How To Heal Nerve Damage After Wisdom Teeth Removal


What Patient Experiences When Such Dental Paresthesia Or Nerve Damage Occurs

Could I get nerve damage after wisdom teeth removal?

The patient cannot experience anything during the wisdom tooth removal procedure. Nerve damage can be sensed by the patient only days after the extraction procedure is complete. It is indeed one of the complications albeit rare.

The patient typically feels a reduced or total loss of sensation in the area that has been affected. The feeling would be very similar to the numbness the patient had felt when local anesthesia is administered. The feeling would be a myriad sensation that can be a pain or loss of taste and touch in that area. Some people report a sort of tingling sensation.

Such nerve damage does not affect muscle function. For that matter, it does not affect the patients jaw functioning or anything at all. Hence the patient need not panic at all.

Wisdom Teeth Nerve Damage Recovery

Wisdom teeth nerve damage recovery depends upon the degree and term of the nerve harm relies on upon the type of harm whether crushed or complete cutting of the nerve is unrealistic to recover in spite of the fact that a bruised or partially damaged nerve might well makes more chances of total recovery.

If the nerve has the ability to recuperate, this will get to be obvious within a month. Then again, wisdom teeth nerve damage recovery will recover the sensation. But this could be very slow and it may take a couple of months before you have the capacity to see the difference.

In wisdom teeth nerve damage recovery cases, most of the recoveries occurred inside of the initial 3 months. At 6 months, one half of those affected encounter a full recovery. In 85 to 94% of cases, spontaneous complete recuperation regularly happens within 8 weeks. Recovery for the mandibular nerve, which is harbored inside the rigid jawbone, is perhaps more probable than for the lingual nerve which lies in movable soft tissue.

Why Does It Happen

Nerve damage is most common after the removal of a lower wisdom tooth. The position of the nerve running through the center of the lower jaw is anatomically very close to the lower wisdom teeth. Sometimes, the nerve can actually be traveling in between the roots of the lower third molar .

In such a case, in the process of removal of the wisdom tooth, some amount of damage can also occur to the nerve, due to the close physical proximity . This damage is quite transitory for most of the affected people but in the worst case, it may be permanent.

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How Can Nerve Damage After Wisdom Tooth Removal Be Prevented

The best way to prevent nerve damage from occurring during a wisdom tooth extraction is to follow proper planning. This is not something that you as a patient can really do, but the dentist or dental surgeon should ideally order a CT scan of the area if a regular x-ray indicates the nerve may be close by .

The other method is to follow a conservative method of extraction without cutting too much of bone. Complicated cases should be referred to oral surgeons who have experience in dealing with such more complex situations .

Wisdom Teeth Removal Nerve Damage

Inferior Alveolar Nerve Damage After Wisdom Tooth Removal and Using ...

So, a patient came into my office with severe wisdom teeth pain and wanted them out. However he told me he had seen several other dentists, who all had told him that if was to get his wisdom teeth out, he wouldnt be able to feel his face anymore and not be able to speak correctly in the future. I told him although his wisdom teeth were very close to the roots, that what they told him was a grossly incorrect.

Now, this is this patients two-dimensional panoramic radiograph that we typically like to take before we examine and consult a patient before taking out their wisdom teeth. First thing that I see is that the lower wisdom teeth back here highlighted in red are very close to the nerve here highlighted in blue. The nerve in question is what we call the inferior alveolar nerve. As you can see, it is this nerve that we can trace out on both sides of your jaw. The function of this nerve is to basically innervate the teeth and the lips and chin area on each respective side of your jaws. It is a sensory nerve. It is not a motor nerve, meaning that it does not move anything. It is literally just a sensory nerve that helps us to know whats going on with our teeth, to feel any changes in our teeth, to also be able to feel sensation on our lips and our chin.

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What Can Be Expected During Recovery

Signs of paresthesia resolution.

Recovery from paresthesia, just like with any type of healing, is a process. And for that reason, any progress toward returning to normal can be expected to be a gradual transformation over a period of time. However, as the statistics above indicate, the time frame involved can be quite variable, ranging from just days to many months, to over a year.

  • As sensation in the area starts to reappear, the degree of detail it provides should sharpen over time, hopefully returning all of the way back to normal parameters.
  • Since the nerve fibers that transmit different types of sensations have different structural characteristics, one type of sensation may make a quicker recovery than others.
  • As you might expect, the sooner the first signs of renewed sensation appear, the more favorable the chances are for complete recovery .
  • It may be that no progress is experienced for a period of time , and then signs start to appear.
Why paresthesia recovery rates vary.

The most important determining factor in a persons rate of recovery is the nature and extent of the insult/damage that the nerve has received. As simple examples:

  • A nerve that is still structurally intact can be expected to make a quicker, fuller recovery than one that has been severed.
  • Nerves that have been nicked, as opposed to completely severed, have the quicker, more-favorable prognosis.

What Is The Risk Of Nerve Damage From Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Most wisdom tooth extractions are carried out successfully with no issues, but your dentist should talk to you about any risk of nerve damage before you agree to the procedure. Your dentist should ensure that youre aware of any potential risks in relation to treatment they carry out, so that you understand what the potential consequences could be. If you do suffer long-term or even permanent nerve damage from wisdom tooth extraction, it doesnt necessarily mean that your dentist was negligent in their care, but if they did not make you aware of the risk before the procedure was carried out, you might be eligible to claim compensation.

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Paresthesia Nerve Damage From Wisdom Teeth

Have you been told by a surgical specialist that you are at risk for potential nerve damage, commonly referred to as paresthesia, as a result of your wisdom teeth removal procedure? Or have you done some research and heard that paresthesia is a potential wisdom teeth removal complication?

While some patients may be at high risk for paresthesia, other patients will not be at risk for this complication. Why is that? Every individual has a unique anatomy. The way that a persons roots are in relationship to the nerves and other risk factors associated with the patients anatomy will determine whether that person is at risk for paresthesia. Obviously, this type of news can be very scary for a patient to hear, especially if they are experiencing pain from their wisdom teeth and really wants to proceed with removing the wisdom teeth.

Another technique to reduce inflammation and swelling is to ice the area consistently for a few days after the procedure. This definitely helps reduce inflammation and the swelling that occurs in the nerve due to potential nerve damage.

  • Utilize a surgical specialist who has plenty of experience removing wisdom teeth from simple to complex cases so that these issues can be foreseen and treated appropriately
  • Visit a surgical center that uses 3D technology so that the specialist can clearly see where the nerve is in relation to the roots of the teeth and create an extraction plan that takes this into consideration to prevent nerve damage.

After Extraction Of Wisdom Teeth

Nerve Damage? Cant talk properly after wisdom teeth removal?

In most cases, the removal of wisdom teeth is performed under local anesthesia, laughing gas , or general anesthesia. These options, as well as the surgical risks , will be discussed with you before the procedure is performed. Once the teeth are removed, the gum is sutured. To help control bleeding bite down on the gauze placed in your mouth. You will rest under our supervision in the office until you are ready to be taken home. Upon discharge your postoperative kit will include postoperative instructions, a prescription for pain medication, antibiotics, and a follow-up appointment in one week for suture removal. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us at .

Our services are provided in an environment of optimum safety. We utilize modern monitoring equipment and our staff are experienced in anesthesia techniques.

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B Paresthesia And Dental Injections

Beyond surgical procedures, some cases of paresthesia are caused by routine dental injections.

What causes the trauma?

The nerve damage may be due to:

  • Direct trauma caused by the needle itself.

    The largest gauge needle used in dentistry has a diameter of .45mm. In comparison, the nerves most frequently damaged are on the order of 4 to 7 times larger. For this reason, nerve damage, as opposed to severing, is typically the problem.

  • Hematoma formation.

    The movement of a needle through soft tissues may rupture blood vessels, thus allowing the release of blood. Construction of the hematoma that then forms may place pressure on nerve fibers that pass through it.

  • Neurotoxicity of the anesthetic. The anesthetic is injected may cause localized chemical damage to nerve fibers.

Which nerves are usually affected?

In the vast majority of cases, the risk of paresthesia lies with injections used to numb up lower back teeth.

  • The lingual nerve. 70% of cases involve this nerve.
  • The mandibular nerve.
  • The maxillary nerve. While extremely rare, this nerve that services aspects of the upper jaw may be affected.

Dental Paresthesia In Modern Dentistry

The instances of dental paresthesia due to nerve damage have come down drastically in this digital age. Most dentists carry out dental surgeries or wisdom tooth removal after carefully studying the full mouth digital x-ray images. These advanced digital images show the dentists where the nerves are running. Such developments in the field of dentistry have helped in the drastic reduction of nerve damage and the subsequent dental paresthesia.

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Solutions To Dental Nerve Damage Due To Wisdom Teeth Removal

The sensations automatically subside as days pass by. For some, it subsides in a few days or few weeks and for others, it subsides in a few months.

Whatever is the case, nerve damage due to wisdom teeth removal is an extremely rare event and non-recovery from the sensations it brings about is, even more, a rarity.

Buccal Nerve Damage After Removal Of Wisdom Teeth

Tooth Extraction Spring, Tx

Posted on by David A. Hall.

Dr. Hall,I am 32 years old and in July of this year I began having complications with my upper right wisdom tooth. The top and bottom wisdom teeth had always been impacted however the upper right had began to break through the gum and was pushing on all the teeth on that side causing swelling and pain. I consulted with an oral surgeon and decided upon his advice to have all four removed. I had the surgery the following day.

Surgery went as planned and recovery appeared to be on schedule. I had the knots on both jaws and I did notice that the right side was more painful and a pressure and numbness when I bit down. I believed it was part of healing. Three months later I woke up to the entire right side of my face being swollen. I called the oral surgeon and saw him immediately. It appeared that I had an infection so he opened the area back up and cleaned it out. I was back to square one recovering from the extraction.

Again, recovery went well and at the follow up appointments I appeared to be healing well. Three weeks later I began feeling the numbness and pressure again, which I now knew was not normal. I went to the surgeon and he took a cat scan among other films. I again was told that he believed it to be an infection and that it needed to be cleaned out again. That was in November. I again healed well and again had the numbness and tingling return three weeks into recovery.

Dr. Hall

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Can Removing My Wisdom Teeth Cause Nerve Damage

Although wisdom teeth removal is common today, during the Stone Age, these extra teeth were essential. According to anthropologists, our ancestors diet was extremely harsh on the teeth, causing them to wear down rather quickly. This third set of molars emerged at a later point in life to help with chewing tough meats and nuts as well as the coarse roots, leaves and grains that their diet consisted of.

How Long Does Paresthesia Last

In most cases, a patients paresthesia will resolve on its own over time. This can, however, take several months to over a year. In some cases, a persons sensory loss is permanent.

a) As related to wisdom tooth extraction.

Spontaneous recovery.

In cases associated with wisdom teeth, Queral-Godoy found that most recoveries took place within the first 3 months. At 6 months, one-half of all of those affected experienced a full recovery.

Persistent paresthesia.

This state is typically classified as an altered sensation that lasts longer than 6 months.

Pogrels review of studies evaluating complications associated with wisdom tooth removal found reported incidence rates of persistent paresthesia ranging between 0% and 0.9% for the mandibular nerve and 0% and 0.5% for the lingual nerve.

b) As related to dental injections.

Spontaneous recovery.

In 85 to 94% of cases, spontaneous complete recovery typically occurs within 8 weeks. Recovery for the mandibular nerve is possibly more likely than for the lingual nerve .

Persistent paresthesia.

Symptoms lasting more than 8 weeks are less likely to fully resolve.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Paresthesia


Paresthesia is a sensory-only phenomenon and not accompanied by muscle paralysis.

In most cases, the nerve damage is not identified during the dental procedure but instead as a postoperative complication.


The patient will notice altered, diminished, or even total loss of sensation in the affected area. One or more senses may be involved .

The precise area affected is that service by the damaged nerve. In the case of the mandibular or lingual nerves, that means some aspect the persons lip, chin, mouth lining or tongue.

Other characteristics.

  • For some people, the sensation may be tingling, numbness or pins and needles, similar to the feeling they experience when having a tooth anesthetized for a dental procedure. The difference being that the sensation persists.
  • While muscle function is not affected, the sensory changes experienced can be difficult to deal with. They may affect speech or chewing function, or interfere with activities such as playing a musical instrument.
  • The patients quality of life may be significantly affected.

Other characteristics involving dental injections.

On occasion, a person receiving a dental injection may experience an electrical shock sensation as the needle makes contact with the trunk of their nerve.

Experiencing this phenomenon is not necessarily an indication that paresthesia will occur.

Nerve Damage After Wisdom Tooth Removal

Madie’s Story – Nerve Damage After Wisdom Tooth Surgery

A wisdom tooth extraction is a medical procedure that most of us will have to experience in our lifetimes. Wisdom tooth extraction is not something that should be feared, but preparing for it does require some understanding.

Wisdom teeth or third molars are the last teeth to erupt into the mouth. They do not serve any purpose and are considered as evolutionary remnants. This is why they are the most commonly extracted teeth in the mouth .

The fact that wisdom teeth erupt at the very back of the mouth, often in over-crowded conditions with a lack of space makes it clear why they are so often removed. These very same conditions also makes the wisdom teeth difficult to extract, however. In fact, a minor surgical procedure may have to be performed in a lot of cases.

Like all surgical procedures, small or big, there is the possibility of some complications if you have wisdom teeth extracted .

Infection after wisdom tooth removal is the most common complication, but also the complication that can most easily be prevented with proper aftercare and hygienic conditions. The most serious complication after surgery to have a third molar taken out, though, is nerve damage after wisdom tooth removal.

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Which Nerves Would Be Affected

The lower alveolar nerve and the trigeminal nerve are the two nerves that can be damaged or injured during wisdom tooth extraction. These nerves are responsible for controlling the sensations of the lower lip, tongue and chin. Nerve damage occurs if they are cut or injured during the procedure. Choosing a skilled surgeon to remove wisdom teeth will reduce the chances of complications.

Damage To Sensory Nerve:

A primary concern is a nerve within the lower jaw bone that supplies feeling to the lower lip, chin, and tongue. This nerve is frequently very close to the roots of the lower wisdom teeth. Having these teeth out between the ages of 12 and 18 usually provides shorter roots so that the nerve is not so close to the roots of these teeth. Occasionally, when the teeth are removed, and especially in older patients, the nerve can become injured. When local anesthesia wears off, you may experience a tingling or numbing sensation in the lower lip, chin, or tongue. Should this occur, it is usually temporary and will resolve gradually over a period of weeks or months. On rare occasions it can result in a permanent alteration of sensation similar to having local anesthesia. We feel that you should be aware of this possibility before consenting to surgery.

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