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NUMB CHIN AND LOWER LIP
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm dealing with the same issue.  
You should read the article posted by AprilChristine on Jan 29, 2014.  It spoke about bringing the inflamation (inflammation) down by taking corticosteroids and then 3 weeks of Ibuprofen.  My oral surgeon prescribed Medrol for me when I went for my follow up visit a week after my extractions.  I happened to read the article a week after I completed the Medrol and started the Ibuprofen right away.  I am also taking B12- 1000mcg and a B Complex vitamin daily.  You should contact your oral surgeon right away to see what he suggests.
It is almost 5 weeks from my surgery and my lip is about 50% better.  I can now feel a cup on my bottom lip.  I can also feel hot and cold.  I can now feel water dripping down my chin and I can feel myself scratching my chin somewhat - but it still feels very numb. I continue to get the pins and needles and burning sensation in my chin.  
I too am very mad.  I was not explained the repercussions in detail and I was only told about a numb chin right before they were going to sedate me.  This is all much more than just a numb chin.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh I am glad that you read the article and that it is hopefully helping you! It sounds like there is good progress! Here is the link for anyone else interested : http://www.oralhealthgroup.com/news/mandibular-nerve-neurosensory-impairment-following-dental-implant-surgery-management-and-protocol/1001604108/?&er=NA


I am at almost 10 months. Still hanging in there. Still dealing with the strangeness and the lingering numbness, but I do think maybe there are ever so slight improvements. Things feel slightly less tight and stiff as they did 6 months ago. Still hoping and praying that one day this will all be in the past!
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Avatar_m_tn
My Story Part I:
I will start and say I am just like each of you.  I have an inferior alveolar nerve injury resulting from the extraction of an impacted wisdom tooth…no. 32, third molar to be precise.  I know many of you have been broadsided by this issue and my journey has been a bit different.  But I share the same gamut of emotion from intense pain, numbness and sheer terror of wondering if my life as I have known it for 60 years has come to a sad conclusion. But my message is one of hope and therefore want to come here and participate and join the journey shared by all the great people here and there are many.  Your accounts have helped me tremendously and I hope to do the same, to instill hope which does exist with this insidious and life altering injury most of us have very little previous knowledge of.

I have never had any major injuries.  Never been in a hospital and been athletic and healthy my whole life.  I grew up as a competitive swimmer and am an avid cyclist and rode 4000 miles last year.  For an old man, I look young.  No grey hair.  As stated, I have been very lucky.  So I suppose I was due for a little adversity but each of are never quite ready for it are we? I wasn’t...even though unlike many of you, I kind of knew what I had in store but being a positive guy was hoping for the best.
So, of all the luck I have had with my health throughout my life, I had an outliar horizontally positioned, impacted wisdom tooth that I was hoping would go quietly and I never would have it extracted.  Why an outliar?  Because is was resting on both lingual and inferior alveolar nerves and was deeply impacted and I was loosing jaw bone due to ingress of food and progressively more pocketing over time  resulting in mild and intermittent infection.  Further the tooth was penetrating my lingual plate and therefore was ‘communicating’….dental parlance in two directions…trying to erupt into my mouth and break through my jaw.  So my case was extreme and the unfortunate part is all oral surgeons I spoke to said the tooth had to come out…but with ‘risk’.  So I put it off for a while and then would get another infection and treat it with antibiotics until I recently relocated to Florida.  I then visited a local recommended oral surgeon.  I showed her the X-ray and she looked rather ponderous at it and suggested a CBCT scan.  We did that and when she came in she said she wished she had good news but didn’t. I had an extreme outliar tooth.  She wouldn’t do the extraction I presume based upon skill set and liability but learned I was at high risk for jaw breakage.  She however suggested it be done.  In the event my jaw broke during extraction…say in her chair,  I would have to be rushed to the hospital to have it plated.  She doesn’t have that expertise as talented as she clearly is. So she refered me to University of Florida where I met with a brilliant face reconstruction surgeon named Dr. Nomani.  He looked at the CBCT scan and said it was one of the worst he has ever seen but agree it had to come out and he was willing to do it.  So after weighing all the options and re-asking him if it were ‘him’ and knowing what he knows which is unfathomable about face and nerve anatomy, would he have it done on himself because of my health risk moving forward…he said yes.  That was the signature question and he answered it.  
This was an operation and not a trip to the dentist.  It was performed on a gurney in an operating room and I was knocked completely out.  It took Dr. Nomani one hour to get the tooth out as carefully as he could.  Another 30 minutes for a bone graft to fill the copious hole in my jaw left by the extracted tooth.  He said of the 2000 wisdom teeth he had extracted over his long career, it was 'thee hardest' he had ever performed.  Remarkable it was me.

Recovery
I am 3 days shy of one month from the time of extraction.  I was hoping for a miracle and didn’t get one but it could have gone much worse.  My jaw didn’t break.  My lingual nerve was not badly impaired so tongue is about 95% ok.  My inferior alveolar nerve was ‘stretched’ due to the tooth extraction but not otherwise degraded according to Dr. Nomani who physically ‘saw’ the nerve through the hole left by the extraction.  So where am I?  Right where many of you are at day 28 after having your lower wisdom tooth extracted with inferior alveolar nerve damage.  After my first week of intense pain and mostly rest on oxycontin, I entered my second phase…lets call it despair.  I was kind of out of my mind to be honest.  Desperate.  I feel each of your pain.  Second week?  Depression.  Realization that I may never recovery fully and my life is irrevocably changed if not ruined.  Third week?...hoping for the best and learning to accept what has happened and noting some rather dramatic if not incremental and somewhat painful changes on my face and in my mouth. Fourth week?  Believing I may be OK over a long time period...believe I  am on a one year trajectory to regaining 80-90% of my previous feeling in my face and mouth.  I have a LONG way to go.
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Avatar_m_tn
My Story Part II:
Symptoms:
Just like most of you…I can’t feel my lower right side gums…or rather there is very  little sensation when flossing and brushing…a lot of numbness in my lower right side of chin and lip.  Much of the time my lip and chin are burning…a good sign…but still lots of numbness too but my lower lip in particular is better.  I would say I am 15% healed.  When I brush on the right lower side, I feel my gums just a hint more now. I actually got emotional when I flossed a few days ago and actually felt the floss through my gums.   I do have some slight sensation in my chin…lots of burning…and can feel an ice cube on it…but nothing like the healthy left side of course.  Just like most of you after 28 days with IAN damage including the tightness reported...or pulling sensation..  A long way to go but I now have hope and better perspective which has replaced the overwhelming fear I had that my life was ruined.  You all know what I mean.  I also had pretty extreme jaw pain when trying to eat...known as trismus.  This is getting better with each week however and am able to get my mouth open more and more to eat most foods now but at full open a stabbing of pain.

Future:
First major thanks to each of you for helping me cope and giving me hope and perspective.  Special thanks to Starbrite…there are many others as well but Starbrite, your updates and articulate writing and consistent updates have helped me and no doubt others tremendously.  I hope to follow in your footsteps in my recovery and congratulations to such a nice lady that you are close to full recovery just over a year from your surgery.  Our symptoms and journey…mine is just beginning….has been almost identical including the burning to the tip of my tongue my surgeon says is related to the IAN and not the lingual nerve…same thing you reported.
Moving forward, I will update this forum with my hopeful, continued progress.

I will sign off for the time being and say I picked my user name carefully….Timeheals.  I believe in the case of this injury where the IAN isn’t severed but damaged if not lightly by extracting a molar…this is exactly what is at stake….time…lots of time.  Of course each of us is stingy with our time.  We like immediate gratification.  I am an engineer and problem solver. I like to go and fix stuff and do the research to get it down.  This isn’t quite so easy.  This is going to take a long time to heal and not much I can do about and what bugs many if not most of us.  I will say to those that didn’t know the risk and were blindsided by this injury, my heartfelt condolences.  I was in a box…a place engineers don’t like to be always searching for elegant solutions.  In my case there wasn’t any.  I went to the best surgeon I could find and still came out the other side with a long recovery period, a lot of pain and heartache.  If I hadn’t done my due diligence I would have ended up a basket case had my IAN been even more damaged.  So each of us have learned a valuable lesson.  No this isn’t cancer but the lesson learned here is health is not only tenuous but something that each of us should never take for granted.  All of us that have been around for a while have known somebody who has gone through unthinkable and life altering health challenges.  This issue for me has made me more compassionate and understanding of others.  My best to all of you and thanks so much for your words of encouragement.
  

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Avatar_m_tn
"Stages of Recovery"

I wanted to share some sage words from a women by the name of Annette who has an important message to help mitigate the unbridled fear we have all gone through.  The terror on not being informed about an injury many if not all didn't know anything about is helped by better understanding stages of recovery.  I will tell you that I have researched this awful injury in depth now and read a lot of the scientific literature as tough as it is to wade through without a medical degree..  If any of you have any specific questions, please post and no doubt somebody here or myself will respond.

Since intent here is to help all of us through this difficult time in our lives, its clear that our injuries to the inferior alveolar nerve are not all the same.  There are many types of injuries that can occur to this nerve during tooth extraction or abrasion, to stretching of the nerve (me)  to light cutting to complete severing of the nerve.

So the following message is very important.  If you have NO feeling in your lip and chin for a 3 month period aka no discernible change or improvement in sensation, it is imperative that you seek a surgeon to go in and perform micro surgery on your nerve as it is likely completely severed which will only manifest a very very small improvement depending on proximity over a long period of time. It is strongly advised that his surgery be performed during the first 6 month period.   By contrast, if the nerve is damaged but still intact, i.e. it is not cut in half, it will start to regenerate generally by 3 months and why this time period is suggested to determine disposition.  If you have no improvement at all within say 2.5 months...i.e. no change in sensation.... I would see a local oral surgeon and have a CBCT scan performed to determine if the IAN is sectioned or if there is severe compression on the nerve that is inhibiting its ability to function.  Above is my advice based upon my research.

The following post contains Annette's thoughtful words relative to stages of recovery.
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Avatar_m_tn
Annette's Stages of Recovery:

Dear Gang of Fellow Sufferers,
One of the things that I searched for when I first found this site after I had inferior alveolar nerve injury following a dental implant, was some guide or blueprint to recovery. In other words, I hoped to find a consensus as to the most common stages of nerve regeneration/resolution.

Now, seven weeks after my implant 'accident,' I have recovered approximately 85% of the feeling in my lower lip, chin and bottom teeth. I expect to recover completely. Having consulted with a neurologist friend who tells me that my experience is fairly typical for nerve injuries that exclude severance, I think it might be useful to others on this site for me to describe the stages that I have gone through on my path to healing.

The first stage, anesthesia, lasted three full weeks. I had a wooden lip and chin. During that time I could not even feel a needle inserted several millimeters into the affected areas. My oral surgeon would send me home with multiple bleeding pinprick areas both inside and outside my mouth; I never even felt him stick me.

I spit when I spoke (nice for my students, right?), and often bit the inside of my lower lip. I dribbled drinks and slurred my words. Great for my reputation as a college professor ("I am sure she must have started to drink!").

The following stage involved a sensation that I can only compare to sucking on an extremely strong lemon. Several times a day, especially after eating something salty or spicy, I had the impression that the affected area would gather into a tight mass and become turgid, contracted and swollen.

After that, the area began to burn. Sometimes it was so painful that I cried. This stage lasted about ten days, but if felt like an eternity since the pain would wake me several times at night and I could find no relief.

Shortly after that, the burning mingled with intense itching. However, when I scratched, I could not feel my fingernails on my skin. Very disconcerting!

The final stage -- the one in which I am at this point in time -- involves a very gradual return of feeling in the affected area. Sensation returns starting at the place of injury and gradually moves toward the front of the mouth. From reading testimony on this site I have discovered this to be the case also with lingual nerve injury -- recovery commences at the point of damage and moves forward to the tip of the tongue.

In my case, the implant impinged on the first molar toward the middle of the mouth on the right-hand side, and I can trace recovery of sensation millimeter by millimeter from that site toward the middle of my chin, and now upward into my lower lip. Often the recovery of sensation is accompanied by stabbing or shooting pains along the path of the mental nerve. And, of course, the ever-present burning.

Today I can feel the heat in BOTH sides of my lower lip when I drink a cup of hot coffee. I can also feel a kiss. It is pretty cool!

I hope that this step-by-step description of nerve resolution answers some of the questions that I looked for when I first found this marvellous site. I know from my colleague (mentioned above) that resolution/regeneration doesn't follow the same schedule in everyone (in some people the nerve might be severed, in which case recovery might never take place although some sensation can be recovered through peripheral nerve regeneration).

But, yet again according to my friend, my case is fairly typical for bruising and/or stretching and/or puncture injury to the nerves in the mouth.

Thank you, Ross, for establishing and maintaining this site. Best of luck -- a great big hug, actually -- to everyone out there who has experienced one of these horrible accidents. May your recovery be swift and complete.

Annette



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Avatar_f_tn
Wow - that was so kind of you both to take the time to tell us so much.  My heart goes out to both of you - may God heal you quickly.  

It has been 1 year and 2 months for me today.  That may seem like a long time, but it has passed quickly.  I would say I am at about 90% healed at this point. If I hold my mouth still with my lips together I feel normal!  I can tell if I move my mouth or purse my lips - but it doesn't hurt anymore at all - it just feels tight.  When I clench my teeth together it still seems numb at my second and third teeth from the front - other than that it seems normal.

I trust that I will return to 100% - I hope and pray you all will too.

God bless my friends  :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi blessed2bme52,
I am glad the time passed quickly for you.  Part of the reason I posted all I did was to help with the panic period that likely all of us went through which caused a manic search for the truth and our way to this site.  Because this is so life altering in a bad way, I wanted to put out the best information  I could find including share my personal experience.

As discussed, our injuries to the inferior alveolar nerve and/or lingual nerve are not identical.  For example, Annettes's compression to her nerve due to faulty implant depth and my stretch injury to that nerve are not the same and I presume mine will take longer to heal.  Mine was a stretch injury due to my 3rd molar aka horizontal impacted wisdom tooth sharing the same space as my IAN.  The brilliant surgeon that removed my tooth had no choice really but doesn't change the reality my IAN was injured and I like you and Starbrite are on a 1 year journey to regaining most of our health in this area.

I am so happy that most of it is behind you and hope to be in the same place eventually.  I am at one month today from my surgery and now move past the panic period of wondering if my life is ruined but rather into the s l o w l y healing phase that Annette wrote eloquently about.  I can live with the sometimes intense pain knowing that it will eventually improve along with my quality of life.

Best to all.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi everyone! I am at eactly one year this week. I think the term "panic period" is right on target - those first couple of months are SO awful. They are filled with the initial shock, the pain, the frustration, the hope ... A myriad of emotions as well as physical issues. I have tried numerous things along the way in hopes of a 100% return to normal.
I am at about 80% also. I can always feel the tightness and sometimes it will hurt a little, but I can mostly forget about it - until I eat! I take very small bites and chew more slowly (not a bad thing, right!) to make certain I can control the food.
Because there are no visible external signs, my friends and family shrug off any comments I make about it. Only this group well understands the life altering impact of this issue. As I have stated throughout the year, I am grateful this NOT life threatening as I see terminal issues happening to some of those around me.
I try not to get angry at my dentist who has since retired so he can now enjoy life. He didn't do this on purpose of course, but his actions have left me with what I now believe to be a permanent situation.
Thank you to each and every one for sharing their information, their frustrations, their successes ... And for just being there during this intense time. Social media does have extreme merit and this blog is proof of that!
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Avatar_m_tn
Good to hear your progress funinsun1.  Since you and I are older, it is going to take us a bit longer to heal in spite of difference in our IAN injury....yours being sadly injected and mine being stretched during #3 molar extraction.  Since you have come so far...it may take even another year but since you feel a lot better, this should be much more tolerable than what we each went through.  Its been a tough month for me but I am encouraged by not only my progress but learning what to expect from the shared path of others.

A last note of some irony that contributes to some the despair of myself and others initially.  We don't hear many of the success stories about this insidious injury.  During the panic period, many post their despair but when starting to feel better and overwhelming relief they are going to be OK, they don't tend to post.  Fortunately others do stay the course and share their success.
Wishing you the best in your recovery.


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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for keeping us up to date with your progress. And thank you Timeheals 60 for your words of hope. I'm sorry you had to go through such an invasive surgery.   I am at 7 weeks post surgery now and although I'm doing better, I still continue to have my moments of despair.  I don't talk about my injury with my family or friends.  I try my best to keep busy and not focus on the pain and stiffness.
My lip has improved about 50%.  It still gets the burning and tingling feeling. But I can feel a cup that is placed on my lower lip.  My chin and front lower teeth have become very stiff.  It is very uncomfortable.  They are still quite numb, but I can feel myself scratch it and/or tickle it.  I have my moments in the evening where it all just tires me out.  I slur my words and I still sometimes bite my lip.  But I do see improvement.  I pray that it continues.  My husband needs to either get a bridge or an implant due to a bottom molar that was extracted.  I think I'm leaning towards a bridge.  Less chance of damaging a nerve.  Any thoughts?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Rosa,
Please gain strength and solace from the positive reports of many that have unwittingly inherited this unfortunate injury.  Better days ahead Rosa.
I am just over 1 month now and am more confident I will be OK....but it may take up to year as is reported by many and especially many older members here.  Probably pretty safe to say none of us have ever had an injury that is so slow to heal.  I never have.  I can deal with the pain as awful as it is...and my pain has been pretty unrelenting...with the belief that I will not have to live the rest of my life this way.  That would be very difficult to bear and what terrified me initially. Information about this injury is out on the web but could be more 'user friendly' to extract.  The good news about the peripheral nerves like the IAN and lingual nerve unlike much greater life altering spinal cord injuries is...peripheral nerves regenerate on the order of .5mm per day.  That is 20 one thousands of an inch every day.  As discussed, each of our injuries are different and we will heal at different rates.

A word about coping.  Distraction as you write I believe is a very good thing.  You mention staying busy.  Absolutely.  I am doing a lot of cycling and swimming and getting a lot of oxygen into my body to speed my recovery and also make me forget this issue for a while at least.  If you are an exercise junkie like I am, consider taking long walks to get your heart rate up and increase your oxygen uptake.

As to your husband's contemplation of implants, I believe you know the lesson here.  Annette who suffered greatly is a PhD and very bright lady and it happened to her.  Two things I have learned about dental surgery is injections can be life altering and so can implants.  An implant is basically a fastener and if the dentist isn't skilled or caring enough to perform due diligence which means a CBCT scan and understands the precise depth of the implant relative to particular nerve orientation and each of us are different... then there is great risk of a compression injury to a nerve like what happened to Annette. Bridges are safer and probably a lot less expensive as well.  I have a bridge in front in fact and had it for many years from a baseball accident when I was a little kid.

Take care and keep us posted on your recovery.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks again for your positive words. I feel that keeping positive helps heal the body.  And exercise too. My OS was not very positive and said this will take a long time to heal and given my age, will probably not heal completely.  But after 8 weeks I feel I am 40-50% healed.  The pain is less,my chin does not feel as thick and heavy as it did one month ago, I can feel my scratching.  Now it's mostly the tightness in my chin and lower teeth that bother me.
But I prayed that I would feel at least this much better before my trip to Israel tomorrow. At this point, I feel I can enjoy my trip as is. Hopefully I'll be so distracted that I wont think about my chin at all. I'll post my progress when I get back in a few weeks.
Good luck to all.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi all, to those who remember me, i'm not yet recovered after 1,5 years. Im here to say that the court verdict was in my favor. But the doctor is only ordered to pay $1000. It's really low, and I asked my lawyer to appeal.
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow Curtis...
Can you retell your story?..was it due to a wisdom tooth extraction?  Do you have any pain?...complete numbness?...was your inferior alveolar nerve completely cut?
Best Regards
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Avatar_f_tn
I have read the whole conversation and I would like to mention that My wisdom tooths are also extracted 6 months back from Cmr Dentistry  and I would like to mention that I have gone through the same feeling. It seems that wisdom tooth extraction take little bit time to get back to normal. But now it is healing so i am glad. And I think now you are also ok.
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Avatar_m_tn
Maria,
So you are still healing after 6 months?  What percent healed do you think you are at and do you expect a full recovery?
Best of luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Timeheals60, Now after 6 months I can say that I am almost fine. There is little easyness in back of my teeth specially when I eat something I have to be cautious but overall I am fine because previously I have handled very wiered  feeling when teeths wer extracted.
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Avatar_m_tn
Good to hear you almost all healed.  Thing to remember for all of us based upon a lot of research, our inferior alveolar nerve and lingual nerve injuries are all different.  Plus, our ages are quite different as well...and many times there is a correlation of age and level of injury because it is much harder to extract wisdom teeth past 50 years old.  You are a young 28 years old and would expect you to heal a bit faster...perhaps much faster.

To update me, I am at 6 weeks and have come a LONG way so the point that I believe I may heal completely and I am 60 years old with a very difficult horizontally impacted most rear bottom wisdom tooth.  I do believe like Starbrite and others, that it may take 1 year or longer.  I still have a long way to go...still have about 50% numbness throughout my chin and gums on right side and a lot of daily pain.

For example.  Contrast my recovery with that of Annette.  Annette had a compression injury to her IAN from faulty implant surgery and when the compression was relieved, she only had 10 days of pain.  I have had 6 weeks of constant pain...every day and expect at least 1-2 more months of burning.  But my mouth is changing dramatically.  I can feel my lip.  Burning is becoming a bit less and so is numbness. Also position of pain seems to be moving more toward the center.  Also my jaw muscle is a lot better...I had a hard time opening my mouth initially and eating.  So each of us are different and therefore our paths to recovery will be quite different.
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Avatar_m_tn
I just got all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed June 24th. I'm very sad of the lack of professionalism my Dentist and his staff had in not informing me about the details of nerve damage. I am really lucky I have found this forum since it has eased my fear.
BTW has anyone tried acupuncture? and has it worked?
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry you have joined our unfortunate group but you will hopefully gain some hopefulness.  It is a long journey for most of us when this happens.
How about more details on your story?  Age?...one side?  What are your symptoms?  Tongue affected?
Good luck.
As to the pain thing I have endured every day, very few drugs help short of heavy narcotics which really inhibit ability to function at all...like drive a car.
My personally, aside from a Multiple vitamin and Omega 3, I take a low dose of ibuprofen throughout the day which btw doesn't help with pain much at all.  What Ibuprofen does do based upon research is promote nerve healing by blocking proteins inhibiting cellular growth.  Also its benefit of reduced inflammation is conducive to healing as well.
Provide details when you can.  Yes, the disclosure of dentists is sadly lacking.  Statistically nerve damage is rare is one of the reasons but most will attest here, if it happens to you, it is life altering.
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Avatar_m_tn
The area affected  are numbness/ pins and needles in the lower part of left lip and that side of the chin my bottom front teeth are also pretty painful. My tongue is not affected. I'm 25 yrs old. I know it's been a week since the surgery but this pain is pretty unbearable. I'm a counselor at a university and talking is a huge part of my life. I'm hoping for a fast recovery. I see my dentist tomorrow we'll see what he has to say.
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Avatar_m_tn
Good news for you is you are young and the roots aren't as established/tenacious as in my case.  Many dentists extract wisdom teeth but shouldn't.  Oral surgeons are better trained for this.  In my case because my tooth was such high risk because of nerve involvemtn my oral surgeon wouldn't even do it...so I had it done at the hospital by a facial reconstruction surgeon in an operating room and still came out with a pretty messed up IAN.  My guess is you will recover much sooner.  Tell us which exact tooth you had extracted on your left side?...was it all the way back...no. 3 molar?  Was it impacted?  Ask the dentist his precise assessment of the damage to the inferior alveolar nerve. Ask him if he physically saw the nerve looking through the extraction site.  Ask him if is was a stretch injury to the nerve or if the nerve was cut.  The fact that you have sensation is a VERY good sign and with enough time virtually all recover from it.  The recovery process is awful...especially for those older on here which means me.
Let us know.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi All,

Just checking in to remind you all that you are not alone.  Curtiscraig - I am so glad that court sided in your favor - not that the verdict really makes up for anything, but hopefully it will help a tiny bit.  
Timeheals - I am 54 now - 52 at the time of my wisdom tooth extraction and implant surgery.   As I said last time - I feel at about 90%.  I long for the day that I can return here and tell you I am 100%.  Hopefully soon.

Wishing you all peace and relaxation this coming holiday weekend - try to enjoy yourselves - life is short - enjoy every minute!  xoxo

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Avatar_m_tn
Hi blessed2bme52,
Your continued contributions to this forum really help explain how long and convoluted the road to recovery is for many of us.  Thanks for your valuable contributions.  I maybe right there with you.  As mentioned, I am at 6 weeks and a long way to go.  Reading back through your posts, you reported changes even after 6 months.  You also reflected that improvements aren't even close to linear.  Completely agree.  My chin has mostly been on fire but the sensation seems to change daily.  When I sleep however, my chin seems to quiet down almost to normal...numbness is there but doesn't hurt as much..  But when I talk and eat I get a lot of burning.  I even have a weird interaction with my tongue.  When I have a lot of burning in my chin, I am more tongue tied, i.e. my tongue feels like there is a string tied underneath it to my right injuried side.  Oddly when my chin isn't burning, my tongue feels closer to normal and is freer..  So there seems to be communication between the IAN in my case and my tongue which may even be a bit unusual because my belief is I have no or very limited lingual nerve damage.  I hope you recover fully.  A lot easier to live with this issue at 90% recovered versus where I am at about 20% :-)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi to all
I am reading the postings here with great interest..I have a choice to make,and reading the problems you all have had with Nerve damage is making me think my original choice.
I have an impacted bottom right wisdom tooth ...biggest problem is that the nerve has been engulfed by the tooth and it runs through the tooth...
Removal of the Tooth and roots results in damage to the nerve at almost 100% surety.
Option two is to cut the tooth in half which will relieve pressure on teeth in close proximity and 100% no nerve damage. The success of this procedure is unknown.. However I am now leaning towards this after reading what you dear people are going through with nerve damage...
Regards
Allen
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Hi to all
I am reading the postings here with great interest..I have a choice to make,and reading the problems you all have had with Nerve damage is making me think my original choice.
I have an impacted bottom right wisdom tooth ...biggest problem is that the nerve has been engulfed by the tooth and it runs through the tooth...
Removal of the Tooth and roots results in damage to the nerve at almost 100% surety.
Option two is to cut the tooth in half which will relieve pressure on teeth in close proximity and 100% no nerve damage. The success of this procedure is unknown.. However I am now leaning towards this after reading what you dear people are going through with nerve damage...
Regards
Allen
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Hi Allen,
You are a smart guy to question what your best path should be because the wrong choice is life altering.  I would get minimum 3 different assessments from the best oral surgeons within driving distance.  I went to a hospital to have a specialist remove my different tooth and I suggest you do the same.  But it is expensive for the operating room so look into the economics.  You need to find the best surgeon you can find.  
Also if you have no pain or symptoms, you need to think carefully if you should have it done at all.  Further some procedures do not take out of the roots of the teeth because of nerve involvement...instead just cut the crown of the tooth off that is trying to erupt.  Nobody here can give you the best path other than to suggest you choose your decision VERY carefully after talking to the best surgeons you can find.
All the best.
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Read all these comments about 3 months ago after I had had an extraction of of one of my molars, lost all sensation to my lower chin and lip. After realising what had happened I made peace with it straight away. No point harping on, just got on with my life. Guys, I get it, its annoying but lets put things in perceptive for a second, people are dying out here, its not the end of the world. If you were diagnosed with cancer tomorrow you would be begging just to have numbness to live with.Plus out of all the comments i read, and i read a lot, I didn't read anyones testimony that showed that they fully healed. Anyway,I never ever post on websites but I feel that this might actually give some of you a little hope. After 3 months of slurred speech, spitting while I talk, dribbling, bitting my lip constantly I am fully healed, 101% infact the affected area feels more sensitive due to it being absent for so long. People are different and heal differently, you will be back to normal it will just take some time. Rant over
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As a guy who is at about 7 weeks from my molar extraction and had unrelenting pain every day in hope of full recovery including as I type this, how long did it take to get to 100% recovered?...3 full months?  Also, how old are you as age seems to be a big factor?
Congrats on your full recovery!
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I just got back from the oral surgeon.  I had developed a soft lump on the empty implant site and I was concerned it was an infection - it was.  Now I am on penicillin and had to schedule the "uncovering" of the implant so I can go ahead and finish it off.  I have been resisting this because I really didn't want anymore pain or numbness - but now I have no choice.  He said the infection was the result of my gum being irritated from chewing without a tooth and the implant below - gotta finish it.

They took full x-rays and feel that the nerve damage was done with the removal of the wisdom tooth - so no worrries with the implant.  He tested my facial nerves and I got 100% correct - he thought that was very promising.  He told me that after a year - they classify the nerve damage as permanent, but that doesn't mean it will never heal - as long as I have feeling and not total numbness - there is hope.  So that is what I am holding on to - FAITH before fear - the body is an amazing creation and God knows no limits.  

Peace my friends!   xoxo

ps.  Newbie74 - so happy you are healed!!
       Timeheals - I'm sorry for your unrelenting pain - I promise you it will get better - hang in there and try to stay active and tire yourself out - that helped me a lot.  
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I am hopeful that removing the infection takes your recovery to another level.  A question please.  You wrote earlier you are at about 90% recovered.  Do you still have periods of pain and numbness?  Where does this pain and/or numbness reside?...do you have any numbness or pain in your chin?  On a scale of 1-10, 10 being worst, what is you pain and numbness as compared to say the second month?
I like what you wrote about faith before fear and Best Regards..
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Hi!

I am exactly 5 months since the surgery. The numbness decreased gradually, but I still feel this tightness. I still have this light burning sensation, especially when touching it. The area is hiper-sensitive, so it hurts a little when touching, but the feel heat, cold, etc.

So tightness is the best word to describe my feeling. I would rate it with a 4 (from a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the worst). It feels uncomfortable sometimes.

I just hope I am on the right direction with the healing...
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Hi Timeheals - I will try to answer your questions, but it is really hard to quantify pain since it is different for everyone.  I have stated I am about 90% - that would be on my best day - which I would describe as today.  I would say sometimes - like yesterday, it could go down to 75% or so.  That seems odd, since you would think healing means healed - but that doesn't seem to be the case for me.

Today I would say I have no pain at all - if I hold my mouth in a soft closed expression and don't move it - it feels completely normal.  If I move my lips of facial muscles - there is a odd stretching, stiffness that doesn't feel normal.  I wouldn't say it is numb - I can feel every touch, cold, hot - it just isn't normal.  In a way it is hypersensitive and has a slight tingle to it.  

My chin is almost completely normal - the odd feeling is in my lower lip, right side, but not at the very corner or exact middle - the affected area does seem to be shrinking.  Just below my lip in that area there is a small margin that also has that weird feeling.  My gum below my 2nd, 3rd and 4th from middle teeth is very sensitive and sometimes I do have pain there.  Not alot - maybe a 2 or 3.

Overall, it is so much better - that is why I quantified it at 90%.  Yesterday was one of my worse days in a long time - maybe because the OS was poking around, maybe because of the infection - but after 24 hrs on the meds I feel so much better.

Compared to month 2 - if that was 10 - I would say my pain would be <1 on a normal day.  Thank you Jesus!!  I know you are looking for reassurance that the pain will go down - it will!!  I promise that it will get better - when you are in it, it is so terrifying that it will never end, but it will. Have faith and look for reasons to be happy - life is good!

NumbRomania - it certainly sounds like you are on the road to healing.  The tightness in my teeth was really irratating for a long time, but it has really relaxed in the last few months to the point that I only feel it when I clench my teeth together.  

Peace my friends!  xoxo

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Thanks blessed2bme52 for your articulate response.  Much appreciated.  Since I am still under month 2,so you can imagine where I am at.  I think my recovery may closely mirror yours.  I believe I am on a year trajectory.  My mouth is going through monumental changes.  I also believe the pain patch is shrinking and at times it is at full burn and others it quiets down a bit.  Numbness has given way to hyper-sensitivity which I would say rivals pain...or painful sensitivity and also I feel the stiffness you talk about which I believe is where adjacent normal skin meets the chin patch under the side of the mouth that the IAN communicates with.  This contrast in sensory signals to the brain  I believe is what contributes to feeling of stiffness.  When the mouth moves, the skin and tissue move and the contrast of the recovering area to the outboard normal area is what creates the sense of stiffness.
Thanks again for your reassurance that your rightly surmised.  Part if not the big deal with this injury is not knowing what level of recovery each of us will endure, slow recovery and of course the absolute powerlessness each of us feel.
Best to all and thanks again.
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I have to have my wisdom teeth removed soon and because I am 29, over 25, was told could be an increased risk of complications. How old are most of you guys? I see there is a 50 some odd and you are 60.  Also is there any advice any of you could offer for going into this? Would you recommend the cone beam scan before hand to assess my situation. Also anyone here been told their surgery shouldn't be a problem, but had one anyway? And finally, can the injection for numbing itself cause the IAN damage? Or is it usually due to removal of molar?
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Hi Blw85,
Many here that have prolonged IAN damage have it for two reasons: a. impacted molars are more difficult to extract with age...roots and bone become harder and b. IAN damage is more likely because as we age we lose elasticity throughout our bodies and therefore there is more damage if roots are in close proximity to both nerves.  Lastly, older patients heal slower as our immune systems don't have the restorative power of a younger person.  I will say this.  I am an athlete and strong cyclist and swimmer and look 40 but I am 60 and I believe my overall good health is on my side but I have a long way back to normalcy.

For anybody, including 20 year olds that have suffered this injury it is life altering.  Provided not irreparable damage to the IAN or lingual nerve aka severing...what is called transection....the odds are greatly in favor of recovery...which is such great news for someone like myself who is going through the suffering phase as I type this.  I am recovering but it is slow, painful and arduous.

So what to do.  Btw, I knew of these risks going in and all oral surgeons said my tooth had to come out which it did but not without consequences.

So for you I suggest:
Pay the money to have a cone scan aka CBCT scan.  Have a copy placed on DVD for your possession.  Take this to a second and third oral surgeon particularly if concern over close proximity of nerves to tooth roots..
Try to get references for whoever does your extraction.  Do not have a dentist perform the extraction. Ask to review the cone scan with the prospective surgeon and see for yourself your risk and let them tell you their assessment.

Injections: Both deep injections and faulty implant surgery can cause serious injury to the IAN or lingual nerves.  I suggest you get knocked out for the surgery and see if you can get by with no injections or what are called shallow injections only.  Carefully survey your options.

You will notice two principle themes reading the different member's experience on this forum.  One, age changes things as discussed.  Your age is your ally.  Second is....no two injuries are identical.  I can go into detail about different nerve injuries because out of panic, I read the medical literature.  So each of us will recover differently...and some are more healthy than others as well.  So there is nothing established about each of our recoveries.  Also the medical literature states that peripheral nerve recover is very difficult to quantify because it occurs on a molecular level.  Miraculously, peripheral nerves like the IAN and lingual nerve DO regenerate unlike spinal cords injuries which are part of the central nervous system.  A miracle of our bodies and only wished spinal cord sufferers would have the same opportunity.  One day this will be solved by technology...likely through stem cell research.

Hope that helps.  Do you homework and make your decision carefully is what I suggest.  Come back with any concerns.
Good luck to all of us.
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Thank you so much. I have been doing a lot of reading and have found the same suggestions you mention. I have asked the surgeon who is suppose to perform this to do a bone scan, so at the very least I feel more comfortable. Will also be taking that scan to a couple other surgeons for review. I actually had facial nerve damage from a surgery in 2007 and my right ear lobe is still pretty much numb, a major reason I want to avoid going through that again. I can't imagine what you all must be going through. But I hope to read more positive stories of recovery as there aren't enough of those on the internet!

Thanks again.
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Blw85,
You are very wise to do your research and choose your path with deliberation which it sounds like you are and your previous experience has taught you that lesson.  This injury is insidious because it is really unlike anything most of us have gone through before.  The sensation of pain is very different...burning or electrical shock basically which is exactly what it is...misfiring neurons because the conduit of connection from the brain to the surface area of sensation has been damaged.  As an engineer, I try to wrap my mind about what happened and what all the tradeoffs are and the more I read, the more it makes sense and fear is somewhat replaced by knowledge but until you go through it, hard to fathom really.  Everybody I tell about it looks quite puzzled because the public doesn't know much about it and I look basically normal.  But when I speak I am distracted by all what some describe as weird feeling which I too have.

For further perspective and mitigate some concern on your part is...one of the reason why more isn't known is most of the people here are outliers in anatomy in some sense...or in age relative time of extraction.  I believe the statistic for IAN and lingual nerve injuries due to wisdom tooth extraction are less than 5% nerve damage.  Of that subset of 5%, most and close to all recover...but some and not all without incredible drama.  Those that do recover I believe aren't much in the mood to come to a forum and talk about it because the experience has been somewhat nightmarish.  Some brave people due however and they are the inspiration to me and I plan to share the same hope with others.  In my case, I put off having my single problematic wisdom tooth out because I knew it was going to be a difficult extraction but the pathology of the tooth got worse...not life threatening but would have had consequences to jaw bone loss down the road.  So there was no good solution in my case.  Yes, I can second guess the procedure that the surgeon performed....he extracted the tooth in one piece versus sectioning it, but he obviously understood the tradeoffs having removed 2000 prior and he had carefully reviewed the CBCT scan and knew exactly where the two nerves were and decided on that course.  So for me, I was in kind of no win scenario or another way of looking is it is...in one year from now if fully recovered, I had the best possible outcome because my jaw didn't break which was one of the reasons I had mine done in a hospital setting.  It is unclear if I will recover fully but believe it is quite possible as my mouth seems to improve everyday in spite of sometimes tremendous pain but I believe I have a shot at full recovery at 7 weeks from surgery now.

You are well ahead of the curve because of your age and your due diligence in deciding your best path.  Many are broadsided with this which makes it even more difficult.

Hope that helps some.  Most that have their wisdom teeth removed are at low risk for nerve injury.

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Thanks again, call me paranoid but I am, you make me feel better.
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I don't think you are paranoid at all.  I may have thought so before this happened to me but not now. :-)
Hopefully your original surgery is completely unrelated to the position of your IAN and lingual nerve.

I will give you another strategy and one I would consider if I could turn back the clock.  You know about hindsight...many of us may have taken a different route and you have the chance because you are still plotting your course.  There is a procedure for impacted wisdom teeth when the roots are deemed too close to the IAN and lingual nerve where the surgeon sections the tooth near the base of the roots and extracts just the crown of the tooth but not the roots that are intimate with your nerves..  Had I known what I would gone through, I would have pursued this option more aggressively.  So deferring to even the smartest guy in the room...and make no mistake the talented man who reconstructs faces for a living who worked on me is as close to a hero as our society has... isn't necessary a fail safe strategy because he or she doesn't have to live in your body after the surgery.  I think I will feel a bit different...or hope to in a couple of months but where I stand now.
Again, maybe you are a low risk candidate.  A CBCT scan will reveal this.
Good luck.
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You will be fine, it sounds like you are progressing which is great. It took me approximately 2 or 3 years to fully heal from nerve damage.
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Thanks for the words of encouragement Wow.  2-3 years. Can't imagine what that journey much have been like.  Not that any of have a choice once this stuff happens.   Is the nerve that affected your earlobe unrelated to the IAN or lingual nerve or part of the mental nerve bundle or branch?
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It was the facial nerve, it had to be interfered with during surgery was no way around it really. I didn't experience pain or much annoying tingling, sensation just slowly started to come back slowly but surely over time.
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When you wrote of your previous issue of a nerve in your face, I thought of a recent acquaintance.  I mentioned I was a cyclist and have met many in all walks as a result. Recently, which is somewhat uncanny,  I met an interesting man while out riding who was a pro cyclist when he was younger and who is in his 50's now. We got to talking when out on the ride and I asked him what he did and he said he had a PhD and taught medicine.  I asked him is he knew about nerve pathology and he said he was more or less an expert on the subject.  Then he told me his story.  And this for everybody is about perspective of what each of us have gone through in our lives.  I mentioned previously I have been blessed with amazing good health. This is my first big issue. An abbreviated version of his story was...he developed a head ache on his left side and after multiple tests, it was determined he had a tumor and in fact it wasn't sure if he was going to live.  When they removed it...and it was benign...they had to severe a nerve on the side of his face which gives him numbness to this day.  He posits that it was cell phone EMI radiation that caused it....he was a consistent user of the early large cell phone and he believes it was the magnetism of this phone that caused his tumor.  Anyway, here is a guy who taught medicine and nerve anatomy and when they had to remove a lot of tissue, they had to remove the nerve that gave him sensation on the side of his face.  He was grateful to live of course and regrets none of the decisions the surgeons made he told me.

On our ride we talked about nerve anatomy and what to expect moving forward for me.  He reinforced just how unknowable recovery is for everybody because circumstances in terms of nerve injury and overall health play so heavily into the recovery process.  This is reinforced in the literature and what contributes to much of the fear that is reflected on this forum.  In your experience, your nerve recovery occurred up to 3 years later which isn't a common occurrence and reinforces this which also btw somewhat skews what is known on the web.  Many don't post their recovery but a lot of people panicking after 1 month do post their condition.  There are a  few reports to changes to the IAN on this forum in the one year range and even breakthroughs at the 6 month point.  So recovery is largely a mystery and unknowable for each of us in terms of speed or completeness.  But odds for IAN and lingual nerve regeneration are very good for nerves that aren't severed but it may take a very long period of time.

All the best with your wisdom teeth.
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Thank you! And to you with your recovery. Wishing you the absolute best !!
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Hi there!

I haven't written in a bit but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate the kind words you wrote about me, and all the intelligent posts you have been leaving. I am so sorry you are enduring this right now, but I do promise that it does get better over time.

I am one month shy of being a year and half into this nightmare and even though I am back to the girl I once was before this situation happened, I still don't go a day without thinking about it. I guess you can say that I am stuck between the 90% "better" mark. I do notice small little improvements every month or so, which I am grateful for, but the slow healing pace is truly unreal. I mentioned before once that I was told that this will probably take up to 3 years to be completely gone, and I'm starting to reaaallly believe that.

I feel hot, cold, regular sensations, anything on my chin and lip, but it's not the same as the normal side. It still tingles if I run my finger over my chin and I feel the tingles in my lip too when I do that. I still don't feel tickling sensitivity very much, which I have spoken of before, anyone try the shower test? What did 100% come back for me though, thank god, was my taste. I went through months of burning tongue and diminished taste buds, I had no lingual nerve damage, this was clearly caused by IAN damage, (two doctors confirmed). The burning went away, and my taste came back at the year mark and has been strong since. I thank my lucky stars on that one!!! Right now I just still feel a bit of tightness, mostly in that one canine bottom tooth. 95% of the day I never ever realize it anymore though. When I'm around people, out and about, talking, working, shopping, eating...never notice it. When I do notice it and catch myself moving my mouth around to feel the differences, is when I'm watching TV alone, driving alone, etc.

I'm still very hopeful that it will one day return to normal. I am trying to prepare myself for the possibility of it never happening, but until I reach 3 years, I'm sticking to that number! I hope there are more people here who are feeling better. Please don't be scared. The early days are extremely rough, I know, but trust me from the bottom of my heart that things improve to the point that you will be able to live your life the way you did before this happened to you.

Big hugs and I'll write again soon!
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Hi StarBrite310,
Congrats on all your improvement and thank you for taking the time today to post and help everybody and especially me.  

I needed your post today honestly as today has been very dark day for me.  As much as I am a glass half full kind of guy and recognizing there are worse things that can happen to good people each day, today I am mentally struggling with this.  I know there a bad and slightly better days and today is a bad day mentally.  I don't like to take any drugs and am seriously thinking about taking a mood altering drug to help with my dark thoughts and wonder if you took anything to help you through the bad time?  Alcohol isn't supposed to be good for nerve recovery and I don't want to start drinking honestly. :)  Btw, I am exercising 2-3 hours a day to help cope.  My body is strong but my mind is caving a bit to this awful injury.  It is wearing me down mentally.

My second question is....since I believe our age and wisdom tooth extractions and probably damage to the IAN are perhaps similar or in your case past tense, can you tell me how many months for you before you really felt you had a chance to beat down this demon?  Was it 6 months?...or less than that?

I feel I have made a fair amount of progress at 2 months breaking out of pretty complete numbness  but the pain and distraction to my speech because of what I would call a combination of weird feelings to my lip and chin make it hard to focus and communicate.
My right side of lip and chin are a combination of burning pain or hypersensitivity bordering on pain, tingling, numbness and variable stiffness...almost feels like a spider web when I move my mouth on my chin...I presume due to where healthier tissue meets sensory altered skin in the healing phase.  

What time period into your recovery did most of this abate recognizing you are maybe not perfect today but pretty darn good and stand a chance for full recovery?  Did you have any breakthroughs or any sense of hopelessness at the 6 month period?

Thanks you so much in advance if you could address my questions based upon your experience.
Thanks again and congrats on your improved health.
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Hey!

I will do my very best to answer your questions, but please understand that I have suppressed a lot of bad memories from last year, so I may not remember everything clearly.

First of all, I'm sorry you had a bad day yesterday, but very glad my post helped. Days for me were up and down for many months. Even now sometimes I feel everything will wind up totally fine, and then certain times I get really down on myself and the situation I was dealt with. However, better days are ahead for you, that I know for sure. In regard to any medication, nope I didn't take anything. I tried using Ibuprofen for pain in the early days, but that didn't help really at all since it doesn't respond to damaged nerves like ours. I kind of just relied on my family, boyfriend and friends to help me get through the toughest times. I also read this forum a lot which always helped me and I took up watching a lot of TV shows in my evenings to get my mind off things.

To answer your second question, I'm 32 (I had this happen to me 2 weeks shy of my 31st b-day) so I don't believe our ages are close, but the damage may be similar. I knew mine wasn't severed the very next day when the tingles began and then thankfully didn't stop for months and months. For me, the first month was absolute hell but when I got through the first month, I suddenly had a breakthrough with some feeling coming back and that's when I knew things would eventually be okay. Since then I just took it month by month. I remember between 4-6 months I got some big breakthroughs which helped me deal with things better. Then just little by little, days, weeks and months have gone by and things kept improving... I began to feel less tightness, and old feelings returned etc. I had hoped by now that I would have been all back to normal and probably would have bet a trillion dollars back then that it would've been all better almost a year and half later, but as I mentioned in my post yesterday, things will probably take longer for my case. it was obviously pretty significant damage and the fact that I've regained about 90% is a gift. I still to this day every once in awhile or so feels crawlies or spiders on my chin which I think are the nerves still sparking up. I can scratch it just fine now, early on that was the absolute worst because I couldn't feel my nails to take the itchies away, but when this still happens to me, I get very excited since it means it's still healing :)

I hope I helped you again today. Lemme know if you have other questions!
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Thank you Starbrite for your thoughtful comments.  They help a lot. I will say you are one tough girl mentally.  I hope to be as strong but have had a couple of bad days and so your words help a lot.

Sorry I got your age wrong.  You are a young lady and have your whole life in front of you.

A couple more questions please:

Was your chin completely numb right after the extraction?  Mine pretty much was.  It is the transitional stage to hyper sensitivity or pain that is freaking me out.  So in some ways, this issue was more tolerable early on and this seems to be the theme of others as well. I just wonder how many months of pain I have to contend with?   I do understand that pain seems to be a stepping stone to recovery, but its tough to deal with and why I wondered if you found any sort of drug that helped you either physically or mentally.

You mentioned the shower test and probably most of us tried this intuitively comparing left and right side of the lip and chin under the shower head.  When I first tried this say a week or two after my extraction, I couldn't really feel the hard streaming of the shower head on the injured side which of course was quite scary..  But now I sure can, so clearly my injured side has woken up.  It feels like serious pins and needles when the shower stream hits it and is more sensitive than the normal left side.  So I believe that is clear progress and wondered in the early days if you felt the stream the same way?

Since you investigated different physical  tests performed by different doctors, I can tell you that I feel the cotton swab very well including direction and also am good on discriminating pin prick sensation and location on my chin and lip.
I just did the ice cube test on both good versus injured side and best way to describe it is I feel the cold...but it is more muted and takes longer to ramp up compared to the good side which is more instantaneous.

If I were to sum up my chin on the injured side... very simply put 2 months from the extraction...it feels like it has a large scab on it....when I touch it and when I purse my lips, I feel a lot of stiffness. Best description I can provide.  

So I wonder when this started to change for you?  Did you turn the corner at 4 months?...6 months? when your internal dialog said, hey, this thing isn't going to beat me down any more?  I am not there at 2 months but hope to be a 4 months for my sanity. :)

I know the above it a pretty good list, but as time permits, this will help and perhaps will give perspective to others as well.

Thanks so much and all the best.



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