660300 tn?1224790361

Paresthesia/Facial Numbness after Wisdom Teeth Removal

I had my Wisdom Teeth taken out 2 weeks ago...ever since then my right lip and chin have been completely numb...I went back to the Oral Surgeon who wants to wait a month to see what happens, I have a follow up appointment in November right before Thanksgiving.  Is there anything I can do to help?  Based on common experience, how long does nerve damage "usually" take to heal?  I feel like I am in the dark...I cannot stand it...I am getting married next year and want to be able to kiss my husband!  Also, what is the % chance that is could be permanent?

Thank you in advance for all answers, I am so scared!
198 Responses
Avatar universal
Seeing a neurologist is advised.
Avatar universal
Hi ,, i had mine out 3 weeks ago tommorw and i am numb on my tongue only, it feels like it is massive and eating is a nightmare, i have had a constant tingle in my tongue since day one, i am also getting mariied next year and have the same fears, although it is mainly my tongue the underneath part of my jaw suffers from tingles and numbness, i too have spoke to my oral surgeon and have to wait till december 17th for follow up... from my reasearch and reading it appears that if you ahve tingles then this is a sign of recovery and that the nerve is working but can take 6months to a year to fully recover, !!
Hey i am having the same syntoons worried about it. How long did it take to go away?
Avatar universal
Hello billsfan6011,

As a dental student I would recommend the following:

However, please make sure and consult with your primary care physician
that You are not allergic to CORTICOIDS

Farmacological Treatment

Oral administration as a flash treatment for 3 to 4 days.


Betametasone (corticoid)

6 mg daily

let me know how your situation turns out
Avatar universal
My boyfriend is 21 and got his wisdom teeth removed today.  He is experiencing extreme numbness from the bottom right corner of his mouth , almost all the way to the left corner of his mouth.  His mother got her wisdom teeth removed about four years ago and the side of her mouth is still numb...after four years.  He is worried that his will be permanent and he is completely flustered.  He also had a root canal about a week or two ago and it was on the same side that is now numb.  Would the root canal add to the severity of the paresthesia? Is there any way to tell if this condition will be permanent, or is it basically just a waiting game?  I want to find out as much information about this as I can so I can give him hope. Does anybody know of any remedies that might speed or help the healing process, or any advice that I could give to my boyfriend to ease is stress and frustration?

Thank you so much!
703897 tn?1248019974
I think you better notify your state dental board as soon as possible.

745634 tn?1243723447
The root canal would probably have nothing to do with the paresthesia (numbness).  This is a rare but possible complication of removing lower molars close to the nerve.  In most cases, the nerve is just brused and will go back to normal in a matter of days or weeks.

He needs to go back to his oral surgeon.  The best way to handle this is to wait a couple of weeks to see if the paresthesia goes away on its own.  If this does not happen, there are methods to help the nerve regenerate, but they need to be done soon after its determined the nerve will not heal itself.  Ask your oral surgeon about everything and make sure he discusses all the possibilities.  
Avatar universal
  He contacted his surgeon and he said that it might take 6 months for the numbness to subside. That doesn't sound right to me. How would he know so early on? I can't really say, though, I'm not a doctor. But I think everything is going to be alright, and I really appreciate your help.  When you said "If this does not happen, there are methods to help the nerve regenerate, but they need to be done soon after its determined the nerve will not heal itself," that really gave me hope because at least I know there is something we can do about it.  

Thank you again!
are the methods surgical or things we can do ~  thx  
Avatar universal
My daughter had a root canel 2 weeks ago and the left side of your jaw is still numb. She cannot eat on that side without biting herself.

What should she do?  Her perminant crown has not been installed yet. Should she see a nerve doctor before the perminant crown is installed?

Her docter indicated that she may have reveived too much novocan. Could this be the problem?  
Avatar universal
Just to inform everyone... I had my wisdom teeth taken out in April of 2009.  I noticed something different after 3 days, when my tongue and gums were still numb..  Called the oral surgeon, was told that I had "signed the waiver" and the feeling should come back... well here I am, almost a year later, an MRI done, to find out that severe nerve damage was done when they took out my right wisdom tooth.  I was awake for the entire procedure, I know there were things that could have been done differently.  It is a very difficlut thing to deal with... they told me that if you do not have feeling back within 6 months the likelihood that you will ever get it back is pretty slim. Please contact me if you have any questions...  I am coping but I have very bad days, as I am sure all of you do... they have medication for the nerve spasms, if you have those.. but it helps very little...I think we should have a support group for us... it is a very difficult thing to adjust to..
Avatar universal
Hey Sarah
I'm really sorry to hear about your nerve damage.   Try and stay positive as you could still recover - I read a post from someone on another forum recently that got feeling back after a couple of years. I had two lower wisdom teeth out mid February and was left with a numb toungue, jaw, lip and chin. I rang the hospital and they didn't want to know, but I have since seen the consultant who said that one tooth was very close to the nerve (he didn't tell me that before) and that it might take up to two years to recover, but that I might never get the felling back in my lip. Well along with the numbness I've had the terrible burning sensation and have struggled to eat and talk. However, things improved significantly since then, although I am still suffering. I totally understand what you're going through as this is a truly horrible thing and I have my fingers crossed for you.  
Avatar universal
Had my bottom right side third molar pulled about two weeks ago. At first I just had terrible jaw stiffness on the side the tooth was pulled. Well that resided but now I have chin numbness on the same side. It feels as though there's still novacaine in it & it feels rubbery/puffy to the touch. I'm freaking out because I've never had this side effect before. I'm not sure if it's from the novacaine injections or the actual removal of the tooth. I've had the jaw stiffness before from fillings but never experienced the numbness in my chin & lower lip. Is there anyway to help the numbess reside? As of now I'm not having any tingling/burning, just numbness. I just pray to god this isn't permanent!
i am still numb on my bottom lip but only the left part of it.. i noticed today that  my lips  felt very wet but when i  touch my lips they are not  wet at all... i am hoping there is a sign of them coming back to life..
Is your sensation back now?

I completed my 1 month today and I am still numb.

Any information would be very helpful. Please reply.
Avatar universal
Grrr I just wrote a long reply and it didn't work :(
Anyway, my consultant recommendedvitamin B12 as that is good for nerve regeneration. Have you had any burning/tingling or has it always been numb? The numbness in my chin did disappear for a short while, but it is fairly numb again now. When I stroke my chin from left to right I get a matching tingle on my lip from left to right. Very strange.  
Avatar universal
Ok, you definately can have pain and numbness from a root canal...I have a permanent case of both (at the same time!) after a dentist used a root canal filling material that contains FORMALDEHYDE, lead and mercury.  Since they weren't supposed to be using this stuff, they decided to tell me that it was likely from the novacaine injection.  That is a common ploy for these dentists to divert the attention away from what they used because they know it is a malpractice suit in the making.  Look at your xrays and make sure that there is not filling material extruded out the bottom of the tooth into surrounding tissue or nerve.  If there is and you have persistent pain, the overfill needs to be removed..sooner than later.  A 3D scan can tell you if the material is in the nerve canal.  I think it is unlikely that the tongue would be affected from a root canal overfill.  Most of the time it is the lip and chin.

If my dentist had told me the truth, immediate surgery would have mitigated the horrific pain that I now live in.   Make sure this stuff, Sargenti Paste, was not used on you.  It is unlikely that an endodontist would us it, mostly general dentists.   If it was used, go to an endodontist...ASAP....and, IMHO, get the tooth out.  Then find a dental attorney.  You don't want that stuff staying in you mouth.   Myself and another lady started a website after we met while both of us were trying to diagnose ourselves because we couldn't count on our dentists to be truthful and forthcoming.


Numbness to the lip and chin is damage to the inferior alveolar nerve.  Damage to the lingual nerve causes problems with the tongue.  If you had a tooth extraction and have NO feeling, it is POSSIBLE that you nerve was severed.  If you have some feeling, the nerve is likely damaged or just disrupted.  For extracted teeth issues, see an oral surgeon.  For root canals, go to an endodontist if a general dentist did the root canal.  Go to an oral surgeon if an endodontist did the root canal.  There is no way of knowing how long it will take to get better and unfortunately sometimes it never does.  

Be careful about jumping into some type of nerve repair surgery.  There is a substantial risk that attempting any repair too far out from the injury can make it worse.  Do your homework.  It is best to find an oral surgeon who specializes in microsurgery.
Avatar universal
Saynono I've just been looking at your website and I'm shocked by what I've read and I'm so sorry to hear what you havebeen through and that you continue to suffer. Have you found anything to ease the burning sensation? Mine is drving me mad (mostly my lip). All I can do is use lip balm.  
Avatar universal
I have same burning of the lips.  NOthing helps them.  Blistex makes it burn worse and vaseline does nothing.  I am so angry and yet so sad.  My surgeon told me that with my age and the fact that my wisdom tooth was on a nerve that there was a 40% chance of having the parethesia.  He told me it would be a challenge for him and was going to leave it alone.  Then he asked me where I had problems before with my teeth and I mentioned that I had recently had an infection on that same side so he said that then he wanted to go forth with the surgery.  He told me since he wanted to focus on nothing other than that tooth, that the surgery would have to be scheduled first thing in the morning.  So needless to say, I was a bit worried to hear the word "challenge" coming from a surgeon and then when they called to tell me that I was the last surgery for the day in the afternoon!  I have two severe dry sockets and paresthesia that is affecting my chin, my lip, and my tongue!!!  Not too mention the burning of the lips.  I also am having severe tooth and gum pain--like when you have sensitive teeth and eat something too cold.  That "twinge" is constant!  I am in so much pain.  It is so difficult to eat and hurts sooo much.  And when I do eat...there isn't much taste except when the food reaches the back of my tongue.  I am crying from reading all of these posts.  My surgery was just over a week ago.  And my dr tells me that he can't do anything and dismisses it like he ensured me with a 100% chance of getting these problems when in fact it was only a 40% chance.  I feel better though, that you mentioned the burning of the lips...cuz I thought I was just making that up in my head.  Does anyone out there have problems with the lower jaw pain and the tooth and gum pain?  With all of them added up...I'm pretty sure I'm going to have this permantly.  I would've rather just had the infections every few months or avoided brushing back there.  I even told the dr that when he said that there was a possibility of this complication...but then I caved when he said that it needed to be done.  ugggh.
Avatar universal
Gosh it sounds like you have all the same symptoms as me: toungue, lip, chin, very painful jaw, sore teeth/gums, lack of taste etc. Your post brought tears to my eyes as I know exactly what you're going through as I know how scary, painful and upsetting it is. Not to mention being angry about what has happened to you and thinking how on earth can this be better than the odd bout of pain/antibiotics? I read your post last night, just moments after I had been excitedly telling my partner that I had just realised that I had eaten a meal earlier that evening without being aware of my paraesthesia - what a breakthrough (I had two lower teeth removed in February this year). I was so excited and happy, but then I read your post and just felt overwhelmed with guilt that someone else is feeling as awful as I did not so long ago. However, I want you to know that there is hope as my symptoms have significantly improved and I am beginning to feel like a normal person. It does take time though and you have to be very patient - that is except for my toungue, which suddenly came back one evening which was a massive breakthrough.

I was told right before my operation that it would be very surprising if anything went wrong then when I came round I had an awful feeling that things weren't right. Like you I contacted the hospital a few days later and was told 'you signed the disclaimer' and 'we did warn you' etc. which was a terrible blow. Yes they did warn me about paraesthesia, but they didn't say it would involve unbearable and constant pain that would take over my life and that they wouldn't offer me any support to cope with it. The consultant did recommend vitamin B12, so I would get loats of this and start taking it straight away. I can't say for sure whether it has helped or not, but it is worth taking it anyway. If like me you are chewing on your toungue and cheeks because you can't feel them, then Bonjela is good for soothing the soreness.

I'm not sure if any of this is helpful to you, but I would say hang on in there and stay as positive as you can. It is very early days for you and a lot of what you are experiencing in terms of pain and discomfort is directly related to the extraction(s) rather than the nerve damage. Hopefully some of this will have subsided by now though and you are feeling slightly better. When I saw the consultant a about a month after my operation he said that the fact that I had tingling and there had been a slight improvement was very enouraging - can you feel anything or is it completely numb? Since then things have gradually improved and now I can eat anything I want without it hurting my jaw, although I am still senstitive to hot and cold food.

Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. I think what makes paraesthesia particualrly difficult to cope with is that you don't look any different, so it is difficult for others to understand what you are going through, and the fact that you can never escape the pain/horrible sensations is enough to drive you mad.
Hey i am having the same symptoms worried about it. How long did it take to go away?
Avatar universal
I had an impacted wisdom tooth removed over 3 weeks ago and was stunned that the numbness and tingling and throbbing jaw pain has not dissipated at all...my oral surgeon says everything is fine but the nerve could send "aberrant signals" for possibly 6 months or more.  I have been popping pain pills every 4 hours for three weeks but now my prescription has run out and I don't know how i am going to be able to stand it.  The numbness and tingling is bearable but the stabbing, throbbing pain in the jaw and lower teeth is excrutiating.  Surgeon has pretty much "washed his hands of the matter" is going to refer me to a pain clinic to manage the pain....I honestly don't know how to handle this.
Avatar universal
Had my 4 wisdom teeth extracted 7 days ago of which 3 were impacted. My lips and chin are death numb.....Dr told me to wait 1 month.....any advise?
Avatar universal

My uncle, aged 54, had his wisdom teeth removed just over a year ago. Since then, he's been having extreme trouble - his jaw and lower lip go completely slack. He has major difficulty speaking and looks/sounds like he's drunk when he tries to talk. He's been to his dentist since then, who claims it's all in his head. We think his nerve's been damaged by the extraction. It's been over a year now since his condition has developed; the severity of it differs from day to day. Has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks so much.

Avatar universal
I was considering to have my wisdom teeth removed, but after signing "waiver" at oral surgeon office at the time of first appointment, I strated to search online.
It is painful to hear so many people having almost the same problems after so-called "routine" procedure.

Guys, if any of you do not get better, you should contact a dental malpractice lawyer. There are many around. In many case, even signed waiver can be overrulled, if dentist or oral surgeon was negligence.

There are also many articles online, especially ones writen by retired general dentist Jay Friedman who advocated against prophylactic removal of wisdom teeth naming it a public hazard.
Avatar universal
omg i just had my wisdom teeth pulled on friday and half my tongue cheek, lip and chin are still numb i callled the dentist and she said it would go away in a few days but all i have been reading on here is that it is not going away starting to freak me out cause i cant even talk its soo bad but the worst part is that my dentist didnt even tell me anything about this before she did it absolutely nothing if i knew there was a chance of this i would have never had it done i am soooo scared now i dont want this to go on for my whole life what do i do???????
Avatar universal
One of my wisdom teeth was removed 1 month and half ago. Since then I ve been having no feeling in my lower lip and chin,
The doctor prescribed 2 vitamins: B1 & B6
After taking 1 tablet of each per day early in the morning for 2 weeks I felt better.
5 days ago I stopped taking the vitamins and now it is getting worse - meaning.. I can t control my lip (I m 'half smiling')
Next step - I ll see a neurolog

I had also to sign a paper but I could not understand much because was everything in german and the doctor did not take the time to explain all the 'IFs'

Avatar universal
I had all four wisdom teeth out 8 days ago (I'm 25). The bottom two were horizontally impacted and were cut out by an oral surgeon. I experienced very manageable pain during recovery and very minimal swelling.

It turns out that Percoset makes me very nauseous, so after the first miserable dose, I switched to 800 mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours for the first few days. I really didn't have "pain" as much as I had tenderness and a sore jaw.

My oral surgeon gave me a velcro-able head sling with pockets for ice packs on both sides of my face, so I kept my jaw iced for pretty much 2 days straight (I think that's why my swelling wasn't noticeable).

I knew going in that I had a slightly higher than average risk of temporary numbness of my lip/chin because of the proximity of my lower impacted wisdom teeth to my inferior alveolar nerve. When I woke up after surgery, the oral surgeon said he didn't think there would be any complications and he didn't think he'd even come close the nerve on either side. Once the anesthesia wore off, I realized the right side of my lip and chin were very numb. It didn't feel as bad as I thought it would, and I didn't notice unless I touched it. It felt like I'd been numbed with Novacaine. After 3 days, it started to itch occasionally, but it still wasn't what I'd call "bad". I knew since I could still feel things like hot/cold when I touched it that the nerve hadn't been completely severed and that there was a high likelihood that it would heal eventually. I decided not to worry about it because it can take up to 6 months to fully heal, so there's not really anything I could do. On day 7, I woke up and had a pretty substanstial change in what I could feel - it still felt Novacained, but I could distinguish between changes in pressure when I touched it. On day 8 (today), almost all feeling has returned and it's incredibly itchy. It's healing a lot faster than I thought it would, which makes me think that it was something putting pressure on the nerve during healing instead of the nerve actually being bruised. I wanted to share so that at least a few of the stories on here end happily. Good luck to everyone who's been struggling with this long term!
Avatar universal
  I had 8 lower front teeth pulled, and my lips are driving me crazy!  I can't say that I don't have feeling, but they burn, and even touching them hurts.  I go to the dentist today, and I am going to mention this to them, as eating, and yes, even talking is painful.....

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