If a trip to the dentist includes a filling, root canal or other procedure, you may receive a local anesthetic to numb the area and prevent pain.
In most cases, the anesthesia used will numb the tooth for 1 to 2 hours, however your lips, face and tongue may remain numb for up to 3 to 5 hours after the injection.
A numb mouth can be frustrating if you start to get hungry or try to carry on a conversation before complete feeling returns to your mouth and face.
Patience is the most common way to address the numbness as it naturally wears away as time passes. However, you can also try these home remedies to deal with a numb mouth.
Massage the skin around your mouth, rubbing your fingers in small circles around your gums and jaw.
Get active. Ask your dentist if it's safe to participate in physical activity,and if so, take a brisk walk, go for a bike ride or even do some household chores. Being active stimulates blood flow in the body which helps to carry the anesthesia away from the injection site for your body to break it down and metabolize.
Take a nap. Falling asleep will help get your mind off the feeling, or lack thereof, in your mouth and will help peacefully pass the time as the sensation wears off.
Ask for another injection. Some dentists use medicine that can reverse the effects of the anesthesia. This will mean having another injection, but it is thought to make the numbness go away twice as fast as waiting it out. This can cost $25 to $75 and most insurance companies will not cover the numbness-reversing injection, so talk to your dentist about this option before having any dental work performed.
If your numbness following a dental procedure persists for more than six to eight hours after your dental work, contact your dentist or physician to help find the cause.
Schedule dentist appointments on days when you know you don't have a big presentation at school or work, or will be attending a special engagement.