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Abscess near wisdom tooth, pain and numbness, tingling feeling on the face. Are these related?

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Dentist, Prosthodontics
Practicing since : 1995
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I have a known abcess near my wisdom tooth causing exudate and pain. I now have numbness on the same side of my face, a 'tingling' feeling, from below my eye down into my neck. It ends midline at my chin, sensation is normal on my upper lip. I saw a oral surgeon today who doesnt think the numbness is related to the bad abcess. I need a second opinion!!
Posted Fri, 13 Apr 2012 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Ramesh B. Hegde 13 hours later
Thank you for posting your query.
Whether the numbness is being caused by the abscess or not will depend upon the size of the swelling. If the swelling is exerting pressure on the adjacent nerve, then there is possibility that the numbness is secondary to the swelling itself.
However, if the swelling is acute (recent in onset and small in size), then the chances of the numbness being due to the swelling are less.
If the abscess is secondary to an existing lesion like cyst, then there is possibility of numbness [which is called as Vincent's sign].
As I believe that more information can help a physician help a patient better, I would like to know whether the wisdom tooth is seen in the mouth or is it impacted.
An orthopantomograph [OPG] X-ray will help you to know the extent of the lesion and the possible consequences. If the numbness is due to an abscess, it should be relieved after a course of antibiotics. If it is secondary to an existing lesion, then it has to be treated accordingly. I would suggest that you consult your dentist for the same.
Since you probably are suffering from thoracic outlet syndrome, I would suggest that you see a neurologist if the numbness persists after the OPG x-ray and a course of antibiotics.
I sincerely wish you speedy relief. If you need any further clarifications, I would be happy to help you.
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