The First Bite is the Deepest

Question:  A 56 year old female underwent deep lobe parotidectomy for a parapharyngeal space pleomorphic adenoma.  She returns to your office reporting a sharp stinging pain with the first bite of a meal, that subsequently resolves.  What is the mechanism of this phenomenon and what treatments can you offer this patient?   [Answer will be posted with next week's new question]

Answer to last week's question, It's MEN to Be (October 26, 2015): 

RET gene mutation testing should be performed before 5 years of age.  In MEN2B, testing should occur shortly after birth.  Specific codon mutations are associated with high-, intermediate-, or low-risk status, and dictate when prophylactic thyroidectomy should be performed.