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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Tongue goes numb when i get chilled. Normal in warm. Is there any proper treatment?

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Dr. Aparna Kohli

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 983 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 8 Jan 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: numb tongue when I get chilled. When I get warm the feeling comes back. I have not had any dental work done. This has been going on for a long time, as I get older it seems to get worse. I have to keep my heat in the house at least 78 degrees to prevent the numbness. I have told my Dr. and her answer was I have never heard of this. I can't find it on the internet either. Hope someone can give me a clue. I am 71 weigh 110 lbs. do not go out in the cold for this reason.
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Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 1 hour later
Hi,
Thanks for writing to us,
Numbness when you get cold is due to the inhibition of a special type of nerve fibres which respond to both heat and pain (strong touch)
Nerve function deteriorates when you grow older.
Secondly, if your tongue was truly numb, you would keep getting burns in your mouth (like ulcers )all the time ( because you cant sense how warm the food is) especially when its cold. Does that happen?
If it does, we can do a formal clinical exam where the nerves supplying this entire area can be tested. We can then find out whats really the problem
Hope that helps
Let me know if you have any more questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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