There are several important nerves in the oral and maxillofacial region. Under certain circumstances, these nerves can be damaged. This damage can be the result of external trauma such as an auto accident or personal altercation. Damage to these nerves can also be the result of dental procedures such as wisdom tooth extraction, implant placement, or root canal therapy. This type of trauma can results in numbness to the patients lip, chin or tongue.
When such an injury occurs, a short period of observation is indicated to see if the nerve will repair itself. However, if there is no significant improvement in three months or if the affected area becomes painful, surgical repair should be considered.