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Dentistry/Numb Lip after extraction


I would like to find out if I should be concerned about my bottom lip having numbness and cold sensations, where the anesthesia injection had been given, and in the area where my back tooth, next to my wisdom tooth, was extracted. It has been three months now since the extraction and my lip sort of seems to have its better days and then bad days of weird pain, numbness and cold sensations even when a utensil touches it as I eat. I also talk funny from it and it doesn't seem normal. When I was 15 years old I had all four of my wisdom teeth pulled and never experienced as much problems with my lip as I have with just this one extraction, which was also abscessed at the time of extraction.

Traceylynn - From your description of what you are feeling, it seems the doctor either injured the nerve in the jaw during the extraction or from the injection.  If the injection was made into the nerve it can damage the nerve.  Once damaged from either the injection or the surgery itself the nerve, depending on the type of injury, the nerve can either get better within a couple of months or produce permanent damage.

The fact that the pain sometimes improves and the lip feels better, it usually means the the nerve was not completely cut, but the nerve may have been partially cut, traumatized by pressure on the nerve or the swelling in the area damaged the nerve.  A knowledgeable dentist should have known, if the nerve did not improve by two months, to have the nerve evaluated by a neurologist and a radiological exam.  

My suggestion is to have your damaged area examined by a knowledgeable neurologist. Hopefully the neurologist will say that the nerve was only traumatized and will get better.  That doctor might prescribe a medication to help the healing of the nerve.

I wish you well and hope you regain full feeling soon.  


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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