How to Lose the Numbness After Local Anesthesia

How Your Workout Affects Your Mouth
July 9, 2020
What Should My Mouthwash Be Doing?
July 22, 2020

When the dentist numbs your mouth it helps make dental procedures, like cavity fillings, be far less painful than without it. However, once you leave the dental office the numbness can become irritating. Here are some tips and tricks on how to help the numbness go away faster. 

Why We Using Local Anesthesia

The American Dental Association explains that local anesthesia is a medication that is used to prevent pain in a specific area of your mouth during treatment. It works by blocking nerves that sense or transmit pain, numbing the mouth tissue. 

Before your procedure, the dentist might use a topical anesthetic to begin the numbing process before injecting the specific part of your mouth with a local anesthetic. Topical anesthetics are not only for procedures, but they can also help relieve painful mouth sores. Injectable anesthetics are primarily used in dentistry for filling cavities, installing crowns, treating gum disease, and other minor procedures that can be quite painful. 

Local Anesthesia vs. Sedation 

Though both local anesthesia and sedation are used to prevent you from feeling pain during procedures, they’re two different things. Sedation, like local anesthesia, can help a patient feel more calm at the dentist and ease their fears. However, under sedation, you will become more drowsy and could even fall asleep. There are several different types of sedation in dentistry: 

  • Minimal sedation – the patient is awake, but relaxed 
  • Moderate sedation – the patient is conscious, but can be drowsy and not remember much of the procedure
  • Deep sedation – the patient is barely conscious but can still be woken up if needed
  • General anesthesia – the patient is unconscious 

Many people refer to sedation dentistry as “sleep dentistry”, as it deals heavily with sedation, which is where the name comes from. This nickname is inaccurate however, as the patient does not actually sleep during their procedure. Depending on the patient, different medicines can be used to stay relaxed and calm during the procedure. 

The purpose of sedation dentistry is to allow a patient to receive routine oral care without anxiety or pain. The body and mind can relax under the close supervision of the dental provider. 

Is Local Anesthesia Safe?

Using local anesthesia is incredibly safe and a way to get dental work done without feeling pain. There can be temporary side effects. While rare, those side effects could be:

  • Blurred vision, dizziness, and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Muscle twitching
  • Numbness, weakness, or tingling

Of all these, the most common is a lingering numb feeling that could last for a few hours after your procedure. 

Reversing Dental Numbness 

The numbness that comes along with local anesthesia often goes away on it’s own in a matter of hours, however, if you want to try and reverse the numbness faster, follow these tips: 

Sleep it off

If you have the time to do so, a quick nap could be all it takes to help you reverse the numbness. When we sleep, we are able to take our minds off of the annoying numb feeling, and most times,  are able to wake up feeling normal again. 


Engaging in light physical activity after a dental procedure can help stimulate blood flow which can help the anesthesia wear off. Be sure to talk with the dentist before leaving your appointment to find out when it will be safe for you to exercise.

Swish salt water

Stir about a teaspoon of salt into warm water, then gently rinse your mouth with it before spitting it out. This will also help the numbing feeling go away. 

Massage gently 

If the skin isn’t tender and it doesn’t hurt to do so, try gently massaging your face where it’s numb. Be sure to not massage the injection sight directly. Massaging the area can help stimulate blood flow into that area which helps the numbing feeling fade away. 

Sometimes, you can have prolonged numbness after your dental procedure. Call your dentist to see what they recommend to further help relieve the numbing feeling. 

Call Stonebrook Family Dental for Sedation Dentistry

Dentists are trained in sedation dentistry and go through continuing education courses to stay up-to-date with the best care for their patients. Most healthy adults qualify for sedation dentistry. No matter if you’re anxious for your dental visit, have a strong gag reflex, or have other concerns, sedation dentistry could be used. Are you interested in your sedation options? Give Stonebrook Family Dental a call today at (303)-872-7907 to learn more. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We're Open - Please click for our COVID-19 Policies & Procedures