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Numbness of lips & chin after root canal

User Level:
Patient
Posted by: djrice.toni  (2 years ago)
Hello, I had a RCT done last April 9th, the procedure itself wasn't painful, it was quite comfortable. An Endodontist did the procedure. Couple of days after, my lower lips started tingling, and it was numb, then my chin and lower right jaw, where the root canal was performed started numbing as well. From reading my records, it's tooth 3140, lower molar. I was on amoxicillin and toralac for pain killers, I thought the pain killer was causing the numbness, so regardless of how much pain I'm in, I reduce my intake and switched to tylenol extra strength instead.. Last wednesday i phoned tele health to find out if they can shed some light as to whats going on, they recommended i go back to the dentist. Thursday I went back to see the endodontist to ask and beg for answers, he says he doesn't understand why I'm feeling this way but for me to remember its on a path to recovery, something along those lines, I was too anxious, I was given another antibiotic Metronidazzole, and wait for 10 days and go back to see how I'm recovering. I'm still in pain and can barely sleep unless I take sleeping pills. I need to relax! I'm freaking out! Life has been different, I'm partially swollen and numb! Plus this medication I need to constantly eat so I won't get an upset stomach. help!
User Level:
Dentist
Hello, I had a RCT done last April 9th, the procedure itself wasn't painful, it was quite comfortable. An Endodontist did the procedure. Couple of days after, my lower lips started tingling, and it was numb, then my chin and lower right jaw, where the root canal was performed started numbing as well. From reading my records, it's tooth 3140, lower molar. I was on amoxicillin and toralac for pain killers, I thought the pain killer was causing the numbness, so regardless of how much pain I'm in, I reduce my intake and switched to tylenol extra strength instead.. Last wednesday i phoned tele health to find out if they can shed some light as to whats going on, they recommended i go back to the dentist. Thursday I went back to see the endodontist to ask and beg for answers, he says he doesn't understand why I'm feeling this way but for me to remember its on a path to recovery, something along those lines, I was too anxious, I was given another antibiotic Metronidazzole, and wait for 10 days and go back to see how I'm recovering. I'm still in pain and can barely sleep unless I take sleeping pills. I need to relax! I'm freaking out! Life has been different, I'm partially swollen and numb! Plus this medication I need to constantly eat so I won't get an upset stomach. help!

There are three possible causes for the numbness:

1. A direct strike on the inferior alveolar nerve during injection. This is a random chance event. The numbness will go away in 6-12 months. There is NOTHING you can do in the meantime.
2. Overfill of the root canal, impinging on the nerve. This would be a rarity, but easily seen on x-ray. The remedy would be surgery to the root end or extraction.
3. Severe post-op infection putting pressure on the nerve. This is very rare. I don't think I have seen it more than once in my career.

Posted 2 years ago
User Level:
Patient
Posted by: djrice.toni  (2 years ago)
Thank you so much for you reply. Ill print this out so when i head to my appointment i have some kind of an idea. WOW. Im hoping its just the first point, and that it will go away.
I dont want to do any more surgeries =( ill give birth any day but heck when it comes to the mouth, i'd rather die. =(
Ill keep you posted after my appointment next week. *sighs*
User Level:
Patient
Posted by: Numbber2  (1 years ago)
Thank you Dr Henry. Something very similar happened to me. Pain following lower molar work, spasms and pain on side of face, occasional numbing of chin to tongue, increasing swelling near chewing muscle going on for several weeks, increasing pain, perscript of pain meds and ibuprofin, then root canal, followed with occasional pain in jaw & occasional numbness but no tooth pain and difficulty opening that side of mouth. I was asked if I was anxious and dentist remarked this was very hard to understand. I was surprised that the dentist took an extra picture of the tooth (which looked great) and then the endodontist took about nine pictures during his procedure. He also shot the area with seven numbing shots before the procedure. Also strange that none of the teeth on the operated side of mouth have warm and cool sensation now. At least there are not so many muscular spasms. Is it typical to take this many photos and shoot so many numbing shots for a root canal? And how does one determine follow up . . . just wait and see?
User Level:
Dentist
Thank you Dr Henry. Something very similar happened to me. Pain following lower molar work, spasms and pain on side of face, occasional numbing of chin to tongue, increasing swelling near chewing muscle going on for several weeks, increasing pain, perscript of pain meds and ibuprofin, then root canal, followed with occasional pain in jaw & occasional numbness but no tooth pain and difficulty opening that side of mouth. I was asked if I was anxious and dentist remarked this was very hard to understand. I was surprised that the dentist took an extra picture of the tooth (which looked great) and then the endodontist took about nine pictures during his procedure. He also shot the area with seven numbing shots before the procedure. Also strange that none of the teeth on the operated side of mouth have warm and cool sensation now. At least there are not so many muscular spasms. Is it typical to take this many photos and shoot so many numbing shots for a root canal? And how does one determine follow up . . . just wait and see?

1. Someimtes "hot" endo teeth are VERY difficult to numb, and a lot of injections are required.
2. The limited jaw opening may be explained by all the injections passing through the muscles and sending them into spasm. Also blood leakage into the muscle bodies may cause muscles to go into spasm.
3. It is a little unusual to take more than 3 to 5 x-rays during a root canal, but some people (gaggers, for instance) are very hard to get good films of.

Human beings are extremely variable. Some withstand minor trauma like dental procedures very well. Some more fragile humans, particularly female, do not. An innocent, common procedure can sometimes cause a chain of events that result in grave symptoms. Inevitably doctors get blamed for this. The truth is the variability of human bodies make exact outcomes and sequelaes impossible to predict. That is life for you!
Posted 1 year ago
User Level:
Patient
Posted by: robert.nadar  (1 year ago)
My cousin just had a root canal done in the lower molar teeth , she is having partial numbness in the scalp, face and ear and the entire body.... she cannot feel her hair, ear and face.....what could be the problem...???

sometimes the numbness goes away partially but then it comes back.....
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