For you the patient
During dental treatment, such as wisdom tooth removal, it’s possible that either of the nerves that make up the trigeminal nerve, the lingual and the inferior alveolar, can become damaged.
Assessing your symptoms
The lingual and the alveolar nerve are branches of the trigeminal nerve that supply some areas of the mouth and face. These nerves can become damaged during dental procedures such as wisdom tooth removal. If you suspect that you have damage to either of these nerves you should follow one of the procedures below.
Lingual nerve damage:
- numbness in the tongue
- abnormal sensations or pain: pins and needles, tingling, burning, sharp pain (on the affected side of the tongue)
- loss of taste on the affected side of the tongue (the opposite side of the tongue compensates so this isn’t always noticed)
- reduced salvation (the opposite side of the tongue compensates so this isn’t always noticed)
- difficulty speaking or eating.
Inferior alveolar nerve damage:
- abnormal sensations or pain: pins and needles, tingling, burning, sharp pain (on the affected side of the lip and chin)
- difficulty drinking - can’t tell when lips are on the drink.
- difficulty speaking
- increased sensitivity to touch on the face e.g. when applying makeup.
How to be referred
If you think you need to be referred for treatment with us you can request a referral from your dentist. We will need details about you and the symptoms you're experiencing as well as information regarding any recent dental treatments.
Please send this information to:
Sheffield Trigeminal Injury Referral Service
The Charles Clifford Dental Hospital
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
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