Numbness in lips in the medical term can also be called lip paresthesia. Here in this condition you may experience partial or full loss of sensation and feeling in your lips. This may appear in either of your upper or bottom lips. Being primary composed of soft connective tissues, the lips therefore can be deemed quite sensitive. So in the occasion of any sort of tingling or loss of sensation in your lips would probably feel uncomfortable for you. If the condition is really grave in nature, it may even result in change in the lip color. The numb sensation at times may be progressive in nature where it expands from the lips to the gum or the tongue rendering speech, eating or drinking a bit difficult.
Numbness in Lips: Causes
Numbness in lips may occur in the event of an allergic reaction pertaining to certain kinds of food or beverages. An inflammation or swelling of the lips along with a tingling sensation may direct you towards an allergic reaction symptom with the numbness either being instant or delayed. While the minor or mediocre kind of allergic reaction usually lasts a few minutes, an allergic reaction of the serious kind would in fact last for an hour or more. These reactions may also accompany side effects such as hives, breathing trouble, dizziness etc. emergency medical attention too may be required to prevent the side effects.
- Mineral Deficiency
Deficit of the essential minerals in the body may lead to numbness of lips condition. If your body is running low on sodium, phosphate or potassium, the lack of these minerals would show up in your blood stream causing a chemical imbalance. To get this treated you would be required to present to the doctor your urine sample which on laboratory tests would tell you which mineral is lacking and based on that you may be prescribed mineral supplements.
For instance, if your body lacks the calcium in your body in required amounts, you may come up with a condition that we call hypocalcemia. Different underlying diseases or certain drug interactions too may result in this. Some of the common symptoms pertaining to this can be- muscle spasms, tetany, muscle aches and lip paresthesias. To diagnose this condition the usual medical methods opted for are blood tests to determine the phosphate or calcium levels.
- Poor Circulation
Circulation is yet another common cause for lip numbness. If the blood vessels in and around your lips are constricted, it may leave you with a disturbing numbness or tingling sensation in your lips. This particular condition can be recognized as Reynaud’s phenomenon where owing to the blood vessels spasms, certain conditions of numbness or tingling appears. This is a progressive condition where the color eventually will end up changing from white to blue and red to pink.
- Neurological Conditions
Certain neurological condition too may lead to loss of sensation or numbness in your lips. Trigeminal neuralgia or multiple sclerosis can be recognized as one of the cause. You are born with an automatic nervous system that comprises of nerves which usually contain or control the involuntary functions, spinal cord and brain. The neurological malfunctioning of the system usually ends up affecting these conditions. The usual symptoms that get affected more are elevated heart rate conditions, blood pressure and breathing. In the event of malfunction in any one of these mentioned functions, the numbness in lips condition may arrive.
- Transient Ischemic
If the flow of blood to your brain is temporarily blocked it may cause a condition that the medical term calls Transient ischemic. This situation is commonly termed as mini stroke based on the symptoms which resemble a mediocre stroke characteristic. However, this condition will not pertain for a long time. Some of the common symptoms for this include numbness in parts of your face, at least a part of it, your limbs or maybe weakness in one side of the body and even your lips. The more serious kind of symptoms for this may be- vision loss in one or both eye, slurring of speech or speech impediment, double vision or balance loss, dizziness etc. these are usually deemed to be warning hints predicting an oncoming stroke in the near future. Therefore, it is really important that you seek immediate medical attention regarding the diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause.
Hyperventilation is usually caused mainly by excessive anxiety or stressed out situations. The most common symptom to this is elevated heavy breathing. During hyperventilation your blood stream starts losing out on the carbon dioxide thereby making you more anxious. Yet another symptom for this is numbness or a tingling feeling in the face, hands or lips. Other such symptoms that you should look out for are- painful twitches in your muscle, tetany or lightheadedness.
- Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy usually targets the sensory nerves, damaging them. It would cause a symptom that resembles pain, tingling or pinching sensation or total feeling of numbness. It has been noted in many cases that the numbness starts from the feet and as it progresses upwards it keeps numbing parts of your body making it difficult for you to walk or balance yourself. The sensation may even feel worse when you are sleeping.
- Raynaud’s Phenomenon
In the occasion of blood vessel contraction or constriction, a condition called Raynaud’s phenomenon may occur. Usually the lips, toes, fingers, nose or ears get affected the most. This constriction of the blood vessels results in vasospastic attacks which causes involuntary spasms, tingling sensation and pain in the affected areas. The oxygen in your blood stream diminishes at around this span causing your skin to turn blue or completely white.
- Ciguatera Poisoning
If you eat the tropical finfish you may come down with a condition that we call Ciguatera poisoning. Ciguatoxins are produced by tiny plants which are then consumed by these tiny fishes. Now as the food chain goes, the bigger fishes consume the smaller fishes and we in turn consume the bigger fishes thereby contracting the above said condition. Common symptoms for this include numbness in tongue or lips along with dizziness or hallucination.
Numbness in lips- Cure and treatments
If the numbness in lips is of temporary nature or is minute in symptoms, you won’t need medical attention regarding that. Often it may just be a cold sore that is causing the numb sensation and that can easily be treated at home itself. Change your dental kit, your toothbrush and all and avoid food items that are salty or acidic in nature.
If the feeling of numbness is felt throughout the body and the lips, please consult your healthcare provider. If there are allergies immediately treat it with antihistamine class of medical drugs and ask the victim to keep away from allergens. At times it can be the result of unchecked levels of sugar in your blood that causes condition brought on by neuropathy. Try lowering the level of sugar in your blood and abide by the prescription your doctor advised you on. Changing your diet plan is essential too. If you are suffering from nutritional deficiency treat it with a healthy diet and dietary supplements. Also keeps relaxation methods handy to control a quick anxiety situation.
When do numbness in lips require a doctor visit
Numbness in lips or any such other tingling or discomfort sensations should not be ignored but rather taken seriously. This is especially an emergency if it comes accompanied along with other symptoms. If you are experiencing any of these following symptoms along with numbness in the lips immediately call for medical attention at the speediest possible rate. They are- wheezing and inflammation of the lips, difficulty or shortness in breathing, swelling of mouth and throat etc.
If the numbing sensation in the lips causes your concern or discomfort or is persisting for a longer span of time, opt for immediate medical assistance. Your doctor would have to subject you to a few tests to diagnose the problem and get to the root of it. Following the diagnosis should be appropriate treatment.