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General Questions and Answers For learning, sharing your experience, and exchanging information about Multiple Sclerosis. Please discuss medications in the Medications forum, and natural supplements in Tara's forum.

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Old 03-05-2013, 12:17 AM
Ms Lada Ms Lada is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Numbness & tingling in the face

I'm new to this site, any site really. I was diagnosed almost 9 years ago. For the most part, I do fine. For the last several months though I find my face, nose and lips primarily, are numb and tingling. At first I thought it was from my glasses, but is doesn't seem to go away for hours.

I also have a weird thing with my tongue pressed against my bottom teeth, like my tongue is bigger or swollen, but it isn't. It makes my teeth always feel covered in plaque no matter how much I brush them. Has anyone else had this? It doesn't hurt so I don't think it is facial neuralga.
I have high blood pressure and border line type 2 diabetes too. Thanks
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:56 AM
22cyclist 22cyclist is offline
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC
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It sounds like you are having just a long untreated exacerbation. When you stick you tongue out does it go to one side or the other, or does it stick out straight? This could explain a lot.

Which side does it point towards if any?

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Old 03-05-2013, 08:54 AM
cosake cosake is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,398
Ms Lada - I am currently having a very similar problem.

It started with headache behind left eye that led to ER visit for pain control and testing because I actually had problems inside my mouth and with swallowing.

For me, after I had the headache, within 1/2 hour my face started to feel numb but sensitive at the same time.

It is like the muscles under my skin are numb and stiff, but the skin itself is hypersensitive, from my forehead, over left eye to left cheekbone, and entire left half of nose and upper lip. Inside my mouth, my left upper gum is numb and it actually hurt to brush teeth for a week or more. Roof of mouth on left is numb, tongue feels slightly different somehow. It was difficult to eat and drink for more than a week.

That night I also had trouble swallowing, but that was gone the next day. Everything else has been slowly dissipating, but it has been three weeks and it is not cleared up.

Like you, there has not been any major pain, except for the skin being "sensitive".

Eye doctor appointment yesterday revealed that my left eyeball is actually partially numb as well, not just the muscles around it. I haven't been able to wear my contacts because the left one ends up hurting, so that is driving me crazy. But the doctor says when my face is all cleared up, I should have no problems wearing contacts again.

You are fortunate that yours comes and goes and isn't 24/7. It could be a sign of a small flare, who knows ?

Good luck - hope it clears up for you soon.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:29 PM
MarkLavelle MarkLavelle is online now
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Posts: 790
The intensity varies, but I've had paresthesia in my face 24/7 for several months. I assume it's related to my lesion at C2 getting bigger, since my Nov. MRIs showed all my brain lesions as shrunken or disappeared.

Sometimes I feel like the paresthesia is affecting my tongue, too, but nothing like you describe...
1st sx 11/26/09; Copaxone since 12/1/11
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:19 PM
rdmc rdmc is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: FL
Posts: 2,211
Well I can raise my hand as a "yes" I've had it and do have it.

I have had one sided facial and tongue problems for many years ( was diagnosed about 10 years ago.)

One side of my tongue tingles and is numbish (sometimes it feels like it would feel if I burned it with hot coffee)...but it's only one side, you could draw a line down the middle and the sensations and difficulties only affect 1/2 the tongue.

In the past year or so my tongue has decided to reside on one side of my mouth, sort of drawn down toward my lower teeth, practically drawn so off center that it is between my teeth on one side and not touching my teeth on the other.

When I open and saw "ahh" my tongue retreats to one side and to back of my mouth. If I stick it out, even though I can't stick it out far, it points toward the left.

You might just be having a flare, most folks on here with tongue problems see them come and go. If you use the search engine (advanced search) and seach for "tongue" in the title, you'll find lots of threads on tongue issues.

Let's just hope it's a passing symptom for you. If it becomes more permanent, there are certain meds that ease the spasm that makes my tongue do it's weird thing. (small dose of Klonopin and also baclofen seem to help loosen it up.) Also putting something in your mouth will slightly distract from the weirdness, at least it does for me.

I have a lesion, clearly imaged, that is causing the problem, so I have an explanation. But no real solution. I've done a swallow study to make sure my swallowing is okay, and for the most part it is. The other option I've been offered is botox in the base of my tongue on that side...but I've been too chicken to try it...mainly because the speech therapist says that even botox in your face can cause swallowing problems, so what's going to happen if I have botox in the base of my me the creeps everytime I think about it.

My speech is pretty impaired by this. And just like fatigued muscles in MS, the longer I talk, the worse it gets, and my speech becomes more intelligible. I work from home, thank goodness, and don't have to talk that much...except to my coworkers, off and on through the day. If I answered the phone at a place of employment they'd think they had a drunk working there Even so, I do get a lot of "say that again" or "what did you say"...but I'm not really bothered (emotionally) by the speech impediment.

Sure hope you figure it the neuro so if they can observe it while it's happening.

Just a side note...I too struggle with high bp, but mine comes in "episodes" of extreme highs (it's not high all the time) but they blame that on the same lesion as the tongue problems.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:24 PM
newbie but goodie newbie but goodie is offline
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I have problems with facial "numbness". I only am bothered when it affects my lips becaus eI have trouble speaking. Gabapentin actually helps but I only take it at night so my days are pretty tingly!
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:24 PM
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CaroleL CaroleL is offline
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Hello and Welcome Ms Lada!
When I can laugh at my experiences, I own them and they don't own me!
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:56 PM
Ms Lada Ms Lada is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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Hi everyone,
thanks for all the replies. some interesting comments and suggestions for me to look into.

Although, I'm already on so many meds, I can't face the thought of anything new so unless it becomes a real issue, I don't think I'll be asking for any treatments. Plus , when I have asked my Neuro in the past about symptons, I always get the same thing, it's not an exaserbation, it is just baseline symptoms. Frankly, I figure if I can get out of bed, speak and hold a pen, I'll just keep going - LOL!

To answer 22 cyclist - my tongue doesn't stick out in any particular direction or way, it just pushes forward... intrigued by your reply though.
Thanks all, I am mainly glad to hear that I am not insane about the tongue thing, and others have had issues too.
Onwards & upwards!
** Moderator's note - Post broken into paragraphs for easier reading. Many people with MS have visual difficulties that prevent them from reading large blocks of print. **
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:06 AM
livingwell2 livingwell2 is offline

Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2
left-sided facial numbness

Hi all,

For the last 3-4 weeks, my left-side-of mouth-numbness has become entire left side of face/head numbness. (This same problem led me to a neurologist 7 years ago, where, with MRI, lumbar puncture, etc., I was diagnosed with MS). But, the numbness of entire left side of face...went away after about a week back then. So, it is scaring me that it is not going away this time.

I am now living in a different state (where my grandbaby is but with a different neurologist I do not have much faith in him, unfortunately. He gave me steroids first, which did not help and made me feel worse overall. Then, last week I had an MRI, and (on the phone-I see the neurologist today) he said I did have some new brain lesions, but not in the right place to have caused this numbness? This is scary (and uncomfortable....the inside of my mouth is the worst-can't taste or chew right and I have had difficulty swallowing at times).

If anyone has any advice or similar problem, I would so much appreciate your input.

Thanks from Va.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:25 AM
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CaroleL CaroleL is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 757

Have you told the neurologist about having problems swallowing?

This can be a serious problem for somebody with MS. It's important that he know about it. Not swallowing properly can cause you to aspirate food into your lungs.

Keep us updated!
When I can laugh at my experiences, I own them and they don't own me!
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:55 AM
anothersecret anothersecret is offline

Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2
Numbness in Face, Ears, Lips, etc.

Hello all,

Please do not take this the wrong way but I am relieved to hear that others have this "numbness in face" symptom. I have been experiencing this for a while now and my Neurologist was reluctant to pin this on MS at first since I have it on both sides. However, after testing for low calcium level (which was negative) and a multiple of other blood tests he confirmed that it was MS. Also, I had MRI's from head-to-toe (nearly) and there were no new lesions. I have existing lesions in multiple areas, some of which could definitely explain this numbness. I am already on Neurontin and Cymbalta for my symptoms but neither alleviate the numbness in the face. Oh well! At least it is not painful. Could be worse,right....
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