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Transient glossopharyngeal nerve palsy due to mandibular nerve block
  1. Marianna Papadopoulou1 and
  2. Stylianos Anastasakis2
  1. 1Department of Physiotherapy, Laboratory of Neuromuscular and Cardiovascular Study of Motion, University of West Attica, Egaleo, Greece
  2. 2School of Dentistry, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marianna Papadopoulou; marpapgr{at}


Local anaesthesia in dental procedures is considered safe. Few cases of neurological complication have been reported, most of which involve the lingual or inferior alveolar nerve. We report a case of a woman in her late 40s who 30 min after administration of local anaesthetic in the right pterygomandibular space (articaine and mepivacaine) developed nasal speech and numbness in the area around external auditory meatus. Uvula was deviated to the left. No facial palsy or diplopia were observed. The symptoms subsided gradually after 3 hours. Clinical symptoms were attributed to glossopharyngeal nerve palsy. Glossopharyngeal nerve palsy after mandibular nerve block has never been reported before. Reporting cases of neurological complications of a very common and generally safe procedure help in increasing the awareness of potential risks considering the anatomical complexity and variability of the orofacial area.

  • dentistry and oral medicine
  • cranial nerves

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  • Contributors MP conceptualisation and revising. MP and SA drafting of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.