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Lingual Nerve Damage

Brrr … its cold outside this morning but I had a chiropractor appointment so I forced myself out of my warm bed. Looking outside, the leaves still look a little wet from the recent rain we’ve received. Rain that, unfortunately, will still not get us out of the drought we’re in.

I enjoy going to see my chiropractor. He was referred to me by a masseuse that I go to every now and then. I trust her and her healing hands truly help me with my stiff neck. Just recently I asked her if she knew of a chiropractor that might work with lingual nerve damage and she said she knew of one who worked with laser treatment on nerves that might be able to help.

That’s how I found my chiropractor. He was a good listener from day one and suggested that the laser treatment he uses just might help as it helps with other nerve problems.

Initially I went to see him twice a week. The first laser treatment I received made me believe I was definitely going to be healed of this lingering problem (caused by a dentist trying to numb my mouth during a root canal).

The laser they use is an Avicenna laser. It is supposed to help in stimulating deep tissue healing. Although the chiropractor had never tried it with lingual nerve damage he was optimistic enough for me to say “let’s try it.”

Almost 6 weeks later I can say that I have definitely noticed a difference on the left side of my mouth. My tongue doesn’t have a continual burning or discomfort/pain most days. The laser treatment I receive is very simple. They point the laser on my face where the lingual nerve connects to the rest of the mouth and for 10 minutes they move the laser back and forth. After 10 minutes, I open my mouth and they point the laser inside my mouth towards the lingual nerve and work that area for another 5 minutes.

I’ve read other blogs of people who have this problem and no one has yet suggested this remedy. I was on the verge of going to see my oral facial surgeon to see if there was anything that can be done. From internet reading, the lingual nerve “might” heal itself in 2 months or 20 years. That’s a LOT of time to be in pain and I’m already at 1 year and 7 months.

I am thankful that I can try this FDA approved laser treatment and hope that it will speed up the healing of my lingual nerve sooner rather than later. It certainly seems like I’m well on my way.

I’m not sure if this is covered by insurance though as my insurance doesn’t cover chiropractic visits so I pay out of pocket and reimburse myself through the Health Savings Plan.

Has anyone else tried this kind of therapy for lingual nerve damage? I’d be interested in hearing from you.

Update: March 22, 2013

The laser therapy had worked very well and my lingual nerve problems had completely gone away by the beginning of 2013. Because I had also had problems with TMJ, the chiropractor referred me to a dentist he knew so I could have a proper mouth guard made. TMJ, according to the chiropractor, can exacerbate the lingual nerve.

However, when I became sick with bronchitis in February, the lingual nerve started acting up again. I will be heading back to the chiropractor next week.

The chiropractor had also explained that inflammation in the body can prevent the lingual nerve from healing so I should be careful with what I ate and he recommended removing sugar (except for occasional honey and pure maple syrup), gluten and dairy from my diet. At first, I was hesitant to do this because I didn’t think my husband would go along with it.

When my son came to visit in December, he decided he wanted to cook for us and in January started us on a paleolithic diet which is gluten free, dairy free (except for eggs) and sugar free. Funny how life has worked things out.

I believe that the lingual nerve is better because of the diet, i.e. it’s not as bad during this recurrence as it was initially when it first started.

So I’m hoping that this is a minor setback for me as it took almost four weeks for me to recuperate from the bronchitis which is a big inflammation causer.



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  1. Roy

    I had lingual anesthetic injection related nerve damage 6 weeks ago and have had a 50% numb tongue. I had laser therapy yesterday to the nerve and injection site and had immediate benefit that has me almost back to normal 36 hrs later. My new dentist is a fellow with the American Academy of Oralfacial Pain and is my new friend and a hero!

  2. Carol


    I’ve had LNI for almost 3 yrs. and have gone throute with medications, acupuncture, nerve blocks, etc. I recently went to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville and now have a Dr. who would potentially like to pursue LLLT.

    Can you tell me where you live and possibly the name and phone number of your chiropractor? I’m way past desparate and this sounds so promising!

  3. Norma

    Hi Carol. So sorry you are having problems.

    The name of the facility where I was treated by Dr. Chad Beiler, a chiropractor, is MN Spine & Sport. Their number is 651-459-3171.

    They will be most happy to share the treatment they have to help with lingual nerve damage.

    Keep me posted on how you’re doing.

  4. Sean

    Hi Norma, i know this is an old post of yours but if you see my comment i’d really appreciate your help!

    I have lingual nerve damage which affects the right side of my tongue, i get pain and burning just like you had. I also got it the same way (dentist hit nerve when injecting me). I’ve had it for over 2 months now, so if it’s still there in a couple more months i’ll give this laser therapy a go… So can i ask how long it took to completely recover once treatment started? How many sessions you had? And i see it came back after you caught bronchitis, did the pain/burning fully go again? Hope so!

    BTW i also have TMJ (we’ve a lot in common lol) and apparently the same laser therapy has been effective at relieving TMJ pain.

    • Norma

      Hi! I’m sorry about your lingual nerve problems. I still have occasional discomfort with the lingual nerve but it’s not painful anymore. More like a slight irritation every now and again. I could go back to get more treatments but I’m finding that every day I get a little tad better so I’m going to allow my body to heal itself.

      There are some things that do irritate the lingual nerve area for me — sugar mainly. On the occasions when I “treat” myself to something sweet, the lingual nerve seems more irritated. And some nuts like pistachios.

      Please keep me updated on how you’re doing. The name of the chiropractor I went to is listed in a comment above in case your doctor needs additional input.

      (TMJ and lingual nerve — probably two things we don’t want to have in common. lol )

      • Sean

        Thanks for the help!! πŸ™‚ So heres an update…

        My lingual nerve has improved, i no longer get any pain/burning! It seems to be improving reasonably fast compared to yours, which i think MIGHT be due to the vitamin supplements i’ve been taking… So i wanted to let you know incase you’d like to give it a try.

        Around 10-ish weeks ago i started taking vitamin B1, B6, B12 and Omega 3 supplements once a day, after reading medical trials that showed these vitamins can help heal nerve damage quite significantly faster, with better results (and being as they’re just vitamins i thought why not give it a go)… And they seem to have helped. Now my tongue is nearly better, it just feels slightly tingly/uncomfortable in a small area, and the feeling in it has fully returned. So i’m happy lol! You can also get “B complex” supplements which contain all those B vitamins in one pill, but i wouldn’t recommend them as they contain such a small amount of each vitamin that it likely wont do anything.

        Oh and i found that sugar doesn’t really have any affect on me. But on bad TMJ days it will irritate the lingual nerve, but even then it no longer hurts anymore. Hope you’re doing ok and thanks again!

        • Norma

          Hi Sean! So glad you came back and gave us an update on your progress. It doesn’t sound like you had to have the laser therapy done. That’s wonderful (saves on time and money).

          I’m not much of a pill taker. We get plenty of Omega 3 in our diets though. If my lingual nerve was as bad as it was when all this first started then I’m sure I’d be desperate enough to try anything, but right now, it’s doing pretty good with just occasional minor flare-ups.

          I hope you continue on an upward trend to total health! Peace!

  5. ruthie

    Thank you for this information. I just had a wisdom removed and the tip of my right side of my tongue is numb and tingles and feels burnt. Apparent damage to my lingual nerve. If it doesn’t go away in the next 2mos (omg that sounds like an eternity) I will definitely try laser treatments. Thank you for posting updates bc all you read on this subject is
    very depressing..

    • Norma

      You’re right that most of what you read re lingual nerve is depressing. I probably read the same information but wanted to think “outside the box.” I’m glad I was able to find a chiropractor that uses the laser treatments for it. It is painless and may take a few times for it to make a difference ~ it all depends on the person and how the lingual nerve was damaged.

      I hope it goes away by itself but if not at least you know there’s something ~ outside of surgery ~ that worked for someone. Hang in there!

      • Ruthie

        Thank you Norma. I am almost 1 mo into this injury and its effects have really been hard on me. Your insights have really been so helpful. No one that hasn’t suffered with this understands the magnitude of pain and emotional trauma that it brings. I have a decent pain tolerance, but this is on a whole other level with its naggy, tingly, and burning effects.
        I have an appt with an Oral Surgeon Oct 7th, who specializes in LNI. Did you see one first before pursuing other options? I have Trismus which is another effect from the anesthetic, which seems to be making some progress, wonder if that is linked with the nerve, or just the muscle in my jaw? Anyway, please give me your best advice on who I should see first. All of this will be out of my pocket, and the Oral Surgeon is pricey. How can I find out what Chiros, have that laser? PS Sean, in case you read this what milligrams of the B’s did you use, what brand? I take them, as well, but can’t tell if anything is changing. Some days are ok, others are painful. It does seem to burn less than it intially did. thanks

        • Norma

          Hi Ruthie,

          I would start calling chiropractors in your area to see if they have the Avicenna laser in their office or if they’ve even heard of it. Some of them have it but don’t know how to use it for the lingual nerve. Feel free to give them my chiropractor’s number and he can help explain what he did. Here’s the info: Dr. Chad Beiler at the MN Spine & Sport. His number is 651-459-3171.

          Certainly continue to your appointment with the Oral Surgeon to see what his prognosis is. But search the internet (and ask the OS) about any possible side effects of having surgery. Surgery a big leap to take at this point and from what I read before, most people give it more time to subside before having surgery. You are your best gauge for how much pain you can stand though so trust yourself.

          And ~ try to change your diet so you don’t eat any sweets or anything that can cause inflammation. I also found that wearing a mouth guard helped me although I’m not sure why. No one has been able to explain that one to me. Perhaps it’s the setting of the jaw in a particular place that helps the nerves (???). A guess on my part. There are some over the counter ones you can get that might be helpful but a dentist could fit you with one also.

          A warm (or sometimes cold) compress on that side of your mouth may also help.

          I am not a doctor so can only tell you of things that provided some relief for me.

          The tingly-ness on my tongue is gone but occasionally I still get a strange sensation around my upper teeth that is irritating ~ kind’ve like gritty. My diet seems to play an important part in getting rid of it.

          I pray that you will have relief soon. It took me way too long to find someone who could even help.

          If you don’t mind, please keep me apprised of how you’re doing. You can email me directly if you wish.

          Peace to your heart and good health to your body ~

  6. Ruthie

    Hi Norma,
    I just called your Chiro’s office and they are so nice. The woman I spoke to (Dr Beiler was at lunch). She knew you by your first name. She said he would email me details of the laser used on your lingual nerve, so I can find the appropriate Laser/doctor here in Southern California. Thank you for your kind words, advice and I covet your prayers. I called a couple places with the Avicenna laser here in SD, and have not heard back.
    I will email you with more detailed info when I have a moment, and I will post any developments in case someone else is looking for information in my area. I hope and pray I will have good news to report.

    • Norma

      The chiropractor’s office I go to has wonderful customer service. I hope you are able to find someone who has the laser. Be patient though (if you can) with this. Try different things. From my internet reading, it appears most people’s lingual nerves heal themselves but it takes time. Unfortunately when we’re in pain we don’t want to wait.

      I will keep you in my prayers Ruthie. Looking forward to hearing from you again with good news.

  7. ruthie

    Hi Norma
    I’ve wanted to reply; but I have been trying to focus on work. The tongue has been a large distraction to my focus but last week was definitely better. I am 4 laser treatments in and I do see an improvement. It has quelled the burning a lot. The last two treatments have seemed to increase the tingle though, so maybe the laser is up too high. Thank you for the encouragement. It seems you always say something when I am so despondent to renew my hope. Psalms and the book of James have sustained me. Tuesday I see

    • Norma

      Hi Ruthie,

      I’m glad you were able to find someone who could give you laser treatments. That’s a huge obstacle you’ve overcome. It is possible that the laser may be up too high as you believe, so discuss your concern with them and I’m sure they can bring it down for you.

      I know you’re hoping for a quick recovery but it may take more than 2 months for you to get total relief. I don’t want to discourage you but I had mine awhile and it still flares up every now and again just not as bad. I’m thankful that I am “almost” normal.

      Make sure you ask lots of questions of the Oral Surgeon. If it’s at all possible, I would recommend you hang on as long as you can without any surgery and allow your body to go through its own healing process. Having said that, I am not a doctor and I don’t feel your pain so you must do what is best for you.

      Commit your situation into God’s hands Ruthie. He will guide you into what you should do.

      “Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.” Psalm 31:5 (Psalms is one of favorite books also.)

  8. ruthie

    The Oral Surgeon for his opinion. I pray he will have wise insight. His consult is pricey. And although I seem anxious to have this behind me, it’s going on 2mos now and I am no closer to accepting this as a permanent fate.

  9. green brother

    hi norma …i had my wisdom tooth removed 14 years ago …though 2012 i had major burning for another two years ….now almost 2015 the burning is mostly gone …i did spirulina tablets 8 a day …lithium orotate 20mgs away st johns wort 20 mgs a day also alpha lipoic …i still have that weird feeling but its gotten better ,

    • Norma

      It’s good to know that there are non surgical ways that we can use for healing our bodies. Unfortunately, they don’t work for everyone but I am glad they worked for you.

      Thanks for sharing your story as it may help others who have similar problems.

      • ruthie

        Hi Norma,
        It’s been a while, hope you are well. Happy Thanksgiving. I didn’t go back to the Oral Surgeon and thus decided to let it heal and hope for the best. Timing for surgery is important and the longer you wait the less likely you will see any result. I would have to do it before the 6mo mark and I really didn’t trust the Dr and his office staff were a bunch of buffoons. I have gone 2wks without any treatment(laser and acupuncture) and for the first week

        • ruthie

          I felt good and only moderate numb/tingle. This last week the numb feeling increased with nothing dramatically different to my diet/lifestyle. Most foods including sugar do not increase the tingle but I am mindful to add and subtract any possible agitators. I added an amazing vegetable powder (oracle energy greens) to my diet and I see a difference in my overall health but not the nerve.

          • ruthie

            So, if anyone has had a decrease in numbness and can link it to some herb, or supplement I haven’t tried please advise (beyond vitamin B and C which I faithfully take.)

          • Norma

            Hi Ruthie,

            I can’t help you with suggestions regarding vitamins as I’ve never tried them to help the lingual nerve. Have you also tried hot/cold packs on the side of your mouth near the lingual nerve? I was told that the area needs to be “stimulated” and it did help me in the past. Haven’t needed to do it in awhile.

            I’m so glad to hear that you are experiencing some relief. Yay!

  10. ruthie

    Thanks Norma. I will try that compress. I haven’t used one in a while. The worst part of this injury is not knowing if it’s going to be permanent or not. I suppose I wouldn’t want to believe it if someone told me it was permanent but it would be an answer. The data on these issues is all over the map. My numb tongue is manageable today and a lot better than a few days ago. Take care.

    • Norma

      The body has an extraordinary way of healing itself most times. Not knowing IF and when that might happen can be frustrating but since you have experienced some relief, I believe it’s possible you’ll have more healing. Keep on plugging away with the little things you’re doing Ruthie. One day you may wake up and go through a full day of not even knowing you have a problem. You may get the occasional flare-ups (like I do) but not as extreme as the onset and quite manageable.

      I am really glad to hear you’re having better days.

      • Zay

        Hi Norma, It’s been ages since your nerve damage. I’ve been going through the same stuff for 18 months now. I wondered if your tongue is back to normal now? any advice would be appreciated? Thank you

        • Norma

          Hello Zay,

          Thanks for posting! My lingual nerve damage is not yet “normal” although I’d say it’s 90-95% better. I have to make sure I stay hydrated as a dry mouth tends to irritate it. And, as I’ve mentioned in another comment, sugar will continue to exacerbate the problem.

          Overall though, I’m feeling great about the progress and most days I don’t notice it.

          Has your problem gotten even a little better since it started? Previous posters recommend specific vitamins but I’ve never tried that so can’t comment on if it works or not.

          Hope you are getting better even if it’s slowly.

          • Zay

            Hi Norma, thanks for your reply. I cannot comment on my tongue getting better or worse, as every time it changes and every time I’ve got a different nerve pain. The burning gets worse when I have a hot drink or food. The pins and pain in my tongue have started to affect my speech. I feel as if there was something stuck in the left side of my tongue that prevents me from speaking comfortably. God bless.

            Best wishes

          • Norma

            How frustrating it must be for you Zay.

            Have you tried warm or cold compresses against your face on the side of your mouth that is bothering you?

            May I ask if they filled a cavity during the time your nerve pain started? I also had a root canal done and instead of making a crown for it the dentist used a composite filling so I have a constant sensation on that side of the mouth because the filling has metal in it that is interfering with something.

            My insurance will only pay to replace the filling after 5 years so I have to wait until next year to have a crown put in. The chiropractor I went to see that helped with the nerve damage told me he had a filling put in once and because of the metal in it he noticed immediately that it was a problem and went back and had it re-done. My dentist would not do that for me.

            Between the nerve damage and the composite filling, it was hard for me to know what was bothering me.

            I did have a mouth guard made and find that when I wear it, the metal-like sensation I have that bothers me goes away.

            Please keep in touch and let me know if anything helps.

          • Zay

            Hi Norma, my story is completely different from all stories in this blog. It only happens in fiction. It was my fate to have a simple dental work (tooth filling) and get my dentist injecting the local in the wrong place in my jaw and nicking my blood vessels. This has caused me myofacial pain and nerve pain in my face, head, and other parts in my body and TMD. Then another dentist misdiagnosed this issue and said it was my wisdom tooth. So I got my wisdom tooth extracted surgically and the dentist damaged my lingual nerve, as well. The story hasn’t finished. you wouldn’t want to hear it……so frustrating. By the way I’m an international student in the UK and have had all this happened to me in the UK. God bless.
            Please don’t feel sorry for me. I just liked to write some parts of my story so that other patients feel better when they read it.
            I have faith in God, and I’m sure there will be an end to my suffering one day.
            β€˜β€˜But it may be that you dislike something while it is good for you, and it may be that you like something while it is bad for you. God knows, and you do not know.’’ (Quran, 2: 216). β€˜β€˜With hardship comes ease. With hardship comes ease.’’ (Quran, 94: 5-6). β€˜β€˜God will bring ease after hardship.’’ (Quran, 65: 7). β€˜β€˜And whoever fears God-He will make a way out for him. And will provide for him from where he never expected. Whoever relies on God-He will suffice him.’’ (Quran, 65: 2-3).

          • Norma

            Thanks for the additional information Zay. I’m sure it will help someone out there.

            I’m glad to hear you have faith in God ~ no matter our circumstances He is ever faithful.

            The best to you on this journey in your life.

  11. Nancy Weiss

    I had a deep cleaning done in September, and came away with a lingual nerve injury. Over the course of the last few months, the problems of numbness and tingling have improved somewhat (I think), but I’ve also developed a bitter taste in my mouth. Does anyone know anything about this?

    • Norma

      I haven’t heard of a bitter taste with lingual nerve and/or a deep cleaning. Did they replace any fillings at the time? I have heard that different types of fillings “collide” in the mouth and can give a metallic taste.

      I hope it goes away soon.

  12. pris

    Hi Norma I am going through the thing you experienced:( I was wondering if you could email me or I email you, I had some questions on this situation.

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