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Nerve Damage from Wisdom Teeth Removal

  • Thread starter scaredofthefuture
  • Start date


Junior member
Sep 2, 2021
Sandy, UT
I am depressed and scared out of my mind. I had my wisdom teeth extracted Friday (4 days ago). There was risk to the nerve since my bottom teeth were close, however, the surgeon said he would try to leave a little tooth in there to make sure he didn't get close to the nerve on my right side.

After the surgery, everything was normal until DAY 2. My left side of my chin and lip was still completely numb. The first night I had a panic attack because I had a neurological itch that I couldn't scratch. I though that was the worst it could get

DAY 3 - I started to feel actual pain in my chin and lip. It changes, from a burning to a freezing sensation. It is constant, there is no reprieve, none of the medicine help. I went back to the surgeon crying. I am on DAY 4 of steroids for inflammation, I have not noticed a difference. Vicoden does not do anything, the pain is not my wisdom teeth or a normal pain, it is nerve pain.

DAY 4 - I went back to the surgeon and got a CAT scan, they nerve still looked in tact. They said when they pulled the wisdom tooth out the nerve looked good. They told me they did not believe they severed it and it is most likely bruised. They said the numb/tingle was pretty common (paresthesia) however the severe constant pain is rare (dysesthesia). I took 300 mg of gabpentin for the nerve pain and it did nothing.

The pain is increasingly getting worse and has made its way into my bottom teeth above the damaged nerve. It feels like little electrical shocks or cold nitrogen is being constantly pressed against it.

I haven't found anything to help, heat, cold, anti-inflammatory, steroids or nerve medicine seem to do nothing.

I started researching and am very scared I have trigeminal neuralgia. My life feels entirely changed and I am only 28. I do not know how I would be able to live for the rest of my life in this much pain everyday if it is permanent.

Is there hope the pain subsides? Is there hope this isn't trigeminal neuralgia and just a very very painful bruised nerve? Are there any recommendations for any relief at all? I have found nothing to even diminish the constant excruciating pain.

I am scared my life is over and there is no reason worth living if this is going to be permanent.
You've not got trigeminal neuralgia. You've got paraesthesia and dysaesthesia related to the surgery.
The good news is that they are almost never permanent and you should notice some improvement in time.
You've not got trigeminal neuralgia. You've got paraesthesia and dysaesthesia related to the surgery.
The good news is that they are almost never permanent and you should notice some improvement in time.

Thank you so much for your reply!!! You have no idea how much hope it gave me.
I had paresthesia after a root canal and apicoectomy on my front upper tooth. I was scared it was permanent as my gums over my two central incisors, under my nose, above the lateral incisor and canine tooth were numb. My lip was even numb. That lasted almost two weeks. The endodontist said she probably severed some tiny nerves that branch off the main one and that it could take up to six months to heal completely. I had occasional tingling and itchiness but not pain like you described. I do have atypical facial pain, which could have been caused by all the work I had done (not just that tooth), according to the neurologist I saw after I started having unexplainable pain in various teeth. It did get better over time. I still get twinges and occasional achiness and little jolts but nothing like electric shock and nothing that I can’t live with.
I hope yours heals quickly!!!
Hi - did your nerve pain go away in the end? Am terrified of exactly this from my upcoming planned wisdom tooth removal!
Nerve damage post-surgery does NOT result in "nerve pain". The nerve damage causes long term numbness, like when you've got local anaesthetic in the area.

It's vanishingly rare even after wisdom tooth extraction and is almost never permanent.
Thank you so much. I had read on the NHS website that any injury to the nerve can cause pain, a tingling sensation and numbness in your tongue, lower lip, chin, teeth and gum. This is what I'm most frightened of with my lower partially impacted wisdom tooth removal in 2 weeks. I feel incredibly sick and worried!
Remember that website is written to cover every possible complication, it's not meant to be specific to each case. Chances are that it's not even been checked by a dentist before it was published :)

(Not knocking anybody, but I used to be pretty senior in the NHS, stuff got through because I was busy and didn't check every single thing that got published!).

If your tooth is already mostly erupted then it should be well clear of the nerve and I assume your dentist has taken plenty of x-rays to evaluate the position of the nerve relative to the roots?

In cases where there's any risk of nerve damage it's the normal practice to just remove the crown off the tooth and leave the roots in situ, so if nobody has mentioned doing that to you it would imply that there's no risk to the nerve during the surgery.
Thank you - that's helpful to know.

It's half erupted through the gum - the back part of the tooth is covered with a gum flap. I had an x-ray and a CT scan - he said it was low risk which I know I should trust but the back root of the tooth looked very close to me on the imaging! (Apologies I appreciate I am not trained!).
I just wanted to update everyone! The pain started to subside around 2 weeks. It slowly changed areas, feelings and sensitivities until it eventually went away. My mouth is still numb but it is improving and I can ignore it without the pain, the pain is impossible to ignore. I am so thankful the pain is gone it was the worst 2 weeks of my life. Hang in there, I was certain the pain would never go away but it did. No medication or remedy helped me besides towards the end of the pain when my teeth became so sensitive they felt like they were freezing/burning and it hurt to breathe, I rested my teeth on the ice pack almost biting down and somehow it calmed it down a bit.