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Face and Jaw Surgery

Numbness in gums and nose after oral surgery

08/24/2007

Question:

I had all my top teeth out 2 months ago and had immediate dentures put in. Since then I have been numb in my front gum area and nose area. I don`t know if this is nerve damage. I`ve asked the oral surgeon and he told me he`s never heard of it on the top of the mouth, and my dentist never heard of it. I`m frightened because I feel like no one knows what is causing this. Is this normal. Does it happen to other people and will it go away?

Answer:

Your symptoms suggest injury or damage to the nasopalatine nerve. This nerve provides sensation to the upper front four teeth, the surrounding gum, and bone. It also provides some sensation to the inside bottom part of nose and septum.

This nerve may be traumatized during local anesthetics (shots), dental interventions, or removal of upper front teeth or removal or reshaping of bone for dentures in this area. This can also happen due to pressure from the dentures.

Your problem may be alleviated by readjusting your dentures. If there is a significant injury, usually there is the return of some sensation up to a year. There is no surgical treatment if the numbness persists, and fortunately, this does not limit the majority of the patient’s functions, or chewing or wearing of dentures.

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Response by:

Likith V Reddy, MD, DDS, FACS Likith V Reddy, MD, DDS, FACS
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati