What are numb lips?

Numb lips are a symptom in which you experience an abnormal sensation in your lips. You may experience numb lips as a complete or partial lack of feeling in your lips.

There are many causes of numb lips, which range from mild to serious. Numb lips may be recent in origin (acute) or develop over time (chronic). For example, you may experience acute lip numbness as a result of receiving a local anesthetic from your dentist. In some situations, numb lips may be caused by a chronic medical condition.

Numb lips may be the result of exposure to cold temperatures, mild allergic reactions, or medication side effects. Numb lips may also be a sign of neuropathy, in which nerves cannot carry a signal between the lips and the brain. Neuropathy, or nerve damage, may lead to a lack of muscle control over the lips in addition to numbness. There are many causes of neuropathy, including nutritional deficiencies, exposure to toxic chemicals, and some disorders and diseases.

Numb lips may occur as a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition, such as anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction), hyperventilation, or toxic ingestion. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have numb lips along with difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing, or swelling of the mouth, lips or throat.

Seek prompt medical care

if your numb lips are persistent or cause you concern.


What other symptoms might occur with numb lips?

Numb lips may accompany other symptoms, which will vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the lips and mouth may also involve other body systems. Some symptoms that may accompany numb lips may indicate a serious or life-threatening condition.

Lip symptoms that may occur along with numb lips

Numb lips may accompan... Read more about numb lipssymptoms


What causes numb lips?

There are many causes of numb lips; they range from mild to serious. Serious causes of numb lips include allergic reactions and neuropathy, in which nerves cannot carry a signal between the lips and the brain.

Common causes of numb lips

Common causes of numb lips include:

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 7, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Mouth, Teeth and Oral Health