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Why Is My Jaw Still Numb After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Posted by AllSmiles

Ten days after getting wisdom teeth removed, I still have numbness in my lower left jaw. I called my dentist, who said the oral surgeon might have hit a nerve. The numbness makes chewing, eating, and brushing my teeth difficult. I do not return to the oral surgeon for ten more days. Is there anything I can do to improve the numbness? And how long will it continue? I am supposed to start Invisalign treatment in February.

Thank you for contacting our office. Your dentist is correct—your jaw nerve is damaged. How long it takes to heal depends on the extent of the damage. This is a frustrating experience, but healing will take time and patience.

What Causes Nerve Damage During Tooth Extraction?

Lower wisdom teeth roots are close to the nerve that travels beneath your lower teeth and lower lip. In some cases, the nerve touches tooth roots, and there is a risk of nerve damage during extraction. However, an oral surgeon takes X-rays before surgery and can explain your risk. Your surgeon may have explained the risk or asked you to sign paperwork regarding it.

Types of Jaw Nerve Injury

The types of jaw nerve injury that can occur during tooth extraction include bruising, crushing, and severing. As you can see from the healing times below, please do not expect the feeling to return in your jaw and lip when you see your oral surgeon in ten days.

  • Bruising – Numbness lasts about a month, then feeling in your jaw and lip will return
  • Crushing – It can take up to a year to grow new nerve fibers and regain feeling in your jaw and lip
  • Severing – The injury and numbness are permanent

As nerves recover, you will begin to feel tingling in your lip. There is nothing you can do to speed up the healing process.

When Can You Begin Invisalign Treatment?

After your appointment with the oral surgeon, you will know the extent of nerve damage. The surgeon will send your dentist a report. Afterward, your dentist can coordinate your orthodontic care.


Best wishes for your recovery.

Chandler, Arizona, dentist Dr. William Walden sponsors this post. We cater to patients with dental anxiety.

2425 S Stearman Dr.
Suite 111
Chandler, AZ 85286
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