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Concept: Lingual nerve


The aim of this study was to identify the relative risk of damage to the inferior dental (ID) and lingual nerves in patients undergoing lower third molar removal.

Concepts: Teeth, Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Tongue, Lingual nerve, Inferior alveolar nerve, Wisdom teeth


Trigeminal nerve injury is the most problematic consequence of dental surgical procedures with major medico-legal implications. This study reports the signs and symptoms that are the features of trigeminal nerve injuries caused by mandibular third molar (M3M) surgery. 120 patients with nerve injury following M3M surgery were assessed. All data were analysed using the SPSS statistical programme and Microsoft Excel. 53 (44.2%) inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) injury cases and 67 (55.8%) lingual nerve injury (LNI) cases were caused by third molar surgery (TMS). Neuropathy was demonstrable in all patients with varying degrees of paraesthesia, dysaesthesia (in the form of burning pain), allodynia and hyperalgesia. Pain was one of the presenting signs and symptoms in 70% of all cases. Significantly more females had IAN injuries and LNIs (p<0.05). The mean ages of the two groups of patients were similar. Speech and eating were significantly more problematic for patients with LNIs. In conclusion, chronic pain is often a symptom after TMS-related nerve injury, resulting in significant functional problems. Better dissemination of good practice in TMS will significantly minimize these complex nerve injuries and prevent unnecessary suffering.

Concepts: Surgery, Symptom, Pain, Cranial nerves, Mandibular nerve, Trigeminal nerve, Lingual nerve, Inferior alveolar nerve



Our objective was to investigate the pathway of the lingual nerve and find out whether it can be identified using ultrasonography (US) intraorally. It is a dominant sensory nerve that branches from the posterior division of the mandibular aspect of the trigeminal nerve, and is one of the two most injured nerves during oral surgery. Its anatomy in the region of the third molar has been associated with lingual nerves of variable morphology. If surgeons can identify its precise location using US, morbidity should decrease. We searched published anatomical and specialty texts, journals, and websites for reference to its site and US. Cadavers (28 nerves) were dissected to analyse its orientation at the superior lingual alveolar crest (or lingual shelf). Volunteers (140 nerves) had US scans to identify the nerve intraorally. Our search of published books and journals found that descriptions of the nerve along the superior lingual alveolar crest were inadequate. We found no US studies of the nerve in humans. Dissections showed that the nerve was above (n=6, 21%) and below (n=22, 79%) the crest of the lingual plate. US scans showed 140 lingual nerves intraorally in 70 volunteers. The nerve lay either above or below the superior lingual alveolar crest, which led us to develop a high/low classification system. US can identify the lingual nerve and help to classify it preoperatively to avoid injury. Our results suggest that clinical anatomy of the lingual nerve includes the superior lingual alveolar crest at the third and second molars because of its surgical importance. US scans can successfully identify the nerve intraorally preoperatively.

Concepts: Neuroanatomy, Cranial nerves, Anatomy, Mandibular nerve, Tongue, Trigeminal nerve, Dissection, Lingual nerve


OBJECTIVE: To compare lingual and buccal mucosa graft urethroplasty for anterior urethral stricture with respect to intraoperative, postoperative parameters and urethroplasty outcome. METHODS: From January 2011 to December 2011, a total of 30 patients with anterior urethral stricture whereas group 2 underwent dorsal onlay buccal mucosa graft urethroplasty. Patients were evaluated for postoperative, tongue protrusion, oral opening, and difficulty in speech and swallowing pain score. Surgical outcome was evaluated with pre- and postoperative work-up involving retrograde urethrogram, uroflow and urethroscopy. RESULTS: Mean age, stricture length and overall pain score were comparable in two groups. All the patients were mostly pain free by postoperative day 7. Group 1 patients had significant difficulty in speech and delayed return to normal diet as compared with group 2. The group 2 patients had a significant reduction in oral opening for the first week after surgery. In group 1, approximately 20% patients (with bilateral lingual grafts and stricture length >7 cm) complained of a change in speech character with restricted tongue movement in the long term, whereas there was no significant long-term morbidity in group 2. At mean follow up of 14.5 months, urethroplasty outcome was comparable in the two groups with one failure in group 1, and two failures in group 2. CONCLUSION: Lingual mucosa graft urethroplasty provides outcomes equivalent to those of buccal mucosa graft urethroplasty. Postoperative morbidity and long-term change in speech make it a second choice for strictures >7 cm, only for cases where buccal mucosa graft is unavailable.

Concepts: Mouth, Term, Urethral stricture, Tongue, Lingual nerve, Buccal mucosa, Urethroplasty


Our aim was to explore the relation between the site of the mandibular canal and neurosensory impairment after extraction of impacted mandibular third molars. We organised a retrospective study of 537 extractions in 318 patients in which the affected tooth was intersected by the mandibular canal. This was verified by cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), and we analysed the relation between the site of the canal and the likelihood of injury to the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) after extraction of the third molar. The relation between the position of the root of the tooth and the mandibular canal was categorised into 4 groups: I=root above the canal; II=on the buccal side; III=on the lingual side; and IV=between the roots. The overall rate of neurosensory impairment after extraction was 6% (33/537). It occurred in 9/272 patients (3%) in group 1, 16/86 (19%) in group II, and in 8/172 (5%) in group III. There was no neurosensory impairment in group IV where the canal was between the roots. There were significant differences between group II and groups I and III (p<0.01), but not between groups I and III (p=0.32). The risk of damage to the inferior alveolar nerve is increased if third molars intersect with the mandibular canal, particularly on its buccal side.

Concepts: Teeth, Molar, Mandibular nerve, Lingual nerve, Inferior alveolar nerve, Inferior alveolar artery, Mandibular canal, Mandibular third molar


The purpose of the study was to quantify tongue protrusion force and compare its characteristics between participants with severely weak tongues and those with normal lingual strength. The sample consisted of 11 participants with severe lingual strength deficits and 11 age- and sex-matched participants with normal lingual strength. Tongue force was evaluated quantitatively using the Forling instrument, and the average force, maximum force, average force application rate, and area under the graphic curve were analysed. These parameters were compared between the groups. In the participants with severely weak tongues, the average and the maximum forces in N (Newton) were 2.03 ± 1.17 and 3.56 ± 1.77, respectively. The average force application rate in N/s (Newton per second) was 1.25 and the area under the graphic curve in Ns (Newton times second) was 18.6. The values of the participants with normal lingual strength were, respectively, 13.27 ± 6.15 N, 18.91 ± 7.95 N, 10.46 N/s, and 108.08 Ns. All parameters analysed differed significantly between the groups. The data collected could aid speech-language pathologists in diagnosing problems related to tongue force.

Concepts: Mass, Force, Classical mechanics, Tongue, Lingual nerve, Tensile stress, Newton


Ankyloglossia is a congenital condition characterized by an abnormally short, thickened, or tight lingual frenulum that restricts tongue mobility. The objective of this study was to systematically review literature on surgical and nonsurgical treatments for infants with ankyloglossia.

Concepts: Systematic review, Mouth, Congenital disorder, Tongue, Lingual nerve, Frenuloplasty


To prospectively evaluate the longitudinal subjective and objective outcomes of the microsurgical treatment of lingual nerve (LN) and inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) injury after third molar surgery.

Concepts: Surgery, Objective pronoun, Case series, Lingual nerve, Inferior alveolar nerve, Mandibular canal, Wisdom teeth


Children with ankyloglossia, an abnormally short, thickened, or tight lingual frenulum, may have restricted tongue mobility and sequelae, such as speech and feeding difficulties and social concerns. We systematically reviewed literature on feeding, speech, and social outcomes of treatments for infants and children with ankyloglossia.

Concepts: Mouth, Review, Tongue, Lingual nerve, Frenuloplasty