Scheduling a dentist appointment is a scary prospect for many people. Not only do visits often involve sharp instruments, they are also used in one of the most sensitive areas of the human anatomy. However, taking proper care of your oral health is essential to safeguard your overall health and comfort. Thankfully, dentists are equipped with strong numbing solvents to keep the more intense appointments as painless as possible. That being said, some people find it difficult to fully function or speak properly until the numbness has worn off.
If you have an upcoming dental appointment that will require anesthesia, you may be concerned about how long your mouth will stay numb afterward.
How Long Will Your Mouth Stay Numb After a Filling or Extraction?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, since different types of procedures require different amounts of anesthesia. In addition, other factors will come into play as to how long the numbing sensation will last such as your height, weight, and how fast your body metabolizes anesthesia.
It also depends on where in your mouth you’ll need work done. This is because the bottom jaw is a large nerve block that is more susceptible to pain and that controls sensations to more areas of your face.
Generally speaking, your mouth, tongue, cheeks, and lips can remain numb anywhere between two and five hours. Be mindful of the fact that you’ll likely drool and slur your speech. To stay on the safe side, never schedule your dentist appointment the morning of a big presentation at work, business meeting, or date with a romantic interest.
In addition, if you get hungry, stick to softer foods, such as soups, smoothies, yogurt, mashed potatoes, applesauce, or ice cream to reduce the likelihood of injuring your tongue or the inside of your cheeks by chewing too hard.
What to Do If Prolonged Numbness Occurs?
The effects of anesthesia will wear off with increased blood flow. Therefore, doing physical activities such as going for a walk or even doing a couple of jumping jacks can help speed up the process.
Another way to promote blood flow to the area is to hold a warm compress close to your mouth. Test it with your hands first to make sure that it’s not too hot.
If after five hours, your mouth is still numb, contact your dentist to see if they can use an agent to reverse the effects of anesthesia.
If You Need Help with Your Oral Health, Let Us Help You
At North River Dental, we have over 30 years of experience in cosmetic dentistry. Whether you need to schedule regular dental cleanings or would like to learn about options to improve your oral health, our skilled doctors will ensure you have the brightest, healthiest smile possible.