ZocdocAnswersCan I lose feeling temporarily or permenantly in my face after a wisdom tooth extraction?

Question

Can I lose feeling temporarily or permenantly in my face after a wisdom tooth extraction?

My lower wisdom teeth are still pretty far in my gums and jaw bone. I was told there could be nerve damage because my nerves are so close to the roots but it was hard to tell how close from the x-ray. Is this a normal warning for patients?

Answer

Although wisdom tooth extraction is a very common procedure, it is important to remember that it is a surgical procedure. Therefore, as with any surgical procedure, there are various complications that can occur, and you should absolutely talk with your dental surgeon about these various complications prior to having the procedure done. The roots of the lower wisdom teeth do pass very close to the main sensory nerves to the jaw. Although great care is taken by your surgeon when removing the teeth, occasionally some damage to these nerves does occur. Most of the time, this damage is temporary and will generally get better over a few weeks to months. However, in some rare cases, the damage may be permanent. Damage to the nerves after wisdom tooth extraction generally causes of sensation of numbness in the tongue or lower jaw. If this occurs, sometimes it can be cleared up quickly by reducing inflammation around the nerve, through taking anti inflammatory medications prescribed by your dentist. However, sometimes time is needed to allow the nerve to heal itself. Again, please talk with the dental surgeon who will be performing this procedure.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.