Numb Lips: Causes & Treatments

image001 In such a condition of numb lips you might lose all or partial feeling in your lips. Numbness can be caused due to a number of reasons that can be either extremely serious or not too dangerous at all. The numbness can also be of an acute or chronic nature as well, depending on the underlying disease which is causing it. Therefore, it is important to trace and treat the cause of numbness before it becomes permanent.

Causes of Numbness in Lips

Some causative conditions include allergic reactions, side-effects of a drug, consumption of a poisonous plant or chemical and even getting exposed to extreme cold. While there are several other diseases and disorders may to blame, which need proper treatments.

1. Hyperventilation

Hyperventilation is one of the causes, which is caused due to anxiety and stress. When a person is hyperventilating he inhales and exhales in rapid succession, thus causing a shortage of carbon dioxide in his blood. This loss further results in more anxiety. When a person is hyperventilating he experiences numbness in his lips, feet and hands. In some cases, muscle twitching can also happen during hyperventilation.

2. Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy is another culprit that can cause numbness. In fact numbness is one of the prime symptoms of peripheral neuropathy especially if the sensory nerves are damaged by the disease. It is one of the most common diseases in the United States and is mostly the reason behind lip numbness. The numbness tends to start in the legs and then move up, making it difficult for the patient to maintain his balance during walking.

3. Hypocalcemia

Hypocalcemia is a condition in which the patient loses calcium in his blood. This can be the result of either using certain medications or because of another disease. Patients of Hypocalcemia often have numb lips, muscles spasms and twitching which is often accompanied by pain. Diagnosing Hypocalcemia is not that difficult and a simple check of the calcium and phosphate levels in blood can tell whether a person suffers from this condition or not.

4. Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Raynaud’s Phenomenon is a disorder in which the blood vessels present under the skin of fingers and toes become constricted. This constriction which is known as vasospastic attacks stops the flow of oxygen in the blood vessels, thus turning the skin blue and in some cases even white as well. Patients suffering from Raynaud’s phenomenon usually feel tingling and numbness in lips, earlobes and even their nose.

5. Ciguatera Poisoning

Ciguatera Poisoning is a rare condition that is caused due to the consumption of a fish having ciguatoxins in its system. These toxins are produced by dinoflagellates, small underwater plants that are the primary food source of small fish. When these plants are consumed by fish, they contaminate their bodies and when these small fish are eaten by larger fish, they contaminate their bodies as well each time increasing in concentration. A person suffering from Ciguatera poisoning can feel numbness in his lips and tongue and might even have hallucinations as well.

6. Transient Ischemic Attack

A transient ischemic attack is a precursor to a stroke and is often called as a mini-stroke. In this condition, a blood clot forms in the bloodstream that stops the blood flow to the brain. The symptoms of a transient ischemic attack mostly resemble that of a normal stroke, but are not as permanent. Other symptoms of such an attack include numbness of the lips, one side of the leg and the arm as well.

7. Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is one of the major causes of lip numbness. It is an auto-immune disorder in which the myelin sheath of the nerve cells gets inflamed and later gets damaged, thus preventing the nerve cells from passing signals to one another. This breakdown in communication in between the nerve cells can result in numbness in lips, face and any part of the body which is usually accompanied with muscle spasms and tingling.

8. Guillain-Barré Syndrome

Guillain-Barré syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the nerves of the body are the target. The immune system attacks the nerves thus causing weakness and numbness in the arms and legs which spreads quickly through the body and end up in total or partial paralysis. In most cases, this syndrome does not require hospitalization unless the symptoms are too critical and the disease is spreading very quickly. Although the cause of this syndrome is not known yet an infectious disease like stomach flu is often a predecessor of this syndrome.

9. Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by ticks that carry the bacterium known by the name of Borrelia burgdorferi. The ticks that are responsible for causing this disease are mostly found in grassy areas so it is important to keep yourself from being stung by ticks if you live in such areas. Meningitis and Bell’s palsy are some of the diseases that one can contract if he was infected by this bacterium, even if it happened months ago. In both these diseases, the common symptom is numbness or tingling of the lips and limbs which can further result in muscle movement impairment.

Treatments for Numbness in Lips

Since the condition is caused by a number of diseases and conditions, it is difficult to decide what treatment is best unless the underlying cause of the numbness is diagnosed. Even though seeing a doctor is the best course of action, there are some household remedies that can be tried if you want instant relief from the numbness you are feeling in your lips, especially not caused by a serious disease.

  • Using petroleum jelly is the best way to counter numbness caused by exposure to cold temperatures. Thus, it is advisable that you carry a lip balm or a petroleum jelly tube whenever you go out.
  • People suffering from numbness should stop drinking any kind of beverage having carbon dioxide in it.
  • Avoid using the drug for a few days if the numbness in your lips started after you started taking a new medication to see if the sensation goes away or not.
  • Before stop using a drug, consult the opinion of your physician and ask him if he can give you a different medication that can stop causing the numbness. .
  • If your numbness is being caused by an allergic reaction then stop using the foods that might trigger the reaction.