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Article: Volume 49 Number 1 Page 48 - January 2022

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  Dental Update 496: 48-50

Oral medicine:  The Numb Lip: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer First Presenting in the Head and Neck

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Abstract: Diagnosing the cause of paraesthesia can be challenging. A patient with an unremarkable medical history, non-smoker and no known allergies, presented with paraesthesia in the distribution of the mental nerve with no obvious dento-alveolar pathology. After further investigations the patient was found to have multiple brain metastases and a solitary mandibular deposit, with the primary site being an adenocarcinoma of the lung.

Clinical relevance: As dental professionals, knowledge of head and neck manifestations of systemic conditions is required if prompt diagnosis and treatment is to occur, which will subsequently improve patient health outcomes.

Author notes: Michael Daldry, BDS (Hons), BSc (Hons), MFDS (RCSEd part 1), Foundation Dentist, Dental Centre Bournemouth. Timothy Edwin Lloyd, BDS, MBBCh, FRCS, Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust, Truro. Grant Stewart, MBBS, MRCP, FRCR, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust, Truro. email:

Objective: To provide an awareness of the uncommon presentations of a common non-small cell lung cancer.