Article: Volume 46 Number 8 Page 775 - September 2019

  Dent Update 2019; 46: 775-789  Read article

Oral Diagnosis:  Lingual Nerve Neuropathy: More than Just Third Molar Surgery and Inferior Alveolar Nerve Blocks

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Abstract: Neuropathy of the lingual nerve, when it occurs, often results from third molar surgery, or the provision of inferior alveolar nerve blocks. Investigators have reported that the anatomical location and the unpredictable course of the lingual nerve play important roles in it being affected by these procedures. However, there are many other causes of neuropathy with which most medical and dental practitioners are unfamiliar. This article briefly reviews the course of the lingual nerve, and summarizes the causes and reports of all uncommon aetiologies of neuropathy that can occur along the path of a lingual nerve. The clinical implication and management of lingual nerve neuropathy is discussed.

Clinical relevance: The reader should appreciate the importance of accurately diagnosing lingual nerve neuropathy as it can manifest from many other dental procedures and non-dental causes, apart from routine mandibular third molar surgery and local anaesthetic injections.

Author notes: Wei Cheong Ngeow, BDS, FFD RCS(Ire), FDS RCS(Eng), MDSc, PhD(Sheff), FAMM, Lecturer, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Clinical Sciences (email: and Wen Lin Chai, BDS, FDS RCS(Eng), FDS RCS(Edin), MDSc, PhD(Sheff), AM, Lecturer, Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Objective: To summarize the causes and reports of all uncommon aetiologies of neuropathy that can occur along the path of a lingual nerve. Enhanced CPD DO C


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