What is Lingual Nerve Injury and Its Treatment?
Think about tongue: one of the most unique muscles in the human body, it really is the jack of all trades.The tongue aids the mouth-cleaning process, detecting five different categories of taste, and working with the lips and teeth to output more than 90 words per minute.
(The downside is that it harbors bad breath-causing bacteria—but no part of the body is perfect.)
Helping tongue do its wonderful work is the linguistic nerve. So if you hurt that nerve, how does it affect your tongue while performing essential functions for daily living? We will give the answer and present ways to treat the injury so that the tongue can do many of its jobs properly.
What is the Lingual Nerve?
The lingual nerve (LN), branching off from the mandibular (lower jaw) nerve, provides sensory stimulation that allows you to experience taste and tongue sensations. It runs along the front two-thirds of your tongue and is involved in transporting taste cells.
Are you enjoying the flavor of your favorite pizza? You can thank the tongue nerve. Burning your tongue while drinking hot tea? Thank you, or rather, you can blame your tongue nerve.
The lingual nerve is essential for enjoying most olfactory pleasures. Also, the unpleasant sensations it provides keep your mouth safe. Imagine that your tongue is on fire or that you can’t feel the sharp pain of biting your tongue, you can do more damage to your tongue and mouth without feeling anything.
“Lingual” comes from the Latin “lingua” meaning “tongue” or “tongue”. It is the root of the word “linguistics”, which means linguistics.
LN Injury Causes and Possible Preventive Measures
Oral procedures are the main culprits that can damage your LN. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) site features research published in StatsPearl that shows these procedures can potentially damage the lingual nerve:
.wisdom teeth removal
.lower jaw surgery
.salivary gland operations
.Oral anesthesia procedures
According to experts, since the removal of wisdom teeth is the most common procedure that can cause LN damage, dentists have developed methods to reduce the likelihood of injury. Ask your dentist about tooth sectioning and lingual flap procedures that can prevent LN injury during wisdom tooth extraction.
LN Injury Symptoms
If your lingual nerve sustains an injury, you will most likely experience any of these symptoms of nerve damage:
Sensation change in the tongue, jaw, or lower lip areas (similar to the sensations you feel when your oral cavity is numbed for a dental procedure or when the anesthetic wears off)
.Altered ability to taste
.Difficulty speaking or eating
.Pain that may be experienced as a burning sensation
Because a lingual nerve injury affects speech and taste, it can affect your daily life. The good news is that most lingual nerve injuries are temporary. After eight weeks, about 90 percent of injuries heal on their own.
If the injury lasts longer than six months, the damage is unfortunately likely permanent. In addition to physical symptoms, temporary or permanent injury can make socializing difficult and perhaps cause emotional problems.
Treatment Options for LN Injury
We are not only here to offer treatment options, but to hope you can get better. If you think you have suffered an LN injury, consult your dentist or medical professional immediately. They may recommend these treatment options:
Prescription medications such as pain relievers and antidepressants
Laser treatments to restore some feeling
One of many surgical procedures, such as external or internal neurolysis (removal of scar tissue)
.nerve blocks to reduce pain
.relaxation therapy and hypnosis
Who knew that tongue and tongue nerve affect your daily life so much, affecting your oral and emotional health? That’s why it’s important to know what can cause lingual nerve damage so you can discuss preventative measures to reduce the chance of injury. Also, be aware of any symptoms so you can start treatment right away. We want your tongue nerve to be stimulating, so we want you to activate your tongue so you can eat, drink and be cheerful!