Causes Of Lip Numbness
Most of us have experienced lip numbness or tingling at one time or another. Usually it has been a temporary condition, and sometimes we suspect the underlying cause, and at other times we have no idea why this particular sensation happens.
Allergic Reactions - The medical term for lip numbness is lip paresthesias. Lip paresthesias can occur as the result of a number of things, most commonly due to an allergy or something we've eaten, but can also be a symptom of a nervous system disorder or another disorder or disease. Very likely the most common cause of lip numbness is due to an allergic reaction to something eaten or something that has touched the lips that the immune system treats as an allergen. When a food allergy is the culprit, there will very often be other symptoms or reaction in addition to lip numbness, such as a rash, nausea, or dizziness.
Blood Chemistry Deficiencies - A chemical imbalance in the bloodstream can be another cause of lip numbness. If there is a deficiency in one or more of the essential minerals, especially potassium, sodium, or phosphate, or if the blood glucose level is too low, the symptom may become evident. Those with diabetes will sometimes experience numbness or tingling of the lips when their blood glucose level gets out of line.
Peripheral Neuropathy - A condition called peripheral neuropathy can also be an underlying cause, although peripheral neuropathy itself is often brought about by an underling disease or disorder. Diabetes is to blame for about a third of peripheral neuropathy cases, auto immune disorders, toxins, and tumors account for another third, and the remaining cases are due to an unknown cause. Peripheral neuropathy is a fairly common disorder, affecting people of all ages including approximately 10% of senior citizens. Lip numbness is just one of the symptoms of this neurological disorder.
Hyperventilation - Stress and anxiety can also be a cause of lip numbness, especially when accompanied by hyperventilation. Usually when we hyperventilate the first symptom that appears is one of dizziness or a lightheaded sensation. Sometimes however, the fingers or feet will become numb and in some instances areas of the face, including the lips, can also experience numbness.
Blood Vessel Constriction - Numbness can be brought about by a constricting of blood vessels in the affected areas. When this happens, tissue in the affected area does not receive the amount of oxygen needed. This usually affects the extremities, and as a result we experience the skin on our nose, ears, fingers, lips, or feet turning blue, usually accompanied first by tingling and pain, then by numbness. A physical disorder, Raynaud's Phenomenon, is sometimes the cause of such symptoms.
Food Poisoning - Not only can food allergies produce lip numbness but food poisoning can as well, with seafood a frequent cause. Seafood poisoning is not always the result of food that has been left to spoil, but more often is due to toxins which have moved up through the food chain and become concentrated in the fish we eat. These toxins often have their source in plants that smaller fish eat. Bigger fish eat the smaller fish, absorbing the toxins, and so on.
Look For Other Symptoms As Well - In most cases when lip numbness is experienced there is nothing seriously abnormal, especially when the condition is very temporary. If there is a more serious underlying cause, there is apt to be other symptoms present as well, since it is seldom that the lips and only the lips would be involved, unless a specific allergic reaction is the cause. In any event, if the condition persists, medical advice should be sought.