Effect of facial sensory re-training on sensory thresholds

G. K. Essick, C. Phillips, John R Zuniga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Nearly 100% of patients experience trauma to the trigeminal nerve during orthognathic surgery, impairing sensation and sensory function on the face. In a recent randomized clinical trial, people who performed sensory re-training exercises reported less difficulty related to residual numbness and decreased lip sensitivity than those who performed standard opening exercises only. We hypothesized that re-training reduces the impaired performance on neurosensory tests of tactile function that is commonly observed post-surgically. We analyzed thresholds for contact detection, two-point discrimination, and two-point perception, obtained during the clinical trial before and at 1, 3, and 6 months after surgery, to assess tactile detection and discriminative sensitivities, and subjective interpretation of tactile stimulation, respectively. Post-surgery, the retrained persons exhibited less impairment, on average, than non-retrained persons only in two-point perception (P < 0.025), suggesting that retrained persons experienced or interpreted the tactile stimuli differently than did non-retrained persons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-575
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Orthognathic surgery
  • Sensory impairment
  • Sensory re-training
  • Sensory thresholds
  • Trigeminal nerve injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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