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Can Jaw Surgery Cause Nerve Damage

Posted on 3/15/2024 by Weo Admin
Photo Pacific Oral & Facial Surgery Center in Livermore, CAThe risk of developing long-term nerve damage after jaw surgery is less than 1 percent. However, short-term numbness to the lips and chin and loss of taste are common occurrences.

[[[How Does Jaw Surgery Cause Nerve Damage?]]]
The human face, home to the eyes, nose, and tongue, connects these important sensory organs to the Central Nervous System through an intricate network of nerves that run along or near the jawbones. There is always some risk that one of these important nerves can get impacted during jaw surgery. The most common causes of nerve damage during jaw surgeries are bruising, compression, and squashing.

Nerves are very sensitive, and under normal circumstances, you would reflexively respond to any nerve impact, but anesthesia renders you unconscious, so there is no response. You will only realize that there is nerve damage after the surgery through chronic neuropathic pain or loss of sensory ability. Luckily, surgeons are well-versed in the nervous system and will rarely injure a nerve.

What Nerves Are Likely to Get Damaged During Jaw Surgery

Several nerves are of great concern to surgeons during jaw surgeries. These include:

Inferior Alveolar Nerve

This nerve, a branch of the mandibular nerve, is responsible for sensation in the lower jaw. There is a risk of this nerve being bruised during a lower jaw osteotomy, leading to numbness in the lower chin and lip after jaw surgery.

Lingual Nerve

The lingual nerve, responsible for tongue sensation, runs along the floor of the lower jawbone and can easily get bruised during jaw surgery, resulting in altered sensation.

Trigeminal Nerve

This major cranial nerve is at great risk of injury during upper jaw or double jaw surgeries. When damaged, sensation to the upper face, including eye control, is limited.

Contact Us Today

If you suspect that your last jaw surgery damaged some of your nerves, then contact us now. Nerve damage is a serious concern with lifelong repercussions. Our surgeons will assess the extent of the damage and craft a corrective plan to help restore nerve function.

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Board certified in Oral & Maxillofacial surgery
The surgical specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery requires up to six additional years of hospital based surgical and anesthesia training beyond dental school.
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