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Would permanent lower lip numbness be the end of my playing?

Hey

In removing wisdom teeth, there is about 1% chance of lower lip nerve damage, and 50% of the time nerve damage happens, it will be permanent. Mine are up for removal, if worst case scenario happens, would this mean the end for my sax playing? Its only the feeling in lower lip that would be gone, u would still have full control of the lip. Its probably not many who have experienced this, but what would u guys with a little experience think? Chet Baker managed to train himself back.
 

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Hey!

No experince with permament numbness but here is the other side of the coin: your wisdom teeth staying could damage your other teeth over the years and could even make you loose them. Playing with a denture does seem like an adjustment, too.

Also, may I ask were this statistic comes from? It seems awfully high.

And I hope this makes you feel better: after my wisdom teeth were removed and I could play a bit within 2 days. Unless your wisdom teeth grew in an unusual way, this is a routine procedure but if you are afraid and/or do not trust your doctor, ask for a second opinion.
 

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I had a couple of implants in the lower molars and the dentist/oral surgeon was very careful to avoid the nerve, knowing I was a sax player. In my case the extra care was needed because I have a 'shallow' jawbone. A deeper jawbone most likely won't be affected by eyeteeth removal but they have to tell you of the possibility. But to the question, if you've ever had Novacaine and tried to play with a numb lip, you would know that it just ain't happening. I had temporary numbing from my procedure in the RH corner of the lower lip - I say temporary although it lasted for years before the nerve mended, and this was considered a very minor effect. It never stopped me from playing or changed anything as far as I remember.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I had a couple of implants in the lower molars and the dentist/oral surgeon was very careful to avoid the nerve, knowing I was a sax player. In my case the extra care was needed because I have a 'shallow' jawbone. A deeper jawbone most likely won't be affected by eyeteeth removal but they have to tell you of the possibility. But to the question, if you've ever had Novacaine and tried to play with a numb lip, you would know that it just ain't happening. I had temporary numbing from my procedure in the RH corner of the lower lip - I say temporary although it lasted for years before the nerve mended, and this was considered a very minor effect. It never stopped me from playing or changed anything as far as I remember.
So you played normally with a numbed lip? And with numbed I mean u just lost feeling, but still had full physical control of the lip
 

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Hey!

No experince with permament numbness but here is the other side of the coin: your wisdom teeth staying could damage your other teeth over the years and could even make you loose them. Playing with a denture does seem like an adjustment, too.

Also, may I ask were this statistic comes from? It seems awfully high.
I lost my first wisdom tooth when I was 60, and I know it is fashionable to remove them at a younger age, especially when they are already compromised when they come out. But if the teeth are ok, then there is no reason to do that other than possibly a few teeth less to brush. And the only reason I lost one (still have 3) was negligence by the dentist.

As to the nerve damage, that is a known risk factor, and was the reason my dentist opted out of pulling the tooth and instead referred me to an oral surgeon specializing in wisdom tooth extraction. The entire procedure took maybe 15 min with minimal numbness and 0 side / after effects.

In other words, if the dentist thinks that there is a risk involved, then this is not something you want him to do and you should ask for a referral to somebody who knows how to do the job. In that case, the risk will be almost negligent.
 

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So you played normally with a numbed lip? And with numbed I mean u just lost feeling, but still had full physical control of the lip
No, sensation was only lost at one spot and I had full sensation and control in my embouchure - I was lucky.
 

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It would not surprise me if most people could adjust over time to a numb lip. Our brains and muscles can compensate for a lot of things.
 

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It would not surprise me if most people could adjust over time to a numb lip. Our brains and muscles can compensate for a lot of things.
I would too believe this, since there is no weakness in the lip. You just do this what u normally do when u play, and let the sound guide you
 

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No, sensation was only lost at one spot and I had full sensation and control in my embouchure - I was lucky.
And, even if there is more severe damage, those are peripheral nerves that will regenerate over time. It may take a few months but it will happen. I had a sensory nerve cut in my left leg when I was 18 and the outside of my calf was completely numb but over the years, the feeling came back - but it took years.
 

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I had wisdom teeth out at age 17. I was very explicit to the oral surgeon before hand about my saxophone and flute playing. He told me he would be extra careful of the nerves, and I had zero issues. I would recommend you have this discussion beforehand.
 
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