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Oral Surgery/Sore tongue and teeth following extraction

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Question
Four months ago my dentist referred me on to have my lower left second molar extracted as it was heavily filled with an old amalgam and the filling had cracked. Healing was delayed due to dry socket.  The extraction was completed under sedation by a private dentist.  Following this extraction the teeth on either side ached constantly, I had an acidic taste from the remaining back tooth (also heavily filled, old filling) and a burning sensation and feeling of swelling the under side of my tongue on the same side.  
Having been told by my dentist that I was unlucky that this was an awkward extraction and I would just have to wait 3 - 6 months for it to settle down, I returned to the private dentist and asked him to remove the back tooth also. He suggested he fill the back tooth with a Cerec filling.  This was completed a week ago.  This has made no difference to the acidic taste that seems to still come from this tooth, or the on-going sore tongue.  My tongue no longer sits comfortably anywhere in my mouth since the first extraction, and after 4 months of constant waking pain and discomfort, I am becoming quite depressed and wondering whether it will ever be 'normal' again.  Could it be due to nerve damage?Please advise.

Answer
Psm - your discomfort with the burning sensation and a seemingly altered taste, could definitely be due to the extraction.  In the same area as the extraction, the lingual nerve(the nerve that innervates the tongue)sits on the tongue side of the jaw.  If the doctor who extracted the tooth found difficulty, he may have traumatized the bone(producing the dry socket) and damage to the lingual nerve.  The good new is that, as long as you have the burning, it means the nerve is intact and just traumatized.  This type of situation can take months to heal and in some cases it remains the same for years.  I'm sorry to give you this information and the potential, but for now it seems you will just have to deal with it.  You might want to get evaluated by a neurologist.  These doctors can prescribe medications that go a long way to calming the nerve.

So try the neurologist for now and hopefully soon the nerve will be completely healed.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon 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.

Experience

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

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

Education/Credentials
BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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