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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Lingual Nerve Damage

01/05/2010

Question:

I have suffered from lingunal nerve damage for 7 years after wisdom tooth extraction. I only suffered from a burning tongue. Just recently I had a teeth cleaning and she hit a sensitive tooth making my mouth hypersensitive. Shortly after I began to experience new symptoms such as metallic, and salty taste sensations, and increased burning in my tongue, and dry mouth. Could the scraping involved in the cleaning of my teeth aggravate my lingual nerve and disturb it to the point where I have symptoms I never had in the past. Will this eventually subside. or is this a sign that my nerve is trying to recover after all these years and the teeth cleaning gave it a shock.Any input will be appreciated.

Answer:

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is a common sensory neuropathy (problem with the nerves that transmit information about the senses to the brain). We do not know why people develop BMS in most instances. The overwhelming majority of patients don't have any history of surgery or injury to the oral region at the onset of their BMS. Perhaps some people are more susceptible to such nerve alterations, and perhaps minor trauma could be enough to initiate the various symptoms, but this would be pure speculation.

 

Nerves that transmit information related to pain, taste and/or texture can be affected. From your description, all three types of nerves appear to be affected in your case. There is no medically proven treatment for BMS, but a significant percentage of patients will experience spontaneous resolution of their symptoms eventually. The amount of time this may take is unpredictable.

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Response by:

Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD Carl M Allen, DDS, MSD
Professor of Oral Pathology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University