Home > Case Studies > I Had a Tooth Out and Lost My Sense of Taste: A Case Study

I Had a Tooth Out and Lost My Sense of Taste: A Case Study

By: Kathryn Senior PhD - Updated: 4 Jul 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Sense Of Taste Taste Tongue Dentist

When we use the phrase ‘lose our senses’ few of us really think about what it means. Dave certainly didn’t but, since and experience a few months ago after dental treatment, his sense of taste has become a bit of a preoccupation.

“At the beginning of last year I was having real trouble with my wisdom tooth on the bottom right and my dentist said it would be better to have it removed. It had a flap of skin over the tooth and it was always sore and annoyed me after I had eaten anything, so I agreed,” Dave explains. The tooth removal was very straightforward and needed only a local anaesthetic. The dentist had to put in 5 injections to produce the required level of numbness but, once that was done, the tooth extraction went smoothly.

Recovering from the Local Anaesthetic

“The dentist told me that he had used quite a bit of local anaesthetic and that it would take a few hours for the numbness to wear off. He advised me not to eat for at least 3 hours, in case I bit my tongue without realising it. I had the usual sensation of not being able to speak properly but I was fine and went home. Later, all the numbness had gone and I was hungry so I decided to make a quick meal and have a pepperoni pizza,” remembers Dave.

As he started to eat it, Dave realised that something wasn’t quite right. “I thought the pizza was really bland – it wasn’t the brand we usually buy, so I put it down to that,” he says. Over the next few days, Dave tried to explain his poor taste away but eventually said to his girlfriend that he thought something was wrong. “The following Friday we went out for a curry with some friends and, to test out my sense of taste, I tried a much hotter, spicier curry than I usually have. It was then that I started to get worried. I could feel the heat of the curry, but I couldn’t taste it at all on most of my tongue. There was just a strip down the left where I could still get some taste,” he adds.

Revisiting the Dentist

The following week, Dave went back to see his dentist who was quite concerned about what Dave had told him. “He did some tests over my tongue and then told me that one of the injections that he had used had probably come into contact with the nerve that carries messages of pain and taste from the tongue to the brain. This nerve needs to be acted on by the local anaesthetic to produce the numbness needed for the wisdom tooth extraction, but when the needle traumatises it, this can result in a long-term loss of sensation and/or taste,” Dave recalls.

The dentist explained that the nerve was probably not permanently damaged, but it was possible that his sense of taste would take a few months to return to normal. There was a slight chance that it would never recover, at least not to the same extent as before the tooth extraction.

Tasting Again

Dave was quite depressed at first, realising for the first time what it would mean to live without a sense of taste. “You just don’t realise how important it is. There is such pleasure in tasting foods of different kinds and drinks – it’s one of the things that makes life worth living!” he stresses. Fortunately, after three months, Dave noticed that some of his taste was returning and now, six months later, he is able to taste most of the foods that he used to enjoy perfectly normally. “The only difference is that some things I used to like still taste weird and other things I didn’t like taste good! My mum is pleased – I used to hate her lamb casserole but now I love it,” he laughs.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Thank you. I experienced the same thing and I was afraid there was really no hope for gaining my taste back. You gave me hope.
L0vablekim - 4-Jul-17 @ 6:15 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Olivia20
    Re: Stress and Losing Your Voice
    @Florenceb - I suffered myself with this as a child too and still do very occasionally - but I improved as I got older. It may be…
    6 October 2017
  • Florenceb
    Re: Stress and Losing Your Voice
    Ever since ayoung age I've lost my voice due to anxiety.l lose it even at school all the time more than 20 times a lesson, this…
    3 October 2017
  • ThroatProblems
    Re: Globus Pharyngeus
    Peter - Your Question:Just turned 80.Troublesome persistent throat clearing but no production. There is no pain, no soreness. Eating and…
    3 October 2017
  • Peter
    Re: Globus Pharyngeus
    Just turned 80.Troublesome persistent throat clearing but no production. There is no pain, no soreness. Eating and swallowing food is generally…
    2 October 2017
  • possette
    Re: What is Quinsy?
    I had my tonsils out many years ago. By the age of 24 I had had tonsil issues and quinsy around 5 times a yr each year from the age of 19...age 24…
    26 September 2017
  • Puccini :)
    Re: Can Shouting Damage the Vocal Cords?
    @lilwiz - give your voice a rest - that's the best thing if you've been shouting too much. Why are you shouting anyway?…
    22 September 2017
  • lilwiz
    Re: Can Shouting Damage the Vocal Cords?
    I do sing and as a result of shouting I lose my voice so what do I do?
    21 September 2017
  • Rose123
    Re: What is Quinsy?
    I think I may have quincy but I'm not sure. I have recurring tonsillitis but this time the pain is much worse you can't see my tonsil anymore it's…
    20 September 2017
  • Oso113
    Re: What is Quinsy?
    My daughter is really poorly with tonsillitis symptoms but she has had Quincy once before and had to be admitted. She has a large lump behind her…
    16 August 2017
  • Cookie
    Re: Can You Still Get Quinsy?
    I had a tonsillectomy at 17. I have had quinsy 4 times since. Twice ended up in hospital, the last two times my insistence (despite…
    13 August 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ThroatProblems website. Please read our Disclaimer.