Monday, November 16, 2009

My lip and chin are still numb---is this normal?

I went to my primary doctor to get pain meds for my abscess since the dentist couldn't pull my tooth yet. The doctor gave me some type of pill analgesic. I took it and it didn't help the pain but made my face numb. It's been over a week and half of my lip and chin are still numb.


(a little less than a week ago I got my tooth pulled. The dentist gave me 4 injections of Novocaine in my mouth. But my lip and chin were numb before from the meds.)

My lip and chin are still numb---is this normal?
You may have damaged facial nerves. In this image you can see there are major nerves to the areas you describe.

What might have caused this damage? The injections. The trauma of having the tooth extracted. Even the abscess itself might have contributed. Since you don't know the name of the medication the primary doctor gave you, I can't tell you whether it might have contributed also.

My chin and lip have been numb since 1994, when an oral surgeon broke my jaw and tore most of those nerves in the image above. I don't notice the numbness anymore unless I'm tired.

At this point you should speak to your dentist, then your primary physician, about possible causes of and suggestions on how to treat this symptom.
Reply:that could be a reaction of the abscess.. when i had mine they actually took part of the lower jaw bone and said the reason i hadnt felt any pain was cause the swelling blocked the nerve
Reply:No, it is not normal. If the tooth pulled was wisdom tooth there is a chance that the dentist somehow cut or tore the nerve. The more forward the tooth is the less likely this is the problem, but not impossible. The anesthetic injection could penetrate and destroy the nerve.

This is not common but not as rare as you would think. I know 2 people that have had this happen. IN both cases the numbness was permanent. One sued the dentist and won significant damages. The other tried to sue and did not because she had signed an advised consent form that explained the possibility of permanent nerve damage.
Reply:The best website you can go to, in order to find out everything on specialist wisdom teeth removal, costs, stories related to wisdom teeth, IV sedation vs GA or plain LA, post operative care, complications (like numb lip) as well as newsletters about wisdom teeth, is .... Good luck, I hope everything goes well for you! And remember, only go to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to have your wisdom teeth removed. You can find out about OM surgeons in your Australian town by going to

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