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Dental Anesthesia

Loss of taste & dental procedures

06/28/2008

Question:

I had a crown out on upper jaw and had novocaine and a drug to clot blood in area of the crown. The reaction the same day was tingling up the nose and right side of face then loss of taste (took 4 to 5 hours for the novocaine to wear off. This procedure was done on 06/05/08 and the permanate crown was done on 06/24/08 with taste still not back. Three years ago when an oral surgeon removed a cyst on lower front jaw I lost taste and smell for three months. Any ideas? Thank You

Answer:

It is not clear to me why you would have taste alteration from dental work on an upper jaw tooth. In the lower jaw, the nerve that caries pain sensation to the tongue and gum on the tongue side of the teeth also caries taste sensation to the front two thirds of the tongue. So, it is possible that during this lower jaw procedure, this may have occurred, at least on one side. Presumably, if smell was somehow altered during an upper jaw procedure, "taste" could be affected as smell makes up a large component of this sense. The distribution of nerves, however, does not seem like it could be affected from standard dental procedures in the upper jaw. I am sorry but I am at a loss to see this connection. If there is a regional taste and smell center in your area, this would be the best place to obtain more information to determine if there is a connection that I am unaware of.

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Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University