Anesthetic agents are routinely used for dental fillings and other extensive dental procedures to help reduce pain. Though this is great at making procedures more bearable, your mouth can be left feeling numb temporarily even after leaving the dentist’s office. This is of course unpleasant as it makes chewing feel strange, and can make foods and beverages taste bland.
For dental fillings specifically, it can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours before the numbing agent wears off completely. In the meantime, chew foods slowly and avoid hard foods that can easily damage teeth until the numbing agents go away.
How Do You Make Numbness From Fillings Go Away?
Though numbness or numbing after a dental filling goes away on its own in 1 to 2 hours, however you might experience numbness in your lips, face, and tongue for approximately 3 to 5 hours.
Firstly, massaging your lips and cheeks can help increase blood flow towards the mouth, helping to get rid of residual anesthetic agents in the area more quickly. Warm compresses left on the face while sitting up can also help accelerate the rate at which the effects of numbing agents go away.
The second option is to simply engage in some light physical activity like a walk around the neighborhood. Just like massaging the face, physical activity can increase the blood flow to and from the oral cavity, helping to speed up the process of both breaking down and carrying away numbing agents in the area. Do note, however, that you should stay away from more vigorous activities like running or weight lifting until the numbing agent wears off completely. You could also a take a nap to take your mind off of the numb feeling on your face.
How Long Does Dental Numbness Last After Tooth Extraction
Because a tooth extraction is more invasive than a filling, more anesthetic agents are needed to adequately reduce pain. This greater concentration of anesthetics leads to numbness lasting for a greater length of time. So how long does numbness last after tooth extraction? Numbness after a tooth extraction can last from 2 to 5 hours.
However, in some rare instances numbness can last for weeks or even months if there is nerve damage. In these instances, it is exceptionally important to be careful when chewing or biting foods so as not to cause further damage or delay recovery. It is also important to speak with your dentist if you have concerns of numbness that is not improving for an extended period of time.
How Do You Get Rid of Numbness After Tooth Extraction
Like with any other dental procedure that requires numbing agents, you can speed up the rate at which the numbing agent goes away by using warm compresses, massaging, and engaging in low intensity exercise. Gently rinsing your mouth with warm water can also help wash away numbing agents, but not nearly as effective as the other methods already listed.
And of course, the most effective way to get rid of numbness is to simply have patience and wait for it to go away on its own. Though it can be annoying at first, be rest assured that your mouth will return to normal before you even know it.