Dental procedures, such as extractions, root canals, and fillings, can cause temporary numbness or tingle in the lips, tongue, or cheek. This is due to the local anesthesia used to numb the area during the procedure. Due to the discomfort caused by the numbness, it’s common for people to ask questions such as how long does numbness last after filling?
Ways to Get Rid of Numbness
Although the numbness usually goes away on its own within a few hours, there are several ways to alleviate the symptoms and speed up the recovery process. Here are some of them:
1. Wait for the anesthesia to wear off
The most straightforward way to get rid of numbness after a dental procedure is to wait for the anesthesia to wear off. This usually takes anywhere from two to four hours, although in some cases, it can last longer. During this time, it’s essential to avoid eating or drinking anything hot or cold, as you may not be able to feel the temperature and could accidentally burn yourself.
2. Move your face and mouth
Another way to get rid of numbness is to move your face and mouth as much as possible. This can help to stimulate circulation and improve the flow of blood to the affected area, which can help speed up the recovery process.
While it may cause some pain or discomfort, it will determine how long the numbness lasts after fillings or after any procedures. Some good exercises include smiling, puckering your lips, and moving your tongue from side to side.
3. Apply heat
Applying heat to the affected area can also help relieve numbness. A warm compress, such as a hot water bottle or a warm towel, can help to increase blood flow and reduce tingling and numbness. Ensure the heat source is not too hot and only apply it for short periods to avoid overheating the affected area.
4. Massage the area
Massaging the affected area can also help improve circulation and reduce numbness. Use your fingers to gently rub the room, being careful not to apply too much pressure. You can also use a warm compress while massaging to enhance the benefits of the massage.
When massaging the area, use your fingers to make circular motions around it. You can do it for about a minute before taking a two minutes break and doing it again. This will reduce how long the numbness will last.
5. Drink water
Staying hydrated can also help reduce numbness after a dental procedure. Drinking plenty of water can help improve circulation and flush out any leftover anesthesia from the affected area. Before drinking water, you should first gaggle water and spit it out to remove the anesthesia.
6. Avoid alcohol and caffeine
You should avoid alcohol and caffeine for a few hours after a dental procedure. Both substances can interfere with recovery and make numbness and tingling worse. Stick to water and other non-alcoholic drinks to help speed up recovery.
If you’re wondering how long does numbness last after filling, then know that it depends on the strength of the anesthesia and how severe the operation was. However, you can do this to alleviate the symptoms, speed up the recovery process, and get rid of the numbness much faster.