Q. I have numbness and tingling of the lip and chin due to a tooth infection. When will it get normal?

Answered by
Dr. Hitesh Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Jun 29, 2017 and last reviewed on: Jul 13, 2019

Hello doctor,

The last molar on my left side broke around two years ago. It slightly niggled and chipped further during that time, reminding me that it needed to be fixed, but never actually posed a problem. I finally went to the dentist last year and an X-ray was taken. A decay was present at the roots, and I was referred to an endodontist and a root canal treatment was the suggestion.

The dentist did a temporary filling, which fell out soon after. The tooth appeared settled, and I had delayed taking an appointment with the endodontist. Two months ago, I started to feel sensations of extreme nerve pain, when a pressure was put on the tooth, and it was getting worse after a few days. But, it settled again.

Finally, I took an appointment with the endodontist. He took an image of the tooth and said that it could not be saved, and extraction was the only option. The tooth was alright except for the occasional jolt of pain.

Last week, I was awakened many times at night with a dull toothache. It progressed to the next day. I took Neuropin and Panadol for pain relief. The pain then changed to a throb and was increasing. I had a packet of Keflex with the worry of an abscess. Four days ago, I had sudden numbness from under my left lip over my chin. I rang my endodontist on the next morning, and he organized to have the tooth removed the same afternoon.

On the day after the extraction, the numbness was still there. Four days later, I am still numb. I now get tingles a few times a day. I do have the slight feeling of pressure or touch on the numb chin by running my fingers over it. I have read so many horrible things about numbness of the chin.

#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Possibly there been some compression or inflammation of the inferior alveolar nerve, which passes through the mandible and then emerges as the mental nerve. The mental nerve supplies the part below the lower lip and chin. If you have pain, severe tingling, pins and needle sensation in the supplied area, then few medications like Gabapentin can be of some help. But, it is the impaired sensation which is bothering you. I suggest you visit your dentist to check if anything further can be done.

For more information consult a neurologist --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

Thank you doctor,

The chin had spontaneous numbness, at about the same time the infected tooth was getting worse. So, does the tingling sensation indicate that my nerve is repairing? How long can this sensation go on for before the numbness goes? It has nearly been a week.

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Tingling pins and needles sensation means that there is a lesion at the concerned nerve. There is either a compression, inflammation, nerve fiber damage or a demyelination. It does not signify nerve repair. The time limit cannot be predicted. It will reverse if the lesion is removed or healed. It could also last for weeks to months. If an irreversible damage has occurred to the nerve, it can even be permanent.

For more information consult a neurologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

Thank you doctor,

I had an abscess on the decayed second molar, and it had to be extracted urgently. Since the extraction, I am getting the tingling sensation. I just want a second opinion. The top layer of my skin responds to touch.

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The infection should heal with appropriate antibiotics or drainage. The response of the numbness at the chin will depend on whether the infection caused a permanent or transient damage to the nerve. If it was severe and there is permanent damage, the numbness may persist too.

For more information consult a neurologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

Hello doctor,

Thank you for replying. Luckily, the surgeon said that there was no permanent damage to the nerve.

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

That is great news. Let us hope then, that there is an improvement in the numbness.

You can ask your dentist about taking a short course of steroids, like tablet Prednisolone, for controlling inflammation around the nerve. This would be possible only if he feels the infection is well under control, and there is a negligible risk of worsening of the infection due to the steroids.

For more information consult a neurologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

Thank you doctor,

Last night I had a slight burning sensation as well. The gums under the teeth on the left front side are also sensitive. What are the sensations one can expect when the nerves are repairing?

#

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The common sensations that are felt due to a nerve irritation, compression or injury are:

  1. Tingling.
  2. Burning.
  3. Pins and needles.
  4. Numbness.
  5. Impaired or diminished feeling to touch.
  6. Electric-current like feeling.

If the nerve is healed or repaired, such impaired sensations should also subside, whereas if there is some residual damage to the nerves the impaired sensations may persist.

For more information consult a neurologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

Thank you doctor,

Why have other doctor or specialist suggested that tingling after numbness is a sign of nerve coming alive. I spoke to someone with a similar experience they even got pain on the healing process.

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I do not know why they suggested that tingling after numbness is a sign of nerve coming alive. I try to explain things. If you are having tingling or pins and needle sensations or pain in a nerve area that signifies that the nerve is having some problem such as irritation, inflammation, compression or any other. Such feelings can occur to a patient even if the nerve is completely cut and it is called phantom limb. If those sensations start subsiding and you start to feel normal sensations over that area, that will signify that nerve is improving.

Hi doctor,

When I apply a light touch, it is sensitive now. I can fell most sensation from pinprick to light touch even a hair. Just heightened sensitivity, even a little pain. What to expect when a nerve is rejuvenating?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

If you started to feel pinprick, sensation, touch sensation over the area in which before you had fewer feelings, that signifies that the nerve is getting better.

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