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"What causes numbness in the face?"


My face has developed a numb patch on the cheek / jaw area. Is this serious?


Any time that you begin to have changes in your ability to feel, it is something that needs to be evaluated by a physician (unless it resolves very quickly and leaves no lasting side effects, as can happen when your foot falls asleep, for example). If you have had numbness in your cheek or jaw, then there are several things that could cause it, but the concern is that there could be some sort of damage to the nerve that supplies feeling from that part of your face. If that pain has persisted, then you need to speak to your doctor.

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Additionally, there are other things that would be concerning, such as difficulty moving that part of your face, changes in the symmetry of your face, or any other findings such as pain. In order to know for sure what is going on, your doctor will need to review your medications, your past medical history, and do a physical exam, including a review of other body parts as well to see if there are any other nerves that are affected. Causes can (and usually are) very simple and take care of themselves, but it is important to speak with your doctor, especially if any numbness persists, enlarges, or is associated with other symptoms.

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