Yes, tooth extraction can cause serious, debilitating, and permanent nerve damage. This can occur when the nerves in the jaw or face are damaged during the extraction process. The most common nerve to be damaged during a tooth extraction is the inferior alveolar nerve, which runs through the lower jaw and provides sensation to the lower lip, chin, and tongue. In some cases, the lingual nerve, which is responsible for the sensation in the tongue, can also be damaged.
What are the Chances of Suffering Permanent Nerve Damage as a Result of an Extraction?
The risk of nerve damage during a tooth extraction depends on various factors, including the location of the tooth, the type of procedure, and the skill of the oral surgeon or dentist. Overall, the risk of nerve damage is higher with more complicated extractions, such as the removal of impacted or deeply rooted teeth or where the roots of the tooth wrap around the nerve. Additionally, bottom wisdom tooth extractions, which are performed in the very back of the mouth, carry a higher risk of serious nerve damage compared to other types of extractions.
How Can a Tooth Extraction Cause Damage to the Inferior Alveolar Nerve?
Inferior alveolar nerve damage can occur in several ways during a tooth extraction. One common cause is direct injury to the nerve itself, which can occur if the oral surgeon or dentist is not careful when removing the tooth. Another cause is stretching or pinching of the nerve, which can occur when the tooth is being removed or during the post-operative healing process.
When the inferior alveolar nerve is damaged during an extraction, it will typically result in various symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and pain in the face, jaw, lips, and tongue. In some cases, the symptoms may be temporary and may improve over time, while in other cases, the damage may be permanent.
How Can a Tooth Extraction Cause Damage to the Lingual Nerve?
Damage to the lingual nerve during an extraction is often caused because of damage to the lingual cortical plate. Damage to the lingual cortical plate during a tooth extraction can cause serious nerve damage in a number of ways.
The lingual nerve runs close to the surface of the jawbone and is responsible for providing sensation to the tongue and the floor of the mouth. If the lingual cortical plate is damaged during a tooth extraction, it can directly impact the lingual nerve, causing serious or permanent nerve damage. In addition to direct impact, swelling and inflammation in the areas around the lingual nerve can put pressure on the nerve, causing injury and contributing to the development of permanent nerve damage. In some cases, the nerve may be stretched or severed, which can lead to permanent loss of sensation in the tongue and floor of the mouth. In more severe cases, it may also result in difficulty speaking and eating.
What Are My Treatment Options if I Have Permanent Nerve Damage as a Result of a Tooth Extraction?
Treatment options for nerve damage resulting from a tooth extraction depend on the extent and type of nerve damage. For minor nerve damage, the symptoms may resolve on their own, and no treatment may be necessary. In more severe cases, physical therapy, nerve stimulation, or surgery may be required.