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Oral Surgery/Numb Tongue/Lingual Nerve


I am 17 years old and had all my wisdom teeth removed 1 week ago.
When the anesthesia wore off I noticed the right side of my tongue is numb and I have no taste on that side of the tongue. However in the last day or two I feel a very slight tingling sensation on the right tip of my tongue, but is very slight. I called my surgeon describing my symptoms since I am out of town for two weeks and will not be available until then. The surgeon suggested that I be seen in the office once I return to evaluate the area of the numbness and if there were improvements. The surgeon also suggested vitamin B1 & B12 to help nerve repair and suggested that if the numbness has not improved when I return to perhaps be evaluated by a oral surgeon for nerve repair. I live by Portland, Oregon and was hoping to do some leg work on an oral surgeon that does nerve repairs of the lingual nerve. What are my prognosis? Thank you.



Laura - The development of the tingling is a good sign that shows that the nerve was not completely cut.  It does not mean that there was extensive trauma to the nerve, but being that it is only one week after the surgery, do not rush into any conclusions.  Take the vitamin B1 & 12 to help nerve repair and see the surgeon when he returns to map the nerve function.  He needs to then examine you again every week at a minimum to determine any positive or negative changes.  No attempt at repair should be made until about 2 months after the surgery.  In that time period evaluation of nerve self repair is important to determine if the amount of trauma is sufficient to produce permanent damage.

I have referred patients with similar problems to a doctor Leon Assael at Oregon Health Science University, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery - Portland, Oregon - (503)494-3497.  I do not know if he is still there performing the surgery there, but that is a very good facility.  I am sure that doctors there can still do this surgery successfully.  So contact that facility and ask for a doctor there who repairs lingual nerve injury.

I have seen a significant number of patients who did well with this surgery.  So wait for the surgeon first to map the area and evaluate it.  If you do need surgery, he is probably familiar with doctors there who do it, but if not, contact the facility I stated.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


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.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at 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 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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