Do I have nerve damage in my jaw after wisdom teeth extractions? I had the surgery three weeks ago, and my jaw is still numb on the bottom left side of my mouth. I can barely feel any sensation when I chew or eat. It’s almost entirely numb. I told my dentist about it, and she sent me to the oral surgeon for tests. I am waiting for a resolution. I have a follow-up appointment with my dentist next Friday, and I am anxious to see what she says about the lingering damage. Could the damage be permanent? I was waiting to get a dental implant in my bottom first molar, but now I’m afraid to do anything else to my teeth. Thanks. Eduardo
Your dentist and oral surgeon likely agree that you’ve experienced nerve damage. It can heal in time, but in some cases, the nerves do not recover.
Nerve Damage Categories After Extractions
Bruising, crushing, and severing are nerve damage that can occur with wisdom teeth removal. The extent of damage affects your recovery.
- Bruised – The feeling in your jaw will gradually return in about a month
- Crushed – It takes about a year for new nerve fibers to grow
- Severed – Permanent damage prevents the nerve from growing back
Although you have a follow-up appointment with your dentist next week, don’t expect to feel improvement. It can take a month to a year to regain the sensation in your jaw, depending on whether the nerve was bruised or crushed. Your test results from the oral surgeon will reveal the extent of nerve damage and what to expect.
Symptoms of nerve recovery
You may feel tingling in your lip as the nerve recovers and sensation will increase over time. Even people who do not fully recover report that the numbness becomes less intense than when the nerve damage occurred.
Schedule a consultation with a prosthodontist about replacing your first molar with a dental implant to discuss your concerns and treatment options.
San Antonio dentists Dr. Gilberto Tostado and Dr. Karina Acuña sponsor this post.