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Oral Surgery/right facial numbness after root canal


Hello Doctor. my wife just 2 days ago I had a root canal. the tooth has been bothering her for about a month. are dentist did a root canal 2 days ago. everything was OK until last night. the right side of her face started going numb. it has been numb now for 24 hours. the dentist said it should go away in a few days my wife Carla is really worried. our dentist said it was infected and he put her on antibiotics should she go see an oral surgeon? we are getting very worried....

Thomas - there are a couple of reasons for numbness, but the most common is excess pressure placed on the nerve tissue.  This pressure can be from infection or just inflammation.  It would be a good idea to have your wife evaluated by a specialist if the numbness does not begin to resolve within another 24 hours.  For now, to accentuate the healing and reducing the internal pressure on any nerve tissue, I suggest that your wife immediately begin warm salt water rinses in the area of the surgery.  No heat or cold to the outside of her face, but have her begin the warm salt water rinses for 2-3 minutes 4-5 times a day.  If the internal pressure or infection is the cause, the rinses will definitely assist.

So have her try the warm salt water rinses in the area of the surgery, but if no change within about 30 hours, have her see an oral surgeon.  If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me again.

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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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