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Tongue Numbness After Wisdom Teeth Removal (Page 1)

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Hey everyone. Back in october, I had all four of my impacted wisdom teeth removed by my dentist. Since then, the right side of my tongue has been numb since the surgery. I also get sharp pains up into my right ear randomly sometimes when i'm eating, brushing my teeth, etc. I went back a few weeks after having them removed and told my dentist about this, but he just told me it was normal, and could take weeks or months for it to come back. It's been going on 4 months now so i'm not sure how long a "few months" is before I know the numbness will be permanent. Has this happened to anyone before? And if so, did the numbess ever go away? Or was it permanent? Any help about this would be great. Thanks in advance.
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First Helper arjunthebuster
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replied February 24th, 2006
Hi slow_dance, I have not had nor got this problem, but I think I would prefer it. What you have with the numb tongue, is a condition called 'paresthesia' as far as I can see, it can apparently go on for hours, 6 months or last for life, but this is more usual when you have had surgery on the lingual nerve. So in your case hopefully it should get better eventually, don't know about the ear thing though. The problem I have is of my lower teeth and part of my gum digging into my tongue, making me gag nearly all day, so I think a numb tongue would be great, as feeling sick all day and night is making me desperate beyond belief. I think I have developed a 'sensitive tongue', if there is such a thing! Good luck with your problem.
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replied February 24th, 2006
Hi slow_dance, I have not had nor got this problem, but I think I would prefer it. What you have with the numb tongue, is a condition called 'paresthesia' as far as I can see, it can apparently go on for hours, 6 months or last for life, but this is more usual when you have had surgery on the lingual nerve. So in your case hopefully it should get better eventually, don't know about the ear thing though. The problem I have is of my lower teeth and part of my gum digging into my tongue, making me gag nearly all day, so I think a numb tongue would be great, as feeling sick all day and night is making me desperate beyond belief. I think I have developed a 'sensitive tongue', if there is such a thing! Good luck with your problem.
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replied December 11th, 2008
tongue and gum numbness
For all of you out there searching the web for answers..... I had my wisdom teeth removed 3 years ago. About 3 days after the surgery I knew something wasn't right. My entire mouth was dead numb. I couldn't talk right or chew food without my tongue getting in the way. After about 3 weeks the feeling came back on one side but since the surgery the entire left side of my mouth (tongue, gums and lower left side of my mouth) have remained numb where I can stick a pin in it and wouldn't feel it at all. This has caused me to eat only on the right side of my mouth. Chewing is difficult because I cannot feel my tongue, I sometimes bite it without knowing. I cannot feel when I floss on that side and have to be careful that I am not cutting into my gums. I rarely chew gum or eat tic-tacs or other small candies because they have actually gotten "lost" on the left side where I have to go to a mirror to find them. It has effected the intimacy with my husband; kissing (and other things) is very uncomfortable. I have seen several dentist and neurosurgeons specializing in this and none have said this would improve. I was given hope within the first 6 months but I have been told that after this long I will never have feeling in my tongue or gums again. Maybe at 28 years old I was too old to get my wisdom teeth pulled???? Maybe the nerve was too close to the extracted tooth and the dentist should have known???? I wanted to post this because three years ago I searched the internet trying to find people with the same problem. I do not want to discourage you from seeking help from this impairment but I do want those who are researching wisdom teeth extraction to know that this does happen to people, more than you would think - I am not one in a million.
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replied December 11th, 2008
tongue and gum numbness after wisdom teeth removal
For all of you out there searching the web for answers..... I had my wisdom teeth removed 3 years ago. About 3 days after the surgery I knew something wasn't right. My entire mouth was dead numb. I couldn't talk right or chew food without my tongue getting in the way. After about 3 weeks the feeling came back on one side but since the surgery the entire left side of my mouth (tongue, gums and lower left side of my mouth) have remained numb where I can stick a pin in it and wouldn't feel it at all. This has caused me to eat only on the right side of my mouth. Chewing is difficult because I cannot feel my tongue, I sometimes bite it without knowing. I cannot feel when I floss on that side and have to be careful that I am not cutting into my gums. I rarely chew gum or eat tic-tacs or other small candies because they have actually gotten "lost" on the left side where I have to go to a mirror to find them. It has effected the intimacy with my husband; kissing (and other things) is very uncomfortable. I have seen several dentist and neurosurgeons specializing in this and none have said this would improve. I was given hope within the first 6 months but I have been told that after this long I will never have feeling in my tongue or gums again. Maybe at 28 years old I was too old to get my wisdom teeth pulled???? Maybe the nerve was too close to the extracted tooth and the dentist should have known???? I wanted to post this because three years ago I searched the internet trying to find people with the same problem. I do not want to discourage you from seeking help from this impairment but I do want those who are researching wisdom teeth extraction to know that this does happen to people, more than you would think - I am not one in a million.
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replied April 4th, 2011
Numb Right Side of Tongue
Thanks for posting this. I have the same numbness in the right side of my tongue and its unbelievably bothersome over the past few months. I went to a nerve specialist in Boston who prescribed me klonopin to see if it can make the numbness sensation decrease. I haven't filled it yet, because this is far from what that medication is meant for, but at this point I think I am going to try it. How have you been coping? Sometimes it bothers me so much I don't know what to do.
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replied January 15th, 2009
Numbness in top lip
I had my wisdom teeth taken out a few year ago and had numbness in my top lip afterwards. Luckily it wasn't bad enough that it bothered me too much and after about a year I figured it was permanent. Then, I'd say about 2 years after that I actually got the feeling back. Can you believe it? After that long it came back.. so don't give up total hope. It could come back.
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replied January 29th, 2009
well almost 8 months ago i had my wisdom teeth removed and i've had numbness on the front 2/3s of the right side of my tongue and lower gums. when i went to the surgen who performed the surgery he basically laughed me away and asked me how this could have happened and told me he didn't want to see my for about a year. This angered me a lot, so at the 6 month mark (when my oral surgen said was sort of a make or break point for corrective surgery) hit, i went and got a second opinion. He told me that there was damage to my lingual nerve which is in the gums near the wisdom teeth. The exact placement of the nerve isn't known by the surgeon. Although most people have a very similar placement which is usually unbothered by the extraction of the wisdomteeth, it is not always the case. Your dentist or surgeon may have hit this nerve and never have even known it. The lingual nerve repairs itsself something like a half a mm per day (i don't know if thats the right measurement, but either way, its a very tiny amout...sorry) causing the process of healing a long time. Depending on how it heals however, the scar tissue can cause it to not heal with normal sensation, causing permanent numbness, or discomfort. If you are noticing unbearable pain as a result of a damaged lingual nerve, the corrective surgery usually responds best in the first three months... if you have liveable pain or discomfort, its not even worth it as it can worsen the symptoms. when i received my second opinion, i learned that i will never regain normal sensation. i was 16 when this happened (now 17) and it really just SUCKS knowing that this can happen.
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replied May 25th, 2009
permanent numbness
My son(18 at the time) had all 4 wisdom teeth out in July 2007. His tongue and gums and cheek on one side remained numb. The oral surgeon said to give it a year. We did and no change and in January 2008 we went to Atlanta to have a special nerve surgeon do repair. The nerve was severed and he reattached it. He said it should be better by a year. It is the same and its been 18 months now. He bites his tongue and cheek all the time, and it's a bloody mess. Anything else we can do?
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replied July 23rd, 2009
Gee.. this place makes me paranoid. I got my 4 wisdom teeth taken out today and after 8 hours the numbing is going away. Keep ice pad on cheeks for 20 mins 10 min cool down. Always brush teeth after meal and use 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounce drinking glass to rinse out left debris from eating (first 48 hours). Get a multivitamin and eat 3 meals a day for quicker healing. Stay away from sucking anything as it will cause the clots where the tooth was to get pulled out accidentally and cause dry socket. Don't worry about it, that doesn't help anything except make you anxious.
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replied October 25th, 2009
Lingual nerve damage
I had a wisdom tooth removed 18 months ago and was in severe pain and uncomfort once the anesthesia wore off. I could not open my mouth to eat, had no taste or feeling on the left side of my mouth. When I mentioned it to the surgeon he seemed very nonchalant about my complaints and said this sometimes happened and would feel better with time. I went to see a specialist who determined that my lingual nerve was severed and that I would require surgery to have it repaired. I had the surgery and the nerve was completly severed with no chance of recovery other then surgery. Surgeon said that I would be lucky to get back 80 percent of feeling and any taste back. After 18 months the tongue is still numb and taste has not come back, It does feel better then it did but this is probably something you just get used too. I have had to change the way I speak and eat in order to not bite my tongue, I get headaches from the constant sucking of my tongue. Overall if I knew this could have happened I would never have had my tooth removed and would not recommend tooth retraction to anyone. This can make your life miserable.
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replied November 4th, 2009
Want to sue the doctor for nerve damage
I have the pretty much the same situation as most of you and it is very upsetting . It has been over 2 years and I still cannot feel the left side of my tongue and gums. It hurts constantly and it feels as if my mouth is always dry. It's frustrating to think that this might stay this way forever. I would like to know if I COULD SUE the doctor who did this . Or is it too late? And if this is possible at all. If anyone took legal action please respond!!!!
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replied November 9th, 2009
Hi, I am living in the Netherlands and I have exactly the same. After removal of my wisdom tooth (under on the right side) I have at the right side of my tongue no feelings anymore, however at some spots I have more sensations. I can't eat chewing gum anymore, because it cause that my tongue at the right side is feeling bigger than it already feels. Thand God I have no pain, except maybe a little bit sometimes on the spot where the tooth was (sometimes feeling in my ear). I have a constant unatural feeling in the right side of my mouth, and I have to live with it for the rest of my live! It happened two years ago (I am 36 now), and I was told that when the feeling is not coming back after six months after removal, the damage is permanent. The thing that depresses me most is not the unnatural feeling, but the that talking is much more difficult for me. I always talked very well (and I still can talk good) but now I have to concentrate more on talking, and when I talk to fast some words/letters are said on the wrong way. Sometimes I am not interested in talking anymore because of this. I was told complication is very rare, 1 to 10.000. It really sucks !!
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replied November 13th, 2009
wisdom teeth
I had my wisdom teeth out on tuesday, and now its friday. The lower right part of my mouth is numb still. My tongue was number until about wed morning and i was hoping my mouth would come back to normal soon after. When i open my mouth, i get a sharp pain through my mouth where its numb. I am SO afraid it will not go back to normal because the doctor said sometimes its numb for up to 24 hours. well its been 72 and im still numb. The nurse that i talked to said that my numbness is NOT normal and i should be alarmed. but the surgeon just said there is nothing he can do until my week checkup on tuesday!! what the heck!? should i be nervous in thinking it wont come back?!
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User Profile
replied November 28th, 2009
wisdom tooth removed feeling lost in tongue & gums, speech i
I had my lower left wisdom tooth pulled about 1 year ago, (it luckily is the only wisdom tooth I possessed) when I got it removed I was in a lot of pain and had been on pain killers for 2 days prior. I went in to a dentist office that is well known by my community and "famous" in my community for being "very good" I had never been there before but did not see that as a concern. After a short wait and an x-ray the dentist informed me of the cost and that she could perform the surgery on the spot as my tooth was almost fully grown and exposed ( because the last x-ray of it I had the dentist told me I would probably have room for it, not requiring me to have it removed) it would only require a local anesthetic. So the dentist proceeded to inject me and i started feeling numb but still had feeling, it required the doctor another 3 needles DURING the procedure just to keep me from crying. Once the extraction of the tooth was complete I received 3 or 4 stitches that I would have to come back to remove after a week. I followed every single instruction on a "after tooth removal" pamphlet I was given. When I went back a week later to get my stitches removed I explained to the dentist that i had not regained feeling in my left side I had the constant feeling of pins and needles in my tongue, I couldnt feel my gums on the left side, my speaking actually made my tongue tired, not to mention the fact that when I spoke words just didnt come out right at times (usually when I spoke fast) the dentist explained that it's very common for that to happen and that it should clear up in a couple of months and that it was very rare that i would remain this way permanently, so I shouldnt worry about it. Well here i am today writing my story. I am still experiencing the same numbness, I "lose" food on the left side all the time and my speech is still suffering. That the part that torments me the most I think i could deal with the numbness but the speech issue though not constant really gets to me. I have always worked in job positions that very much rely on my speech that is what i do i like to talk and Im good at it. Well at least i used to be. No one should feel this way i dont care how minute the "chance" there should be warning. Pardon my rudeness from frustration but honestly if the x- rays dont show what needs to seen to avoid this happening the FIND SOMETHING THAT DOES. It's a pretty sad and ridiculous world when something that's so common, like a "simple" tooth extraction that no one really fears danger can leave you permanently disabled (however minor)in this day and age and it's brushed of like it's nothing. Maybe it is 1 in 10,000 maybe more or less the point is this world is filled with hundreds of thousands of ten thousands and it's not being taken seriously enough. There shouldn't be a need for a second operation to correct it and we should know what were getting into because even if there is no way to know if it could happen or not (which i find impossible) then there should at least be warning signs as what to look for so that if this happens it's caught early enough that it may be corrected. It seems to me that dentists are getting away with a little much here. They know of the condition how it can occur and that it is a possibility however small, but they only tell you about it if "your lucky" or if it happens to you.
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replied May 24th, 2010
Frustrated
I feel more than frustrated after reading all these posts. I just had my wisdom teeth removed and my left side is numb. My head hurts and my ear. I have been constantly taking pain killers to some what relieve the pain, but it hardly works. My tongue feels like there is a clamp on it. I will not settle if this is permanent. With todays technology, there's no reason why dentist/specialists should be making such disastrous common mistakes. I also rely heavily on my speech for my career, and this is not going to serve me very well anymore if it continues for even a day more.
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replied May 30th, 2010
Don't give up
If this has happened to you, don't give up hope. It can, and in many cases does, heal itself.

I had this happen to me after having all four wisdom teeth removed. My tongue went numb on the front left side. It took a day or so to realise that it was different to normal after the surgery. My dentist told me that it should heal itself but it may take 3 months or more.

It felt like I had burnt my tongue on hot coffee. A constant numb and burnt sensation.

The feeling changed a little in the days after the surgery. The numb area got more defined as the anaesthetic and painkillers wore off. In the next few weeks I started to feel some pain on the edges of the numb area. Over time some fluttering and tingling sensations appeared.

Progress was painfully slow. I couldn't tell if it was improving or I was getting used to the numbness.

I'm pleased to say that after 3 to 4 months it returned to nearly 100% normal. It still feels ever so slightly different than it used to, but it is much much better than it was.

I just wanted to post to give people hope who google this after it happens and start to freak out from reading stories of people who haven't healed.
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replied April 11th, 2011
Thank you Numbtonguenomore. Day 4 since 3 wisdoms extracted and I just read through all of the above and am very very worried. Left side of my tongue is numb numb numb. But your post brings hope.
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replied May 29th, 2012
its been 3 weeks today since i've gotten 3 of my wisdom teeth removed and my tongue has been numb on my left side. a lot of my friends have had this done and have told me it may take up to 3 months or more for the feeling to come back. but whatever the state i'm in after 18 months thats what it will be forever. reading your post gives me hope that i will get my feeling back. i have no pain in my ears nor do i have headaches, but i do have a little pain in my tongue when i stick it out (i have kids and i normally make faces at them). sometimes i feel like i'm getting feeling back in my tongue but i move it and i still feel numbness. i also have a little numbness in my gums. i really hope i get feeling back into both gums and tongue.
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replied June 4th, 2010
need advice now
ah
I got my wisdom out 8 hours ago and my lingual nerve has been interfered with somehow, i can feel the tingling on the tip of my tongue, absolutely zero sensation in my chin and my lower lip is droopy , feels fat and has zero feeling. all the anaesethic has worn off however if this is the same in two days should I do something about it? or should I act sooner, I would rather die then live with the permanent issues I've read on this forum. jeff
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replied June 21st, 2010
I just had my wisdom teeth removed upon suggestion of my local dentist . I am having the same problem numbness in bottom lip and chin. I wish I Read more on it because I feel the same as the last poster I would rather die than to live like this. BOTTOM LINE IS TO ALL IS!!!!!! if your wisdom teeth are not causing you PAIN that is UNBAREABLE then DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT HAVE THIS DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!
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replied July 31st, 2010
Re: Tongue Numbness After Wisdom Teeth Removal
sl0w_dance06 wrote:
Hey everyone. Back in october, I had all four of my impacted wisdom teeth removed by my dentist. Since then, the right side of my tongue has been numb since the surgery. I also get sharp pains up into my right ear randomly sometimes when i'm eating, brushing my teeth, etc. I went back a few weeks after having them removed and told my dentist about this, but he just told me it was normal, and could take weeks or months for it to come back. It's been going on 4 months now so i'm not sure how long a "few months" is before I know the numbness will be permanent. Has this happened to anyone before? And if so, did the numbess ever go away? Or was it permanent? Any help about this would be great. Thanks in advance.





Hi slow-dance .!0 years ago i had the same problem had my bottom teeth removed and sitll my left side of the tongue is numb.Went to the dentist after this happened and he answer was."well i told you that smth like this could happen and you signed for it"even though i wasnt aware of anything like that ,for sure that wasnt the answer i was expecting.So i learned to live with it until a few days ago when i was listening to the radio dr Bob Marshall that answered the same question from a caller.Apparently there might be hope he suggested smth about some mud packs applied to the tongue.I wish i could tell you more but i still have to find out myself.
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replied August 8th, 2010
Numb lips, chin, tasteless tongue, sore gums
Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I wish I had found this sooner before I had my wisdoms out so I would've known what to expect.
I had all 4 wisdoms removed 5 weeks ago and received numbness to lower lips and chin as well; lost taste on the left side of my tongue, similar to numbtonguenomore's situation. My gums are also sore, particularly on the left side, and upper left gums (especially when I smile/laugh). I think this may have something to do with the fact that my upper left wisdom was not on its way out but the specialist suggested I take it out anyway since i was going under general aneasthesia. Apparently the upper left was tricker than the others to extract and I suspect this is why it hurts to smile.
I agree, unless it is horizontally impacting your molars or it has grown out to cause crooked teeth, I would not recommend removing wisdoms. I also recommend going under local instead of general if possible. At least you can see what your dentist is doing (to some extent) or see if they're being too rough.
On day 2 (when most sensations returned) an ulcer near my throat caused from the surgery. This caused immense pain when swallowing which made it really difficult to eat or drink and I was really put off by food and water although I forced myself to eat and drink because I had to but ate at a minimum and lost heaps of weight.

My lower jaw feels stiff as though I have braces. I initially recieved a throbbing tingling sensation on my lower lips/chin but this no longer occurs.
After the first week, when the ulcer finally healed, I kept accidently biting my lower lip creating a huge ulcer and this also took a week to heal. Although I could not feel it, my lower lip swelled as a result of the injury and my speech is affected as well. I constantly have to eat slowly and exercise more caution when having sandwiches and burgers as I wouldn't know if I end up biting my lip instead.
Food also keeps getting stuck between my teeth. It seems my doctor managed to move my teeth around while he was at it so that it is no longer straight!
Also, I'm told by a dentist friend that once you hit the age of 25 (my age), the body/mouth healing process takes longer for some unknown reason. Indeed, it is frustrating! It has not happened to anyone else I know who has had their wisdoms removed.

Hopefully this forum will provide a useful guide to others who intend to have wisdoms removed.
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