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January 28, 2003

Aches and Pains

Question from :

I was recently diagnosed with type�2 controlled with diet only. I have a burning sensation on my tongue and gums, for about two days my teeth hurt! My lips also have numbness at times. It is particularly noticeable in the middle of the night and about one hour after meals. My doctor and clinic do not seem to connect to my diabetes but only because they do not seem to have come across it before! Does neuropathy affect the tongue? Have you ever come across this problem before?

Answer:

I am not sure what the symptoms are. The reason is, the tongue has sensory supplies from both the right and left cranial nerves. Is the whole tongue numb? Half the tongue numb? There can be parethesias in the tongue that can come from nerve entrapment syndromes, like trigeminal neuralgia, tumors can invade the nerves causing paresthesias, but these would be unlikely to cause a short term neuropathy. It is possible this could be an early zoster complaint, where a dermatome from a sensory nerve is affected. People with diabetes are more prone to viral neuropathies, like Bell’s palsy I would suggest you get checked out by any/or all of the following:

your regular medical doctor
otolaryngologist (ear nose and throat) physician
neurologist
an oral surgeon/dentist

PSL