Numb chin syndrome--a reflection of systemic malignancy

World J Surg Oncol. 2006 Aug 9:4:52. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-4-52.


Background: Numb chin is an uncommon underappreciated though well documented neurological manifestation of metastatic malignancy.

Case presentation: A 50-year-old patient presented with right numb chin for few days. No dental cause was found. He later developed generalized vague symptoms. In few weeks his liver and renal functions deteriorated. Blood picture showed leucoerythroblastic picture. CT scan and bone marrow biopsy done at this stage revealed underlying high grade lymphoblastic lymphoma. He went into multiorgan failure, requiring ventilatory support and death within a short period.

Conclusion: Numb Chin is a syndrome which initially presents with unilateral numbness or orofacial pain in the distribution of the inferior alveolar nerve and its branches with an underlying systemic malignancy. We emphasise that physicians and dentists should consider metastatic cancer in any patient who presents with chin or jaw numbness where no other obvious cause for their complaint is found.