Mental nerve neuropathy following dental extraction

Foad Elahi, Nicholas Manolitsis, Yatish S. Ranganath, Chandan Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Mental nerve neuropathy (MNN), colloquially referred to as numb chin syndrome, is an uncommon neurologic condition that may arise secondary to multiple local and systemic etiologies, and may mimic other pain conditions affecting the mandible. Early recognition of mental nerve neuropathy in conjunction with accurate etiologic identification is crucial, as early pain management may prevent the transition from an acute to a chronic pain condition. In this article, we will describe the clinical courses of 2 patients who presented to the pain clinic with chronic painful numbness in the mental nerve sensory distribution following dental extraction. After a period of failed conservative medical management and repetitive successful nerve blocks at the mental foramen, we decided to proceed with radiofrequency nerve ablation. In both cases, performance of radiofrequency nerve ablation demonstrated a significant decrease in pain. Within interventional pain medicine, nerve blocks are often utilized to assist with pain generator identification, and resultantly also play an integral role in treatment planning. For instance, nerve blocks are often utilized to establish accurate identification of nerve tissue viability, a preliminary role essential for the determination of whether to proceed with an ablative peripheral nerve procedure. In this article, we will additionally review these important usages of nerve blocks within interventional pain medicine. The objective of our article is to help clinicians identify and properly manage early stage mental nerve neuropathy. Moreover, we aim to advance general medical knowledge of this important pain medicine topic. During the process of preparing this article we reviewed all existing pertinent medical literature related to MNN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E375-E380
JournalPain Physician
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Chronic pain
  • Mental nerve
  • Nerve ablation
  • Neuropathy
  • Radiofrequency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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