Tuesday, July 16, 2013

4 years and 22,500 page views later

Without any advertising or promotion, this blog has attracted a sizeable audience...nearly 23,000 page views of the home page alone, and spawned 2 Facebook groups - and yet, this injury is supposedly a highly random "one in a million" occurrence.
Every day in every dental office somewhere, a patient walks in fine, and walks out with nerve damage. It's happening in the US, in the UK, and Australia, so you're not safe just because you live in a highly developed, English-speaking country.

Dentists and oral surgeons either act like this isn't that big a deal, you'll get over it, or worse, deny any culpability or feign ignorance (like my dentist - did I mention he attended NYU? Do we really believe they taught nothing about lingual and aveolar nerves there?). Some posters here report that their dentists actually think "it's a good thing" to hit the nerve. What's good about it, I'm still waiting to find out...

The dental industry seemingly runs amuck without any training on the injuries they are causing. I find that really hard to believe. However, a search of the ADA.org website (American Dental Association) for "lingual nerve" had only 9 results, none of which provide much depth in this area, and all of which were from 2010-present.

Does this indicate the problem is increasing in recent years and, if so, why? As painful as it has been for me to deal with, how excruciating would it be to watch your child go through this, and be unable to do anything to help them?

I can't do it alone, but with your help, we can take action so that this doesn't happen to our children. I'm asking everyone to help me get some attention for this cause.

I'm just a girl who started a blog, that I'm happy ended up helping lots of people. But I have no idea how to take it to the next level. If you (or someone you know) has any experience with the media, with proposing bills to Congress, advocacy, law, petition signing, non-profits, campaigning, fundraising for school, even just asking for the help you need...please inbox me at our Facebook page or respond below with your email address. You can find me on FB as Jane Fisher.

I have committed to keep this blog going to help others; if it's helped you, I'm asking for you to give back.
Thank you!
xo Jane


  1. With all the dental injuries wont the injured hire an orlando florida personal injury attorney for their cases? It seems like that would scare them into making sure they don't cause anymore injuries.

  2. My name is Andrea.

    Two weeks ago, I had surgery to extract two wisdom teeth. The lower tooth was impacted. Three days post-surgery, the numbness on the lower left side of my face had not subsided at all. I went back to the oral surgeon and he told me I was suffering from paresthesia. He told me that it could take several weeks or months, but that in 97% of cases, the numbness would subside.

    In addition to the numbness, I also have what I describe as “nervy pain” in my bottom teeth (nowhere near the wisdom tooth extraction site – instead, it affects the teeth within the numb area on my face. My teeth feel like they want pressure applied to them – and when I apply pressure, the “nervy pain” subsides. My tongue is not affected at all. The numb area is about the size of a golf ball. I can’t be positive (it might just be wishful thinking), but I think the size of the numb area IS shrinking by the day (though only by the tiniest amount).

    I had no idea that anything like this could happen. I have since found out that I was pretty much a prime candidate for an injury like this, given that I’m over 40, the location of the tooth, and the fact that it was impacted. I kinda feel like I should’ve at least been warned of the increased risks of nerve damage. Would it have stopped me from having the surgery? Probably not, but at least I would’ve been aware ahead of time.

    The first few days of this were beyond miserable. I was inexplicably exhausted. I was depressed. I was in pain. Not excruciating pain but SUPER-annoying discomfort. Things seem to be getting progressively better, or I’m just learning to tolerate it…not sure which, exactly.

    I’ve read a lot of the stories here. For those of you who’ve been dealing with this for extended periods of time, my heart goes out to you. It’s so difficult to describe this to others, to make them understand. And I’d never, ever heard about anything like this before (nor had any of the people in my life). It’s comforting to know there are others going through this. It sounds like I’m not as bad off as some of you, which I’m grateful for…but it’s annoying and depressing, just the same.

    I’ll post back soon with my progress. Does anyone have any stories of full recovery? How long it took? Anything you did to move it along? Thanks and best of luck to you all.

  3. Hello,

    Last November 2012, I went to dentist for a simple filling fix. The dentist hit a nerve on my bottom jaw and it felt like a molten wire had zapped me all the way down my chin and neck. She stopped but when she started to inject she hit it again. I remember her laughing and saying "this will make you really numb." I went home and took a nap. From the time I woke up and the Novocaine had worn off, I have had the feeling that my bottom front teeth have a film on them. I am constantly rubbing my tongue on them. The end of my tongue also feels numb. I am constantly thirsty. My speech has been affected. I have to consciously make sure I am enunciating. I am a speech teacher so this is a problem. I am also constantly chewing gum because it is the only way I feel normal. I told my dentist and she poo poo'd my concerns that something had happened that day. Ugh! I don't know what to do.

  4. Hi Jane,

    My name is Stephanie. I posted earlier, but I never saw it. I had a shot of Novocaine that hit a nerve last October. I describe it as feeling like lighting shot from my chin down to my neck. I went home and took a nap. Ever since I woke up I have had problems with my mouth. My bottom teeth hurt and feel like they have film over them-like they are dirty even though I constantly drink water and brush my teeth. I also chew a lot of gum. My dentist acted like I was crazy. It is still here over 10 months later. I am very frustrated. To make matters worse, it is affecting my speech and I am a teacher of "speech."

  5. Hi Andrea,
    Sounds like you are on the mend- I sure hope so. Most people do heal. And you are right, this is so random, I had no idea it even was a possiblity, and no one in my life had ever heard of it. Even the doctors I saw looked at me like I was nuts, or making this up. That's why I keep this blog going...we need to get the word out.

    Looking forward to hearing about your progress. - jf

  6. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to FINALLY find a group where I may belong!
    Here is my story:


    dental work, injection into left side. I was sedated so did not feel it when it happened, but could not sleep that night from intense pain on left side

    went to dentist who said the tooth just needed more sanding down

    left to fly to Washington DC on business, left side began swelling and pain was enormous

    went to DC dentist who said perhaps I needed a root canal
    had root canal, still swollen, intense pain and fever

    had to have oral surgery to put drain tube for a week
    during this time I was taking lots of antibiotics

    Pain and swelling subsided but within a month, I came down with C-Difficile from all of the mouth antibiotics

    hospitalized for 5 days with this

    2008 I was fine then

    2009 had horrible upper resp. infection (flu)
    after that I began to have terrible pain in vestibule of nose and teeth ached and felt like they were swelling

    this has continued to this day, but

    2011 hard palette began feeling like it was going to swell out of my head and
    painful papillae swelled everyday

    this is my state now: pain in bottom of nose, teeth, hard palette and burning and enlarged papillae on tongue.

    Has anyone had any of these symptoms? I was told by the Trigeminal Neuralgia group that sometimes there is a swollen artery sitting on the nerve...can this be a result from an injection to the nerve?

    Any info is so helpful and greatly appreciated!!

  7. I had a lower right wisdom tooth removed at the suggestion of my dentist - I went to an oral surgeon. I knew something was wrong when the shot was zap and my tongue was so numb - I said something was wrong - the tooth was removed. The right side of my tongue was numb. The tongue was still numb after a day. Many days I would awake with such pain and the tongue felt huge. I went back the dentist he said - everything is fine it's healing fine (in other words no dry socket problem) "Don't focus so much on it". And, I ask why is this feeling like this -- he doesn't say, but says everything is normal give it time. I went to another and he exam my tongue it had normal reflexes I guess. I tried acupunture, yoga, etc. Had it not been for finding the website Sciential ? (it's not active now) I would have gone crazy... I was led to believe by the medical people that this was either all in my head or just me... After over 10 years I no longer have the intense pain, but the right side of my tongue still is "burnt tongue feeling". I identify with the chewing gum and I still get to that point sometimes of having to gnaw on something for the pain -- but only once in a while. It is something I have learned to live with, but feel dentists do not understand how this affects a persons life. I kept a journal at the beginning to basically keep my sanity.

  8. "Hello.
    I got all 4 wisdom teeth extracted last Wed. Since then I've experience a dead numb left side of tongue. I have no pain in my tongue, just numbness and loss taste and sensation. This must be due to Lingual Nerve Damage :(. Occasionally I will have some brief tingles in the tip.. It doesn't run all the way through the left side of my tongue, just tip.. I noticed that sucking on my tongue instantly triggers the tingles. My doctor currently put me on a 6 day pack of steroids (midral). It's my second day, I don't see much of a difference. I am only 24 and very scared that this damage is permanent. How long before I can feel my tongue again?? Because I have more numbness than tingle/burning and no pain does this suggest more of a severe damage to the nerve? Or less? Are there any scans that can be done to determine the extinct of the damage? If its completely severed of course I would want correction surgery right away. However, if it's bruised or damaged I can wait for natural healing. As you can imagine I am loosing my mind. Haven't really ate since this whole ordeal. Any nerve repair specialist in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas are appreciated.

    Please help, Stacy

  9. Auricular Acupuncture has put the fire out on my left side of tongue it was unbearable for a year and a half i went in for 3 treatments of acupuncture and amazingly the burning was less and less until i had two weeks pain free , I'm still taking nurontin 2 600mg a day ,also lithium carbonate a therapeutic dose ...lithium blocks the damage of ethanol in the nurontin and works on the neural pathways . I'm now only dealing with a sore tongue ,its better than a burning tongue i think theres still hope on the rise too like more acupuncture and herbs

  10. Wisdom tooth extraction is no laughing matter, and dentists do really try hard to avoid inconvenience to patients. It helps when you scout for dentists in your area for ones that have good reps and those who don't. Your teeth should last you a lifetime, not give you a lifetime of pain.
    Anthony Farole @ DrFarole.com