After a trip to the dentist, you may experience numbness or pain. In some cases, this could be a sign that your dental visit did serious damage to the nerves in your jaw. The lingual nerve—a nerve which is responsible for sensation in the lower lip, tongue and chin—can be damaged in a variety of different ways. What commonly causes lingual nerve damage?
Wisdom tooth removal
Because the removal of wisdom teeth often requires surgery, oral surgeons must navigate the complex system of nerves in the jaw. Unfortunately, this leads wisdom tooth removal to be one of the most common reasons for lingual nerve damage, with up to 2% of wisdom tooth surgeries resulting in long-term or permanent damage.
While less common than damage due to wisdom tooth removal, anesthetic injections can also injure the nerves of the lower jaw. The needles used for anesthesia can, in some cases, do damage to the nerves and cause bleeding, scarring or inflammation.
How can lingual nerve damage impact your life?
Because of the importance of the lingual nerve, injuries to this nerve can have a significant impact on patients. Nerve damage can limit patients’ sense of taste or make it difficult for them to eat or speak. It can also cause pain and numbness.
If you experienced lingual nerve damage, you may want to consider your legal options. You may be able to hold medical and dental professionals responsible for the damage you have suffered and get the financial support you need to recover.