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Why is my tongue numb after surgery?

After surgery, you may experience numbness in your body especially in your tongue. It feels terrible sometimes but do you know what makes your tongue numb after the surgery? If you don’t have any ideas about this, then read this article till the end to know the reason why and how long it will take to get rid of tongue numbness.

It is quite normal to experience tongue numbness after surgery and don’t panic about that. There is nothing to worry about tongue numbness unless numbness persists for a prolonged period.

Your tongue may feel numb after surgery. It is due to the usage of anaesthesia during surgery or sometimes due to lingual nerve injury.

These are the main two reasons for tongue numbness after surgery.

Anaesthesia

As you know, anaesthesia is mostly used in surgeries to prevent pain or any discomfort experienced during surgery.

Generally, your nerves send every signal to your brain. But during surgery, you can experience more pain, so using anaesthesia in surgery is a must. When anaesthesia is injected into your body, it first stops every nerve signal that helps you to stay alert from reaching your brain.

So even after the surgery, you will still feel numbness on your tongue. It usually takes a few days or even in some cases, it only takes a few hours to feel normal again.

Nerve injury

These nerve injuries can be due to accidental cutting of nerves during surgery or while administering anaesthesia.

Naturally, the signs of nerve injury are based on which nerve is damaged. So, the symptoms could be numbness, pain, or weakness.

When you feel numbness it is most likely that your nerves only send signals about sensation. If it is a mild injury, it could be easily improved. Others can take long or it could even become permanent.

It eventually takes a few months to see regrowth of that nerve fiber. But If you didn’t see new nerves, then you must undergo surgery.

Sometimes, surgeons tend to operate extremely close to the nerves. So, there could be contact between your nerves and the surgical instruments of the surgeons. This contact is not good for your nerves. This is how your nerve damage starts.

Don’t think this is the only reason for nerve injury during surgery. There is another reason too. Your nerves could be damaged even while administering anaesthesia to the patients. Especially when a surgeon is administering local anaesthesia, the surgeon must ensure there is no contact between the nerve and the syringe. If there is any damage, it could lead to damage of the nerves which will cause numbness to your tongue.

So these are the reasons why your tongue feels numb after the surgery. Now let’s how long this will take to entirely avoid tongue numbness.

Lingual nerves are associated with the tongue. So, the injury on these lingual nerves is also known as neuropraxia. This condition is rare and it could be due to general anaesthesia. Mostly the patients feel numbness in the tongue after the surgeries, especially in the head or neck regions.

The patients feel numbness for a few weeks after surgery and some patients even experience tongue numbness for up to 5 or 6 months. So this could be different from person to person.

Numbness after tooth extractions

It is very common to feel tongue numbness after extracting your tooth. So, Don’t panic about that. This happens especially if you are removing your teeth in the lower jaw area. Mostly, the extraction of wisdom teeth could lead to tongue numbness. If you visit a dentist, he will prescribe you an anti-inflammatory medicine to prevent numbness.

Numbness after Implant surgery

While you undergo any kind of Implant surgery, you experience numbness in your tongue for a week or even a month. So visit your dentist often.

Numbness due to root canal

The molars in your lower jaws are closely attached to the major nervous system. If the root canal is performed in this area, It can cause numbness for a longer period.

Tongue Numbness after a spine injury

Even if you undergo cervical spine injury, tongue numbness will occur which is quite normal. Do you know what causes tongue numbness after the spine injury?

Cervical spine discs are replaced in this surgery. During the fusion surgery and replacement of cervical spine discs, it can cause temporary numbness in the tongue.

Another cause is the interference of the nerve and surrounding muscles, especially during surgeries. It could lead to a minor injury, so it will take some time to heal and function like usual. At the time of recovery of this injury, the patients could experience this numbness.

Like I said before If you notice numbness immediately after the procedure, then it is more likely to be the effect of anaesthesia. So, the numbness will easily disappear after a few hours or days after the surgery.

Tips to recover from tongue numbness

Tongue numbness will feel weird and awful. There are few symptoms of tongue numbness that you can easily identify including burning or tingling, swelling, itchiness, or weakness. Sometimes, there could be a pain in your face. A good thing about tongue numbness is it is only temporary. So first of all, stop worrying.

You can do some physical activities which are more likely to increase your heartbeat rate higher. This will aid you to improve your tongue numbness issue.

You can take Vitamin B complex because it will speed up the regeneration of nerves. Another supplement named Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) reduces nerve damage. So you can try this but only for the doctor’s recommendation.

If you immediately want to remove the tongue numbness, you can go to your doctor to get a reversing anaesthesia agent.

If your nerves are damaged severely, then you must undergo Microsurgical nerve repair. This condition is rare, so don’t worry about that. It can be cured easily. Make sure to use the above-mentioned prescriptions only after consulting your doctor.

The reason behind your tongue numbness after the surgery is because of anaesthesia or nerve damage. It is quite normal to feel numbness but If it takes too long to get back to normal, visit your doctor.

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