your age is a mitigating factor for sure and therefore helps recovery but the level of injury trumps your age based upon members here who have shared their experience. What I tell myself and others is choose hopefulness over despair. I am over twice your age and it is possible I may not fully recover from my injury. I am almost at 10 months. I do believe in the next 1-2 years however I 'may' be in the 90% range as my mouth continues to change although I have a long way to go.
So I may be one of the small percent that have to live with some level of deficit. But I had a particularly complicated tooth extraction and am much older...worse case.
You may recover fully in a couple of months or perhaps less. Unfortunately nobody within the medical community is wise enough to predict nerve regeneration...it is much too complex.
I wish I had a more positive response but I don't want to mislead you.
Biggest point is, if you aren't completely healed in 6 months, don't despair. It took one4love 8 years to heal fully. No precise roadmap for any of us.
Good luck and heal fast.
It's been a while since I posted and I wanted to give an update. I had my 2 lower molars extracted back in May 2014. I suffered greatly the first month. I experienced a lot of pain and burning in my lower lip and chin. I also felt like there was a weight hanging from my lip. It felt so heavy and I had a lot of tightness there and in my lower front teeth.
After the first month I started feeling some very gradual improvement. 10 months later, when I touch my chin and lip, it feels about 75% normal. However the tightness still remains. I don't think there's been much improvement there. But as other people have said, when I'm involved in a project, I don't think about it. By night time though, my lower lip has a slight burn feel to it.
I'm 51 years old and I'm hoping for more improvement. I know it may take a long time. I'm trying to have patience. Thank you everyone for your posts. I find they give me hope. TimeHeal60, you have become an expert in this area (you probably preferred not to). Thanks for sharing all that you have learned with all of us.
(but not as stuck as I used to be - lol!)
I'm back with an update. I can say I may be at about 85% now. I can feel lightly feel things dripping down my chin now. The other day, I was drinking some water and I felt it really good on my bottom lip and a little bit on my chin. I was so excited! I can finally use hot water when rinsing out my mouth when I'm brushing my teeth! I am getting better. Again, I have good and bad days. On the bad days, I just want the annoying sensation to leave. I feel a little bit of pain today, but it's not as bad as it has been in the past. I went to the dentist three weeks ago and they are concerned because my gums are really inflammed. I have never had problems with my gums. So, now I have to go to the dentist every 4 months for monitoring. My dentist said the wisdom tooth removal did a number on me. She's right; it surely did...
I hope everyone is getting more feeling back! Remember, this is only temporary...
Just wanted to give you all an update. I had my tooth removed back in December, and now i'd say my lip/mouth is back to 99%. There is still some tightness on the lip, but outside of the the feeling has completely returned.
I can't remember the exact date, but this week is my two year anniversary of my nerve injury. If someone had told me back then that it would not be completely healed in two years, I would have been hysterical. So I WON'T tell anyone that! Everyone is different and heals differently - just look at the post above mine! That is great news BJF32!
I have to say that I still have good days and bad days. My worst days are not painful at all, I just am more cognizant of the feeling of it not being normal. My good days are close to normal. I would say that at any given time I am between 75 and 95 percent healed. When I am busy, I barely notice it.
I would like to thank all my friends here. You have been a life line when no one else understood what I was feeling. StarBrite - you have been a consistent and positive guide through this all. Everyone who has returned more than once to offer a positive update or just share pain has been a total blessing to me. Thank you!! You have touched me and made my life better. I will continue to pray for you all and will drop back in when I can. Wishing you all the best and total healing. God bless :) xoxo
I had my wisdom teeth removed over 40 years ago and I still don't have feeling in my lower lip. I've bitten through the thing so many times it looks like a chewed up wad of bubble gum. I talk funny, I eat funny and I look funny. My dentist said everything would be okay in a few short weeks...That was right around the Carter administration. My wife left me back in '82 for another man that did voice overs for TV commercials. She just couldn't stand my speech impediment anymore. The neighborhood kids used to call me Old Man 'Rudy' after the kid from Fat Albert because of the way I talk. I've thought about suicide...tried taken some pills but they all just rolled down my face...the dog ate them. Now he'd dead. I pray every day that the good lord will take me but he probably can't understand me neither. Let my story serve as a warning. Always get a second opinion before having any procedure done.
I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth extracted may 27, 2015.
I had next to no swelling or pain.
My only issue was that half my lower lip and chin are numb.
I sometimes get the feeling that it's itchy, and the fact it's numb I can't satisfy my urge to itch it, no matter what I do. Also because it is numb, I tend to bite it when I eat...and I don't notice until I taste blood in my mouth.
I don't have a 'tightness' sensation to it, it's only the numbness....it drives me crazy. I seriously just want to rip my lip off. I mean if I can't feel it, why the hell not? lol
Since the day of my surgery, i have seen maybe a small amount of improvement, maybe 2%, but it's something!
I go to see my dentist for a checkup on my healing from surgery on the 3rd of june, hopefully when I tell him about my numbness he can give me some information.
As someone who already suffers from panic disorder and depression, I need to to fix itself, I can't afford to stress about it.
Out of everyone I know who has had this surgery, they have been fine. Just some swelling, bruising, and some minor pain....but never have I seen/heard of someone with the numbing feeling afterwards. So weird.
But I hope every here, including myself, make a full recovery sooner than later.
And like I read somewhere in these postings, someone said, just keep reminding yourself, there are worse things out there than a numb lip/chin/gums/teeth.
Breath, It's ok. You're still alive.
Hi to you and all. Just a quick update. It is my first anniversary since my dental injection injury. I have hypersensitivity to the left side of my lip and chin and tightness in that area. There is also some low grade pain at the site of the injury which wasn't there initially, I am hoping this could be a sign that the nerve is trying to heal.
Thank you for posting on here as you are an inspiration to me. I have good days and bad days and on the bad days I read your comments and don't feel as bad as I know there are others who know how I feel.
take care to you and everyone.
i have the same thing.
tightness right now in my gums on the affected side.
and my lip and chin are still numb (been 6 days since my surgery)
i feel tingling at some points in my lip, and like you, i hope that means it's trying to fix itself.
but one thing i've noticed is that my bottom lip is kind of swollen..which is weird, because there is no bruising...did you/do you have this issue? it causes me to bit my lip when i eat, which is annoying because it's numb and i don't notice i've done it till i taste blood.
i go tomorrow for my 1 week post-op dentist appointment, so i hope he can explain to me what's going on and answer some questions.
stay strong everyone, i know i'm trying to.
It has been awhile since I last posted here. I will be two years next month on July 25. My lip is about 90% healed. I have my good days and I have my bad days. With this ailment, we just have to be patient! I know its hard, but your feeling will be restored soon enough. Someone said that your lip heals like a coin. That is true. I only have a small space in the middle of my chin that is still numb.
Hey Everyone, I haven't posted in a while, but wanted to give an update. It's been 22 months for me. While the first year and a half, this lingering tightness and numbness consumed almost my every waking thought, I am having more and more days, I realize I haven't thought about it in a while. It is so hard to quantify improvement because it is so subjective, and I have never chosen to place a percentage on my healing because I would have always put it SO low, like not even 50%. But I am here to say that I think that finally the lingering tingling in my chin is almost completely gone! This makes me so happy! Also, the tightness is still there somewhat, but honestly it seems to be decreasing ever so slowly as well. Oh I will be SO SO excited to post here one day that everything is back to normal! I think it is a long way off still, but today I will finally go ahead and say that I think I may be around the 80% mark. I do sincerely wish you all strength and grace, and hope through this. And I hope that you have an amazing summer, soaking in the beautiful sun, and going on adventures! If anything, this experience has taught me to not sit back anymore, but to embrace living and not taking anything for granted! Hope to hear from some of our other long termers! Happy Summer ya'll!
I feel the same way.
Such a minor surgery that these surgeons do every day...and then this happens.
But I just keep telling myself, it could be worse...
It's just a numb part of the face, just breathe. You're still alive, and you can live your life as a normal person, you just so happen to have a numb lip/chin
Please don't get too discouraged.
It's been almost 12 days since my surgery, and yes it is very annoying to have this, but I'm just trying to stay optimistic and live my life as normal as possible.
I hope you're ok, and if you need to talk, you can always message me on here.
If you scroll up on this page and look for posts from me you'll see that I've been through this TWICE. :)
It's a patience game and it's a shitey one at first. You totally think about it ALL the time because it's your mouth. You feel that if you had just not gone to get one stupid tooth or teeth extracted you'd have been ok. If your doctors had just told you, you would have been prepared. If you could just go back to the day before this happened you'd be happy again.
All of these have truths in them but, what's more important is that people love you for you and not your mouth. What's more important is that you listen to the stories that almost all of us went through this and we all survived a silent nightmare.
Here are the things I wish I knew after this happened to me.
Your doctors will not be able to tell you what's going on because this is still a very unknown thing (recovery and measuring damage + healing time).
Regardless of age you will most likely recover close to 100% or not noticeable.
You will move from a numb feeling to a tightness feeling.
Any signs of itching or even soreness are more than likely signs your nerves are trying to heal.
Read this forum and focus on recovery stories and go back and notice how most were like you when they first arrived.
Stay as positive as possible.
Be patient because you will notice healing over weeks and not a day or two.
I know that's a lot to ask of you to do when you think about kissing or just eating again without biting your lip. I learned that putting my finger below something is the best way to avoid lip biting. Of course, that doesn't help with a fork. No matter what, biting your lip will **** you off and it's ok to get pissed off. I remember how after I bit my lip and couldn't feel anything I'd just get a q-tip and dip it in alcohol and put it directly on the injury. I knew it wasn't going to sting because I couldn't feel anything.
This second time around my initial recovery was much faster than last time, but it's slowed down again. Even if it takes another 15 years I don't care. With that said I do get frustrated. I do hate that it happened again, but only for less than a moment because it truly doesn't matter. It's healing. :)
My first time I was so panicked!! I thought I'd never kiss again, be able to eat again, be happy again. All I did was feel my chin and feel sad. I had no idea how eventually your mind begins to not notice until you're alone and just rubbing on your chin noticing even the slightest changes from a few days ago.
In my opinion, you have a 99% chance of improvement from where you are now. Like the old man person said, that 1% is a son of a gun though. His words are why I'm telling you that burning, heaviness, itching are all good signs.
It definitely does put a damper on your happiness at times, but I'm just trying to live as normal as possible.
I just keep reminding myself that I'm still breathing and otherwise healthy.
My numbness is just the left side of my bottom lip and chin... literally right down the center of my lip over to the left corner is numb, that's it. But, it still doesn't make it any less annoying of difficult to deal with.
I still have issues eating but my biggest issue is not knowing if my soup has dripped down my chin or there is a piece of food hanging off my lip because i can't feel it. lol, so i just constantly wipe my chin and mouth to make sure there's nothing there.
I'm happy I can at least have a sense of humor with this, and joke about it, but at the end of the day, I hope, wish and pray this will just get better so I don't have to worry about it anymore.
I know it will take time to heal, but if I could just hear a doctor say "you will heal fully in the next few years" i would be so happy, just because I know this annoyance wouldn't be forever. But since I don't have that luxury, I'm just hoping it will heal itself, and I'm gonna stay on a healthy lifestyle and try to stay positive.
I hope everyone heals, and lives happy lives.
I'm here to talk to ANYONE if they want to.
Thought I would post as I haven't in a while. Shout out to all the fantastic people here with this very rare affliction. A while back, I wrote extensively about what I have learned about this injury in no small part due to all those that have contributed and there are some very insightful people here. I am so heartened to hear of all the great progress. One4love, all I can say is you rock girl...smart and cool all in one lovely woman. No justice to what happened to you but your contribution to others including me has been immeasurable.
Kat, I strongly suggest you read the entire body of posts. This will take a long time and you don't have to do it in one setting. Recovery for this for many is a very long distance race and not a sprint. Stay close to your family through the early days. I honestly was suicidal over this but made it through based upon my love of life and support of family. Read the body of posts here day by day to understand the full scope of this injury. Most of what is known has been written and written well including about anti depressant meds if you struggle intensely like I did in the early days..
A bit about me. My background is well documented here. I was injured just shy of 13 months ago. I can't tell you how heartened I am to hear of all of those that have had improvement after one year. I have to say, I still have a long way to go. Its been the challenge of my life. I can go along less than dramatically bothered and then have very bad days. This regression can only be interpreted as the nerve changing significantly to the point of the brain processing the revised signal as something is wrong creating pain. Most that talk about bad days say that on the heels of bad days, more nerve recovery is realized. My bad days can last for a few days before I start to feel a bit better. That is the journey I am on. I had my last regression a couple of months back and hoped it was my last but had another a couple of days ago and am trying to recover. A bit less poor feeling today and likely better tomorrow. Its pretty clear, I am in this for a very long haul...perhaps 5 years before I get to smooth sailing...unknown. Many others will have less injury to the nerve and recovery faster.
To all the fantastic people here kind enough to share their journey you have my respect and profound thanks. We help one another with our stories. Omgthispain, kazlilly my good friend and sweet lady, bless2beme, Rosa, Starbrite and all of you, my very best wishes. Most of you have taught each of us that anything is possible. I saw my old dentist recently...he didn't perform the extraction...and told him I continue to struggle with this and have not recovered to where I want to and he told me he is a big believer in faith that there are better days ahead and with all I know about this as simple as that advice is, I believe it to be best.
Hugs to all,
Best advice I can lend Kat since this injury varies greatly in recovery time, severity of pain based upon the individual is...if you feel mentality like you are coming off the rails at times which btw I am not ashamed to tell you I did, then there is help in the way of anti depressant meds to get you through this time period until you get to a level of healing where you no longer get a level of anxiety in your life that is destructive. You will get to this smoother water but it will take some time and there isn't a neurologist on the planet smart enough to tell you when because the injury to the nerve can not be assessed with modern technology...only the symptoms which affect your frame of mind.
So if you feel you are in the depths of despair and I had episodes like that, seek help from a medical doctor to get a medicine to help you cope.
Pain and discomfort robs serotonin levels in the brain which lead to anxiety and depression and there are medicines to help restore these levels which will help you cope better and be less stressed.
I hope that makes sense. If you click on my user, you can read back through my chronology of posts here where I discuss this.
Stay close to your family through this. For me, coping with this took every bit of mental strength I could muster. Days are easier now but I still have bad days. Immerse your self in things you love to do and avoid anything that bugs you if possible. Lean on others that care about you to help you with the things you don't feel like doing. One irony to this injury is we all pretty much silently suffer. Nobody can see anything wrong and therefore our injuries fall off their radar. Remind them on days you need compassion to get you through. You have our compassion Kat as nobody understands more than those that have lived this.
A word about suffering in silence with others unknowing:
A quick note on silently suffering with this injury which is the profoundly insidious part of it...we feel it but nobody can else can see it or tell. I have come so far thinking back to less than a year ago. I have written that my never injury was quite severe. Initially I was pretty much robbed of speaking and like others here, I had a job where I did a lot of public speaking and I am somewhat extroverted and like to talk with others. When I spoke I had excruciating pain throughout my tongue and interconnected tissue to my gums, chin and mouth. So every time I spoke not only did I lose the ability to articulate words as easily as I could naturally but the pain was disarming to the point I would lose my train of thought. If I had to be stuck as I was in the early days, I am not sure I would still be here because the pain of living was too much for me. But for those starting out like you Kat and others who maybe in a very dark place because of this, I am infinitely better today and my life in fact has little disruption and hopefully in a couple more years my deficit of numbness with no pain will be in the 5% or less range.
Even though the trajectory of improvement for me has been beyond slow, there does seem to be a path of improvement even after 1 year. This improvement is littered with setbacks of nerve agitation along the way that are hard to manage a bit but a reminder that progress continues as counterintuitive as that seems going backwards it seems.
Others that suffer silently, with other injuries unrelated to this injury, however are not so lucky. They may be permanently injured without the prospect of improvement over a long period of time and a word about them. We are not alone. There are literally hundreds of thousands that suffer pain and discomfort throughout the world silently. For those that follow current events, a few of the survivors of the Boston bombing at the time of the 2013 marathon spoke today based upon the sentencing of the unconscionable and pure evil cowardly young man who killed and maimed so many needlessly. Three beautiful and well spoken people...one a doctor spoke. I was struck by the substance of each person who lives were changed forever. All of these fine people continue to suffer silently with the effects of the explosion and may not recover from their injuries in the least.. Hearing loss, brain trauma and loss of health including PTSD. All of them said their lives will never be the same based upon a needless, senseless act and each of them silently suffer through each day trying to cope and make sense of something that should have never happened to them. I immediately thought of myself and all the wonderful people that have come here to share their story and hope for recovery.. I will further add as I heal beyond slowly, I would not change places with any that were affected by the bombing as their injuries were so debilitating...far worse than what has happened to us.
Sometimes as we struggle in silence with others not understanding our pain and we think we are alone, but we are not.
I appreciate EVERYONE in this forum. I recently suffered an IAN injury 6 weeks ago tomorrow and continue to heal. The first weeks were the WORST. I lost a SUBSTANTIAL amount of weight (I believe i'm around 110, which was my HS weight!) I had an obvious speech impediment in the beginning but this went away at about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I can feel most of my gums, my teeth don't ache anymore. I have the tight feeling that can be very uncomfortable, especially if I think about it for too long.
The only thing i'm not confident in still is how my face looks. There is a slight bulge on my left side where the injury is. The knot/bulge was bigger a few weeks ago but seems to be subsiding. I hope it does because you could tell a big difference on one side. I don't want to look like a chipmunk while i'm healing. It wouldn't be so bad to deal with if you weren't constantly worrying about how you look when you say words, and how you look with a straight face. I find that it is getting better, slowly , but better. This is particularly stressing for anyone.
1st week: EXTREMELY numb, no feeling what-so-ever. pain. panic mode.
2nd week: slight feeling in lower gums, lip heaviness, pain still. feel myself bite my lip ever so slightly.
3rd week: no pain, just tingling. speech improved slightly. lip didn't feel as heavy. can feel slight prick in chin.
4th week: no pain, tingling, speech improved more. more feeling in my gums. Could feel more of my lip when bitten.
5th week: I started rubbing my face with a warm wash cloth once/twice a day for stimulation. I read someone did this twice a day and within 6-8 weeks they were fully recovered. (I'll try anything lol).
6th week: Can feel prick in chin even more. Can feel myself bite my lip, inner lip. Tightness around mouth isn't as apparent.
I am trying my hardest to have faith during this situation and to be positive as much as possible. I do appreciate each and every one of you taking the time to explain/express your concerns during this very trying/difficult time. Thank you again.
It's been just over 5 weeks since my surgery.
I still have the numbness in my lower lip and chin, but on the plus side, my gums/teeth on the one side aren't feeling as tight anymore, and when i poke it i can feel it more than i could a few weeks ago.
As far as my lip goes, a couple of days ago the sensation changed a bit. Now it feels like my nerve is being pulled/pinched when i eat or brush my teeth.
I saw my oral surgeon 2 days ago to talk about the healing of my nerve so far and he said everything i'm experiencing is a good sign...it means it's trying to heal.
He also told me it happens in stages.
2- tingling/itchy feeling
3- burning sensation
4- pins and needles
he said any of those sensations is a good sign, and nothing to be alarmed about.
Living with this numbness is definitely getting easier, but like any other person on here, I still find it annoying at some points but life goes on.
I'm still going to work, going out with friends, and i jus try not to think about it too much.
but i hope everyone is doing good and stays positive :)
Best words I can offer to those new here that are desperately seeking answers as I was in your place just over a year ago when I came here... is the following advice honed by the anecdotal accounts given by those injured that have come here to tell their story. This and collaboration with 25 different MD's.
The following is the holy grail:
1. Each of us with his injury do not recover at the same rate of speed. Some recover in 1-3 months and one4love has taught us that its possible to recover after 10 years. How is that for variability and uncertainty?
2. There isn't a medical professional, nerve specialist, neurologist etc smart enough to predict when any of us will recover. So you can see a boatload of MD's like I have and you will get the same answer every time...no solid time line to recovery..
3. Perhaps most important....99.9% of all those injured will recover to a point where your life will basically be unaltered or less bothered. This btw, may not mean full recover but perhaps in the majority of cases after several years it does. This may take 5 years but in your depths of despair, this is the reality. You may not recover in a year for example like I haven't. Many report another level of improvement between 1 and 2 years. My IAN injury is/was severe. After 1 year and some miserable days, some even recently, I overall am on an improvement trajectory. Prediction for me is 3-5 years...only my gut instinct...of when this injury will be more behind me. Again, my injury is close to worse case in spite of seeking the best facial surgeon I could find and having great health. My tooth extraction was problematic with a stretch injury to my IAN based upon involvement with the root of my impacted wisdom tooth.
I wanted to put these basic guidelines out there because all new to this injury who are devastated as I was need answers and the answer is less than clear based upon the individuality of our injuries...But virtually all will recover to a livable level but this could take years as the nerve continues to regenerate and brain adjusts to this physical change.
One of the unfortunate byproducts of this forum which maybe the single most important website to those with this injury is, a good percentage of those injured once they achieve recovery say by 1-6 months or so, never post again. They are grateful and relieved to recover and don't share this with the community here. This is unfortunate because it is the information sharing here that instills hope.
A last note on recovery if really at the depths of despair and difficulty coping during the early months including much pain some of us have experienced...me. Trying to will your self into an acceptable state is almost impossible. Yes self talk helps...and trying to do the things you enjoy like exercise...and there is no equal to the love and support of family. But this injury will rob your brain chemistry of serotonin necessary to cope. In my darkest days...I am an exercise junkie and avid cyclist, I was having panic attacks on my bicycle....long gone now. My very best advice is, it much better to adjust your brain chemistry through medication to increase serotonin levels responsible for your despair...diminished serotonin levels are also responsible for magnified pain....synergistic. Willfulness doesn't work because its on the conscious level of brain function...talking to yourself. The subconscious steers the ship as it turns out. Your deep emotions about what you know or don't know...or comporting these two things...the uncertainty of if/when you will recover.. Depression and hopelessness can only be addressed by adjusting your brain chemistry through medication...medication in effect putting your brain chemistry back to a normal level. Then it will be much easier to have the right perspective and willfulness to do the time it takes to recover. Once a level of recovery is achieved where you are no longer desperate, you will no longer need any supplemental medication and there are many options for medication and speak to your medical doctor if the above resonates with you.
Hope above helps. As my carefully selected user name implies after learning as much about this injury as I possibly can, time heals.
I absolutely LOVE your posts! You have stated very true facts here. I want to personally thank you for all of your advice/strength as we all need it at this time.
I have seen alot of improvement. I am at 7 weeks, and am now experiencing hypersensitivity. It is very annoying. I am not sure if I should try physical therapy to "desensitize" the nerve and retrain it, or go to a doctor for steroids/antidepressants. I have an appointment with my GP tomorrow, hopefully they will give me some insight. I remember many going through this stage of recovery, hopefully this is what will happen in the next month or so. Also, anyone looking to reach out/pen pal about this situation, please feel free to email me at ***@****
Blessings and wishes for all of us to have a speedy recovery!
Thanks for your kind words and will try to give you just a bit more perspective based upon your early experience with this injury.
The earlier days...where you are today are by far the most brutal. I mentioned that my nerve was injured badly and I also had lingual nerve involvement creating pain in my tongue. I was in so much pain, I was suicidal. Many if not most are not as severe as me. I wasn't trying to cope one day at a time but rather one hour at a time. One foot in front of the other I would tell myself as a mantra. I wanted to live. I have been blessed with an extraordinary life and this was my time of atonement. ;-)
So my situation was worse case and want all to know I have emerged from the darkest place I have ever been. Courage is basically over rated. At the end of the day, each of us do what we have to, to survive.
I will share my further perspective about meds and therapy. There are no neuropathic drugs or therapy that will help much with this. I have tried. Acupuncture isn't very effective either.
So what is the best approach? Organize your life so that you do the things you enjoy the most. As it turns out stress magnifies the pain. I wrote about willfulness and the conscious versus subconscious mind. Nobody is strong enough to will this away on a conscious level and of course the subconscious is a manifestation of the uncertainty if any of us will recover or when and hence over the top anxiety. The brain on a subconscious level really struggles with this conundrum. But what we can do is...distract ourselves from the misery of this with activities we love. If you like to play basketball, play basketball more...paint, paint more. With me its cycling and swimming more and getting in the best shape I can be.
But some...not all here...based upon extent of injury and body chemistry will need more help. Under times of extreme stress with uncertain outcome, each of our brain chemistry changes. This reduction in endorphin level can lead to great depths of depression or heightened anxiety so powerful we become unhinged and start thinking darker thoughts. If you feel this way, there is help. You have the option of going on a long term anti depressive med or taking a med as needed which was my approach. I knew what was going on with my brain chemistry but I couldn't talk myself out of my depth of despair. I tried hard to but no amount of self talk was working. Again, willfulness many times doesn't work in extreme cases. Both Ativan and Xanax are effective to bring you down off the ledge. So if you feel desperate, go see your medical doctor and tell him what is going on. I in fact got a prescription from my oral surgeon. I explained what was going on and he was smart enough to help. But my surgery was done in a special setting in a hospital and not a dental office.
Long term: For some and perhaps even most but certainly not all, recovery from this is a very long distance race. A marathon. So you need to adapt this viewpoint if you can. Try not to be disappointed in your lack of progress and gain some comfort from this forum that you will get better but over a long period of time if you don't recover rapidly. Once you achieve more sensation in your mouth, this will give you more confidence, you will gain more an more in your journey back to normal. As mentioned, I think I am perhaps 5 years away from being close to normal.
I will mention another thing that isn't often discussed here. The effect this injury has on intimacy. I was pretty devastated by this aspect as well as I lost the ability to kiss like I like which is quite important to me. Speaking of course is very big deal to me but so is kissing. I can now have the same level of intimacy I had before. This is not without altered sensation but I at least have regained enough sensation that I am getting closer to how I was.
mayaluv4, if you feel despair which is common in the early days with this, see your MD and get a prescription for what I suggested to lower your anxiety level. You may only need this once in a while like I did...only a handful of times, but having it with you will give the safety net and confidence you can cope with this and allow you to make it through the darkest days until you no longer need it. Its been many months now since I even considered taking any meds. I don't like taking meds as it turns out and take nothing day to day.
Please forgive me for not checking in here for awhile. But as I say, the less you hear from me, the better because it means I am forgetting about my injury :) However, I do want to help everyone and those newcomers who I am sad have had to join our community here.
July 21st will mark 2 years and 5 months since having my wisdom teeth removed. Sometimes I sit and think about how long it's been and how I cannot believe I got through some of the most hardest moments in my life. To someone who never experienced what we all know well, it might sound like I'm being a drama queen and extremely over the top, especially when there are so many worse things in life. It's all relative though as to what the person has gone through and I for one have been very blessed to have never had issues with health, so this of course was a very traumatic experience to say the least.
Now, years later, I have learned to pretty much accept the card I was dealt with. I am soooo much better of course, no doubt about that, but things still don't feel 100% yet. I still have tightness in my teeth, albeit so much looser than even just last year, and when I run my finger over my chin I still feel some tingling. My lip also still doesn't feel as much sensitivity as my normal side so kissing is not completely the same as it used to be. HOWEVER, I know it sounds like I'm complaining but I want to be honest. All these altered sensations that I continue to feel are at a better stage than it once was. They have only improved, not gotten worse. So basically if the tightness was originally at a 10 on a number scale, it's now a 4 or 5, you know what I mean? This healing process continues and I still have high hopes that it will one day heal in full with absolutely no residual wonkiness at all.
I live my life normally now and don't think about my injury much anymore. When I think back to how far I've come, I still can't believe this much time has passed. Once in awhile I joke with my boyfriend and say, "wanna go back to the spring of 2013?? Fun times right?" And he and I laugh and laugh :) it does make my stomach turn when I think about how scared I was then and although I had loved ones around me helping, I felt very alone. That feeling soon subsided with every passing month and I was finally able to track some healing.
Lets put it this way as to how I'm feeling now. If I had known back when this first happened to me that I'd be where I am today with my injury, I wouldn't have had a scared bone in my body :) Hope that sheds some light.
Congrats on your continued progress StarBrite. So nice to hear from you. Thank you for all your posts and your invaluable and consistent contribution throughout your recovery. Your bravery through your early days when each of us are beyond scared is to be admired as your last sentence is most telling and why your contribution has been so helpful to help others. As I read back through your posts in fact repeatedly in my early days desperately hoping I would recover as my injury occurred just over a year later than yours, it is your words of optimism, hope and improvement that guided me through the most difficult time of my life. And it isn't lost on me that you were a trail blazer on this forum as there wasn't another before you that shared such depth and thoughtful insight. I hope you stop in from time to time and post updates to further write the book on long term recovery. This is my intent as well.
My hypersensitivity has been bothering me alot. What stage comes after the hypersensitivity stage? Assuming that I recover from this stage. Can I expect the area to become smaller from the edges/along with normal sensation? Feel free to email me anytime at mayasutton64(at)hotmail(dot)com
If you read the above few posts, there is no set timeline to recovery. Sorry for the lack of clarity, but that is the reality. You maybe totally healed in 6 months or less or not be completely healed in 3 years. All depends on magnitude of injury and your bodies' ability to regenerate this nerve. Call it a lottery. Knowing that will help in your disappointment but will beyond test your patience if your injury languishes like mine has for example. Also, while symptoms and recoveries have similarities, they are not the same for each of us. This is because generally there aren't two identical nerve injuries and therefore the sensory feedback is different for each of us...which is related to how each of us heal.
That is what makes this injury so insidious...lack of knowing. This is where your faith or hopefulness is heavily called into play. My advice is always choose hope over fear if you can on a conscious level. If you feel like you are panicking which typically occurs on a more powerful subconscious level for example as I did early into my incomplete recovery so far, be sure to get some medical help as I discussed just above.
My best to you.
Hi all! Sorry I have been away so long, been busy enjoying my life. :)
Welcome to the new members - sorry you have this issue, but glad you found us. We are a consistent and positive group that can help you get through the rough spots. Those early days can be nightmares, please always remember that you are not alone - we get this - we have been were you are.
Try not to panic, as said above - I was able to steady myself with my faith and put things in perspective - not that I didn't lose it occasionally. If you are overwhelmed, get whatever help you need to keep yourself safe.
I promise you that life does get better and you will be less and less bothered by this issue. I am at 2 years and 3 months past injury. I am not 100% yet, but remain faithful that I will get there. I still have good and bad days. Last week I would say I was almost normal - maybe 95%. Today I would say about 75%. I have been getting what I would describe as a cramp in my lip - it feels like something tugging, not really painful, but irritating. I am assuming this will lead to more healing. My hypersensitivity is way better, I now just get the slightest tingle when I run my finger over my lip. My teeth are still a tiny bit tight. It still feels like if I rubbed the area long enough it would all just go away - but it doesn't. Lol
Overall, it is just a tiny bother in my life. I had another minor medical issue and found a forum for that - the people there were all suffering and upset on how it was ruining there life. Luckily, I was better in a couple weeks - just like many here are - but some on that forum were affected for years. It made me think how everyone focuses on their own issues and how everyone has some type of issue.
My best advise to all is to just live the life you are given as best as you can. Try and help someone less fortunate - you really will see how blessed you are. Everyday is a gift.
Love and blessings to all! xoxo
Hi! Yes, it is more normal, but not totally normal. It is not a constant awareness that something isn't right. I notice it when I am sitting alone or watching tv - it is still there, but for now it is the new normal. :)
It is easy to forget about when you are busy. I remember the days when it felt like that was all I could focus on - NOTHING like that - thank God.
I am hoping you will be one of those that have total healing within 6 months, but even if you don't, you will be okay. :)
Keep the faith! Xoxo
In many ways our injuries are tracking similar in terms of timeline based upon your informative writing on this forum. As I read back through your posts back to 2 years and 3 months when you were injured, just over one year ago on June 18, 2014 you wrote the following:
"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"
This post is very close to what you just wrote in the last couple of days...your current status is...90% on your good days.
Can you say with any certainty that you have improved over the last year?
The reason I ask is because I am at 1 year and 2 months and my mouth continues to change. This change isn't always discernibly good...but with improvements paired with many setbacks I would say very slowly I am improving. So I was wondering if you feel you have really made strides in the last 12 months or so?
Continued improvement blessed2bme52 and thanks for your ongoing participation to help us all.
That is a very good question Timeheals! I suppose I should go back and read some of my posts, because I really don't want to confuse anyone here.
The quick answer is that yes, I have had a lot more healing in the last year.
Now for the long answer. :)
I can remember writing that post about how my mouth felt normal with my lips closed and being very still. That was huge for me - because before that, my mouth felt wierd ALL the time. To get to a point where it felt normal at all was a big step. It is so hard to quantify things like this, because when you are feeling bad, any relief to normal feels giant. Thus, I may have quantified it at 90%, because at that time, that is what it felt like.
Now, I may be using a slightly different scale - which we can agree is confusing, and I didn't even realize until you brought it up. Maybe what I mean is that 10 to 25% of the time it doesn't feel normal - which is way different than % healed. The rest of the time I just am not even aware of the injury. If I ponder it, it is there - not really sure if my mind has just learned to block it out, or pondering it makes it more noticeable.
But, I can definitely say that healing has occurred in the last year. It is not a mind blowing change - like the realization that I could feel normal with my mouth closed and holding still that you mentioned. It is more in the fine changes - less tightness, less tingling, less awareness of the injury. It feels so close to normal - even when I ponder it, and normal to the point of I don't even think about it most of the time. I hope that isn't too confusing. In my head it makes perfect sense. lol
It has been such a blessing to come here and share with everyone. I wish everyone total and complete healing. Have a blessed day! xoxo
Thank you so much blessed2bme52 for your response. Yes, the sensations we go through with this injury are beyond confusing and really defy the application of words to describe this experience. The late and great philosopher Joseph Campbell said about words...words are but an imperfect metaphor for our life experiences and this injury is no greater example of this IMHO.
Your response is hugely important to me and many others that have not realized full recovery after 1 year. Your experience of continued improvement gibes with many that have stated they have achieved more healing after 1 year...Starbrite and one4love being two notable members here. There are others as well and if others who are into the 2 and 3 year time period of recovery are reading this, please share your experience.
As it turns out improvement after 1 year...those accounts here do not precisely agree with what the medical community touts which is little change after 6 months to a year. The more I read testimonials here, the more I am convinced how out of step the medical community is with recovery from peripheral nerve damage such as with the IAN. One4love is no greater example. So your words are encouraging to those at near the 1 year point like myself that are hopeful for more improvement, so again my thanks for your clarification. And I believe you also covered something else about this not often spoken. That is the brain has learned to tune out the discomfort more over time. For example, I feel the discomfort...sometimes in fact quite palpable, but I am less bothered by as in the early days even though I still have ongoing dysesthesia. It more like background music instead of being all consuming as you write in the early days.
And btw, you said it all as perfectly as one can. I believe only someone who has gone down this road as we all have together here would have any idea what this journey is like. I couldn't of fathomed it before this happened to me. There are no words and completely agree, this forum has been a blessing of epic proportion to bring some peace of mind to such a life changing event for each of us.
Continued healing and peace blessed2beme52 and thanks your contribution.
Just a quick update. Glad to hear that most people are continuing to heal. This is most encouraging, as I do think it is the worrying part when you feel there doesn't seem to be much change. I still have the hypersensitivity and tightness on the lip and part of the chin. I have a low grade pain on the site of the injury, but I can be distracted from this.
I continue to follow steps forward and then steps backward. Overall the injury isn't so scary now and most of the time I can deal with it without much upset and am able to get on with my life pretty much back to normal.
Many thanks to all posting as this is of great comfort to me and I am sure all who have gone through this strange injury.
I have not posted in about 7 months or so. It has been just over a year since my nerves were damaged from routine wisdom teeth removal.
I posted frequently once the injury started and continued to post every month or so.
In my opinion no one will truly "fully" recover from nerve damage back to 100%.
Where am I at now? I would say 90-95% and I am fine with this I am happy with life and am glad it healed. I would say it took about 4-5 months to get to this point and ad we all know everyone heals differently.
I only say I am 95% and not 100% healed because it is still "altered feeling" in one way or another.
To clarify, at this point right now if I run my finger across my mouth and when I touch the "altered area" it is ever so slightly different in feeling.
However I have full feeling and do not ever notice it now unless I move my mouth around like a crazy person.
I am now working as a mechanical designer and finished school about 8 months ago. I'm 22 and it took almost 5 months to heal at which point I thought I was doomed for the rest of my life but healing will occur for everyone!
I now advise everyone I know to get a second opinion from their dentist or another professional to review their xrays prior to wisdom teeth removal.
I remember the doctor that did the surgery informed me that it may never heal...I almost had a heart attack but that was 11 months ago. To everyone it will heal and good luck.
Your latest posts about the percentage scale and where you are now is so so true!!! I too have never wanted to confuse anyone here with my posts over the last two and half years and the discussion of how much has healed from a percentage standing point. I know that this is probably the most asked question by people, "Are you 100% yet? No? Well then what are you? 75%? 90%?" The numbers are so relative to how we feel at that very moment when we are expressing our thoughts on this forum, so there may have been times over a year ago when I truly did think I was at 90%, but then what does that mean now so many months later? I may be at 90% today still, except I have gained back so much more feeling since I originally wrote that post. The whole process is completely confusing and I think what you explained about it possibly being easier to understand it as being a percentage of the time of what doesn't feel normal as opposed to % healed, well yes I agree that it may make better sense to track it that way instead. All I know is that I've improved with numerous changes having occurred over the course of 2 1/2 years. I feel that any changes now are more minimal though than during the first year, but slowly and surely things do get better. As des19 just wrote earlier today, he believes no one ever "fully" recovers from nerve damage 100%. Not sure how I much I truly believe that just yet, but lets hope that is not the case.
Starbrite, I completely agree with your response to blessed2beme who answered my question about healing between year 1 and 2...the zone I am in. Blessed2beme assigned a percent back in the earlier days and about the same percent a year later and she then clarified that her rating was specific to a given time period which made a lot of sense. Yes the confusion of this injury...a subjective personal rating on healing as it relates to a given time period...I believe we all agree that words are inadequate to describe this experience.
I too was going to respond to Des as well who just posted. Des, I am so glad that after one year you have posted your progress on the forum. So good to hear from you and share your progress with us. As Starbrite suggested, I too take exception to what you stated about likely not healing totally with your injury and will explain why. First, you are very young...one of the youngest members here to be injured in fact and btw, congrats on working in your field of engineering after graduating...all while going through this horrific ordeal. You are to be commended for this accomplishment while going through what we all have.
There is one poster on here that has taught us that full recovery after a very long period of time is feasible. One4love has taught us this invaluable life's lesson. Her gift to us. She gives each one of us hope that healing is quite possible over a long period of time and that in fact the nerve never stops regenerating. One4love recovered her first time...unspeakable she was injured twice....her first time after 10 years. 10 years....an unexplored time period on this forum and in fact never addressed in the medical literature which is woefully inadequate when addressing long term healing from this injury. One4love explained that after 3 years or so, she figured the numbness she accepted, would never go away. But it did after 10 years. This instills tremendous hope to each of us...including to me with a severe injury to the nerve, that I may recover over a period of years. She has given me this hope and even if not healing all the way, to a level that is perfectly tolerated versus my state now of being bothersome at times..
Des, I expect you will continue to recover. Yes of course most healing is realized in the early months because that is when the nerve is most degraded and subsequent improvement would of course be much faster in the early days.
I will tell you all that I am right at 14 months as I write this and having some OK days offset by bad days. I am so encouraged by learning that many here have improved more between 1 and 2 years. Yesterday for example was a bit of bad day. I feel the nerve in my face continuing to change at 14 months. I believe more tissue is being activated with time and as it is, the brain isn't adjusted to this new connection and discomfort ensues. But the balance of bad and good days on average is a positive trajectory toward healing or at least this is my sense. You all may have noticed, I haven't assigned a percent to my healing. I don't feel I am at 90% however. Probably in the 70=80% on a good day and therefore I am in a very long recovery which I believe will likely be over many years to come as the nerve slowly changes and the brain makes sense of these changes. In my case I believe the reason is based upon the severity of the injury due to my difficult extraction. Even with this level of damage to the nerve and even though I am less than certain, I believe its quite possible in the next 5 to 10 years I will continue to improve to the point I rarely notice this injury as one4love taught us is possible over several years.
That is my hope for everybody here..
My operation was July 5 of last year so I am coming up on the 13 month mark. I have healed well and am still hopeful to go from that 95-100% full recovery but as stated before where I am at now...I will never notice it.
Yes, it happened to me last summer so I had to go back to school and finish up my last semester while dealing with this which was difficult. No body understood that I had virtually no feeling for a few months. Luckily it healed up good around the 4 month mark I remember in the 3rd is where I had the big "breakthroughs".
Also my previous comment more so referred to the pshycological affect of healing that we truly never "fully" recover, but I do agree that anyone can heal right back to 100% which is what I'm hopeful for everyone no matter the time frame.
I will continue to check posts on a weekly or monthly basis as well as continue to post once in a while but as someone previously said, if were not posting we must be feeling good!
Good luck to everyone, also to those that this is just happening to. It will get better, significantly better in the first 4 months. Remember I had almost no healing for the first full 1-2 months which scared me but look at me now :)
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