Numbness in the mouth after seeing the dentist is annoying. It can make drinking, eating or talking difficult.
Numbness may last up to three to five hours after leaving the dentist depending on the amount of local anesthesia administered.
However, there are ways to shorten numbness in the mouth following a trip to the dentist.
Stimulating blood flow in the area of the injection can help your body clear the anesthesia from your bloodstream faster.
Massaging the area where you're experiencing the numbness is one way to stimulate blood flow.
Take caution to not rub vigorously as that can cause damage to the numbed area of your face because you might not be able to feel how hard you are rubbing.
And before massaging your face, ask your dentist if this could cause any additional pain or swelling, or interfere with dental work you just had done.
Ask your dentist about vasodilators.
Vasodilators are medicines that open or dilate blood vessels. When injected into the same area as the local anesthesia after the dental procedure is over, vasodilators can speed up the reversal of the numbing effect of the anesthesia. With the help of vasodilators, numbness often wears off in about half the time than allowing it to go away naturally.
Take a walk.
Because physical activity promotes blood flow, walking or biking can also help shorten the amount of time you feel numb following a trip to the dentist.
Talk to your dentist about how to best recover from numbness of the mouth.
Depending on the dental procedures, shortening the amount of time you feel numb may not be recommended as doing so may result in feeling pain, especially if extensive work was performed.