There are a lot of nerve nodes and endings in the oral cavity. This is the last branch of the hypersensitive trigeminal nerve, which arranges all teeth roots in a single chain. If damage is broken to the integrity of this interconnection, a person can realize that he has numbness in gums. This influences the overall health and feels like the “freezing” effect of anaesthesia. Dentists call it paresthesia and treat it together with the primary disease, making efforts to eliminate the very cause.
Is It Dangerous?
Scientifically, numbness of soft tissues is divided into two kinds. The first one is temporary and quickly goes off; the second one is the sign of severe diseases and complications. Sometimes the gums lose sensitivity and don’t respond to touch. It can happen in the following situations:
- inflammation developing inside the periodontium;
- swollen gums (gingivitis);
- the beginning of wearing the removable prosthesis;
- removing warts or condylomas with liquid nitrogen and the period right after it;
- first hours after using anaesthesia for teeth treatment.
All the situations mentioned above figure themselves out; medical help is not required.
Every tooth is connected to the thin nerve inside the periodontal tissue. They make the enamel sensitive to respond to hot and cold impact. The nerves are “hidden” in a special ditch, starting from the ear and running throughout the jaw. If this groove is affected or damaged, it may lead to unpleasant phenomena. If you have numb gums after eating, you should consult a doctor. Such a problem can be solved not only by a dentist but also by a therapist, a neurologist and even an infectious disease specialist. The treatment depends on the illness cause. It can be:
- The result of tooth extraction. Such a complication is typical for the eighth tooth and chewing molars, which have solid and long roots. They can grow in the wrong direction at an angle to the gum, erupt partially or grow into the nerve canal.
- Implantation with a metal pin. This method requires a small rod being screwed into the jaw. Heretofore, a patient is carefully examined; the place for an artificial tooth is selected with the help of x-rays. The distance or the depth estimated incorrectly increases the risk of damaging nerve endings.
- The death of the pulp’s soft tissue after suppuration or infection. This complication is followed by the appearance of a cyst on the root of the tooth, as well as acute and unbearable pain. Generally, this can be the result of untreated caries, pulpitis, periodontal disease, gingivitis, or periodontitis.
Trigeminal Nerve’s Injury
Numbness in gums does not always appear because of the state of the oral cavity or parts of dentition. A patient may feel numb gums and an unpleasant tremor with acute spasms even in the temple area. These symptoms are the signs of the damage caused to the facial nerve. The trigeminal nerve passes through the human head; it exits the temporal lobe and runs to the chin. Its thin axons penetrate the nose, the cheek and lie close to the inner ear. That’s why the injury of any part of this complex system brings the acute pain or complete loss of sensitivity on. The most vulnerable are the lowest vessels situated in the upper jaw passing through the teeth roots. This serious situation can result from several reasons:
- the damage done in the fight or by a hit, which leads to the fracture of a bone, falling or displacement of a tooth.
- nasopharyngeal diseases (tonsillitis, laryngitis, purulent tonsillitis or scarlet fever). Chronic sinusitis is often characterized by the complication. The sinuses are located so close to the upper teeth that germs and pus easily seep into the periodontium, triggering inflammation in the nerve canal.
- degenerative disc disorder, spine fracture, migraines, or poor blood circulation in soft tissues.
- severe neuroses and psychoses. Some patients suffer from a paresis of the jaw, with numb gums and lips and cramped tongue.
If a person has a damaged facial or trigeminal nerve, his cheek constantly creeps. The area with lost sensitivity may swell a little and redden. The inflammation is often recognized by mild aching. It increases with warming up because of blood rushing to the damaged segment.
It goes without saying that such a complication must be treated as soon as possible. The treatment fully depends on the primary disease and is focused on restoring sensitivity, as well as the ability to chew and smile. This is a long process, which consists of several stages. First of all, it is necessary to eliminate the infection or stop its development with the help of antibiotics, gels and ointments. Numb gums are also treated with medicines containing vitamin B and non-steroid drugs. They increase metabolic rate and reduce the tone in the mucosa. Doctors often recommend using mild sedatives or strong tranquilisers, depending on the severity of the condition. To increase the healing effect it is better undergo several courses of physiotherapy:
- laser therapy;
- diadynamic therapy;
- UHF therapy;
- electrophoresis, based on anti-inflammatory drugs.
Medical treatment can be combined with rinsing. Decoctions of herbs will be especially useful for numb gums after drinking alcohol when drugs are contraindicated. It is useful to rub tinctures made of propolis or calendula into inflamed mucous membrane or smear it with aloe juice and sage oil. Calming herbal tea from mint, thyme and motherwort reduces the tone.
If the numbness has been felt for a short period, such a complex approach will help to get its sensitivity back. It is important to remember that the nerve destruction will become irreversible in half a year, and even surgical measures will not be able to stop it.