Tingling Lips

The tingling sensation is the sensation of needles or pins pricking over lips. These sensations are a bit irritating and uncomfortable for the patient.

Tingling Sensation

What are these Sensations

Actually, these sensations occur due to nerve irritation or nerve damage. These sensations can be continuous or for a short duration. The continuous tingling sensation from long time may indicate some permanent damage to the nerves. But in most cases, temporary tingling sensation, may or may not be associated with the presence of stimuli.

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Causes of Tingling Lips


Due to the local anesthesia, there occurs light tingling sensation of the lips, tongue or related areas. This is not of big concern as it is an indication that medicine injected, to make your tooth or related tissues numb has started its effect.

Allergic Reactions

If there occurs any kind of allergic reactions, whether it is related to certain medicines or may be due to any cosmetic-related allergy, the symptoms like swelling, burning and tingling and irritation appears.

Cracked Lips

Most people who have dry lips have a habit of biting their lips. This habit causes increased trauma over the skin of the lips, resulting in the tingling sensation and irritation over lips.

Herpes Simplex Infection

This is the infection caused by the herpes simplex virus, its symptoms also include the occurrence of cold sores with fluid inside it. These causes burning sensations or may be tingling sensation over the area.


Also called chickenpox, most children suffer from chicken pox in childhood. Due to this there occurs burning sensation and itching or may be pain over the surface where skin eruption occurs.so if it occurs over or around the skin of lips then it will cause tingling sensation over the lips.

Nerve Damage

If any kind of trauma or injury causes damage to the nerve tissue, it will cause numbness or tingling sensation of the supplied area.


It is the medical emergency situation, in which the blood supply to the brain gets interrupted. In this, there occurs paralysis (sudden numbness) or weakness of one side of the body which is followed by various symptoms like

  • Balance loss
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe headache
  • Drooping face

All of these could be the earliest signs and must be corrected as soon as possible as this is a life-threatening condition.

Cranial Nerve Trauma

The trigeminal nerve is the nerve which supplies the upper and lower lip, so any trauma or damage to the nerve causes the tingling sensation of the lips. Also, the facial nerve is another nerve which supplies the face, its damage can also cause Bell’s palsy (paralysis of half of the face). This will also cause numbness of lips and other parts of the face of the affected side. Bell’s palsy is a detailed topic which is concerned with the paralysis of half of the face, if you want us to discuss it separately in detail, then let us know in the comment section below.

Transient Ischemic Attack

In this the peripheral blood flow decreases which include decreased blood flow in relation to the fingertips and toes, causing numbness and coldness of the area, this causes numbness of the lips also.

Peripheral Neuropathy

The nervous system is divided into two parts, the central nervous system, and peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system is related to the function of the brain and the spinal cord but the peripheral nervous system is associated with other parts of the body. When the peripheral nervous system is damaged then it can cause the tingling sensation and numbness in various parts of the body including lips.


Due to a decreased level of parathyroid hormone, the calcium and phosphorus level gets imbalanced and its symptoms include tingling or burning sensation of the lips, fingertips, and toes. This progresses into the muscle spasm, muscle twitching, fatigue, weakness, patchy hair loss, dry and coarse skin, etc.

So this was in brief about most common causes which are related to the tingling sensation of the lips, if you want to know in detail about it, then let us know in the comment section below.

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Apart from above mentioned specific causes which are related to the tingling of lips, there are several symptoms which are correlated to the tingling sensation and indicate major underlying problems, so let’s discuss various symptoms related to the lips which can indicate some other disease or some correlated conditions.

Swelling of Lips

The swelling of lips could occur due to any kind of allergy towards medicine or food or cosmetics. Swelling due to allergy can be minor to the severe form. Anaphylactic shock is one such allergic reaction which is life-threatening. Also swelling of lips can be indicative of underlying infection due to which pus formation or swelling of the part of the lip can also occur.

Tingling Sensation of Lips

It could be due to the damage of nerve, supplying in that area. This sensation indicates constant irritation of the part of the nerve supplying to that area, sometimes it can also include some triggering factors which stimulate that nerve.

Cheilitis (Chapped Lips)

Can be due to dry weather or excessive use of cosmetics. Dry weather causes dryness of the skin including the skin of lips, as the skin of lips is very thin it starts to get shed off which causes chapped lips, also dryness causes cracks and irritation of the corner of the mouth which is known as angular cheilitis.

Trembling Lips or Twitching Lips

Shaking or trembling of lips could be due to the weakness. Due to a decrease in the vitamins also causes the increased weakness of the body, this is indicated by the symptoms like shaking hands, muscle weakness or spasm, trembling lips, etc. This could indicate a muscle related problem.

Paleness of Lips

Paleness of lips most commonly can be due to the anemia, but it can also be due to the decreased sugar level, decreased sun exposure which causes a deficiency in vitamin D. Vitamin D capsules can be helpful in this case. But knowing the exact cause is important before any treatment.

Dark Discoloration or Black Spots

Dark patches or spots could be due to the increased exposure to the UV rays. But in some cases, it can be early and indicative sign for cancer, so the person must see that whether the dark spot is increasing rapidly and any other signs occurring in relation to that area, then the person must immediately contact the physician.

Burning Sensation of Lips

It can indicate vitamin B12 deficiency or may be due to the nerve damage or nerve irritation. Also, these could be due to depression, anxiety, psychological disorder.

Irregular Surface of Lips

Irregular surface of lips could be due to any viral infection which causes pox or sores over the surface, also it can be due to constant lip biting habit.

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Home Remedies for Tingling Lips

Healthy Living

Mostly the tingling lips are due to the deficiency in vitamin and mineral content. The deficiency in any of the important nutrient can cause an imbalance of the body function and hence proper balanced diet, healthy and active lifestyle are very important.

Turmeric and Basil Leaves

These are anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious. These are very helpful in any infection over or around the lips. The person can chew basil leaves or boil turmeric and basil leaves and rinse the mouth with its warm water.


Peppermint oil is very helpful in cooling down the sores. So take a cotton palate and dip it in peppermint oil and smoothly rub it over the lips, it will relieve the burning and tingling sensation.

These were home remedies, but all of these were a temporary solution for the problem of tingling lips. If your problem does not get away with these or reoccur again and again then you must see your doctor for finding the underlying cause.

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Treatment for Tingling Lips

As we have discussed that the tingling lips are more of indicative symptoms of an underlying problem, then to be a specific problem. So its treatment is also co-dependent over those problems.

Due to Anesthesia

If the numbness or tingling sensation occurs due to the local anesthesia, then it will wear off in one to two hours, as it is temporary and important for the procedure.


If the cause of the tingling sensation is any infection then your doctor will give you a proper dose of antibiotics. It can be accompanied with analgesics (pain relievers) if you experience any pain due to infection over the site. The dose of antibiotic will depend upon the type of infection and extent of infection.

Nerve Damage

If the tingling sensation is due to some nerve injuries, then along with medicines like steroid therapy and antiviral drugs (as some times nerve damage are due to viral infections). There is a need for physiotherapy which restores the normal functioning of the muscles supplied by that nerve.

As an advanced care neurologist may also be concerned, to provide proper diagnosis and treat the nervous system related disorder.

Similarly, all of the above-discussed causes of the tingling lips must be properly diagnosed by your doctor and relatable treatment to correct the underlying problem is given. Some of the severe concerns like stroke needs to be diagnosed as soon as possible as it may be life-threatening,  So if you experience the problem of tingling lips or numbness of lips or swelling which seems to be increasing, then you must have a checkup from your doctor to rule out any severe concern underlying it as soon as possible.

So this was all in brief about tingling lips, if you have any suggestions or questions related to it then you can tell us in the comment section below.

Dr Deepak Kansal is a dentist, who is currently working in Sri Ganganagar. He did his Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Rajasthan University of Health Science.

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