Oral surgery performed by a dentist can remove wisdom teeth coming in at a bad angle or place a crown on a cracked tooth. Surgeries may require full anesthesia or just a local numbing agent. They often occur right at the dentist’s professional offices. Ideally, oral surgery will improve someone’s health by addressing oral pain and improving the overall structure of their teeth. Unfortunately, sometimes people discover that something went wrong with their surgery after the initial medication wears off.
People may experience a host of different challenges if they suffer an oral nerve injury during dental surgery. For example, there are some dietary and nutritional challenges related to the sense of taste that can affect people’s health following oral nerve damage caused by dental procedures. What are the two main taste-related consequences of oral nerve damage?
Loss of nerve function
Some people will experience a loss of taste function after an oral nerve injury. Loss of function in the bitterness section of the tongue toward the back is one of the more commonly-reported symptoms from certain types of nerve trauma. In general, other parts of the tongue will typically adapt to make up for a loss of sensation in one area due to traumatic nerve damage. However, people’s overall sense of taste may shift after nerve damage that disrupts sensation, which may make it difficult for them to maintain healthy eating habits as they may find themselves averse to certain nutritious foods.
Phantom taste sensations
The nerve damage can sometimes result in the creation of sensation information that is inaccurate. People may experience a taste without any physical stimuli present to create that taste, which can potentially lead to them over-consuming certain foods or drinks in some cases to drown out or correct those unpleasant or unexpected taste experiences. Phantom taste can cause numerous different challenges, including weight gain in some cases.
Oftentimes, oral nerve damage after dental surgery is temporary and only lasts for a few weeks. However, if it proves permanent, people may experience ongoing medical challenges and a diminished quality of life because of the injury they have suffered. Pursuing a dental malpractice claim is a reasonable response to incurring an oral nerve injury after a dental procedure.