Causes of a numb lip

Written by ann mapleridge
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Causes of a numb lip
(Marinka van Holten)

Numbness is created when the flow of blood is stopped or slowed down to a certain area of your body. Your feet may go numb or "fall asleep" when they've been propped up on a table for a long period of time because they are not getting as much blood as they are accustomed to when they're on the ground. Much like other parts of our body, your lips can also go numb when blood flow is reduced. That can happen for a variety of different reasons.

Exposure to Cold

Cold exposure is one of the most common causes of numb lips. If you have recently consumed a very cold beverage--or you are outside in exceptionally cold temperatures--your lips may go numb due to decreased blood flow from the cold.


In some cases, patients experience an anaura around thirty minutes before a migraine begins. An anaura can cause temporary numbness or tingling in the lips, face, hands, and arms. You may also see flashing lights or spots. The symptoms typically go away on their own or along with migraine medication.

Panic Attack

Numb lips are one of the symptoms of a panic attack. Other symptoms include shortness or breath, sweating, a sense of fear, and an increased heart rate. Panic attacks typically last from five to twenty minutes, and they will go away on their own. If you have regular panic attacks, you may have a panic disorder that required further attention.

Low Blood Sugar

If you are diabetic, numb lips can be an indication that your blood sugar has started to drop to an unsafe level. If you have numb lips, check your blood sugar to ensure you are operating at a safe level.

Allerigic Reaction or Poisoning

Eating puffer fish can cause numb lips if it was prepared improperly or contains too much of the toxins found in the fish. A similar reaction can happen when eating shellfish or others foods you might be allergic to. If your numbness is accompanied by swelling in the area of your throat or mouth, seek medical attention immediately.

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