If you have a dental infection, then you may experience a toothache, gum inflammation, a bad taste in your mouth, and even a fever. Sometimes, however, one or more of your cranial nerves can be affected by a dental infection, and because of this, you may need to make an appointment with a nervous system specialist. Here are some symptoms you may experience if your dental infection has caused inflammation or damage to one or more of your cranial nerves.
Facial Burning And Tingling
Severe dental infections, or abscesses, can cause inflammation of one of the cranial nerves known as the facial nerve. When this happens, you may develop burning, numbness, or tingling sensations on your forehead, cheek, and chin.
Facial nerve involvement from dental infections is usually caused by an infected tooth on the top row, however, infected bottom row teeth can also cause facial nerve inflammation. Once your dentist has treated your infection, facial nerve inflammation will subside, however, it may take weeks or months before your burning, tingling, and numbness sensations subside. The neurology specialist may suggest taking magnesium or vitamin B supplements because these two nutrients help repair nerve damage.
Loss Of Taste
If you have a dental abscess in one of your bottom teeth, then your glossopharyngeal nerve may have been damaged. When this happens, you may lose some or all of your sense of taste, experience increased drooling, and lose feeling on one side of your tongue.
Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to eliminate your infection. In severe cases where the nerve and pulp have been severely damaged, you may need to have your tooth extracted. Glossopharyngeal nerve damage can take years to heal, and in some cases, the damage may be permanent. Your neurologist specialist will perform a comprehensive physical examination, and if necessary, he or she may order further diagnostic tests such as an MRI.
If you develop severe pain in your mouth as a result of glossopharyngeal nerve damage, your neurologist may prescribe anti-seizure medications, which are typically effective in relieving neurological pain.
If you have a dental infection, see your dentist as soon as possible. When dental infections are recognized and treated early on, you are less likely to develop complications such as cranial nerve damage and tooth loss. Early intervention will also help prevent the spread of your dental infection to other areas of your body.
To learn more about cranial nerve abnormalities, contact a nervous system specialist in your area.