View Full Version : Numbness after dental work...help!

02-25-2005, 07:32 AM
Ok, this is going to sound very strange but I am hoping that I am not the only person to experience this. I got a deep gum cleaning (scaling) on Tues. (today is Friday) and had like 10 (or more??) shots of novacaine for the work. I didnt feel a thing and the numbing worked! However...now it is three days later and my tongue is still very numb!!! Yes, only my tongue! Its not painful just very annoying and uncomfortable as I cant really taste anything or feel anything! It just feels very weird and is driving me nuts. I did call the dentist back and he just said it will eventually go away! He said that because they gave me so much novacaine that it may have hit a nerve and just went deep! He swears it will eventually go away although he said its possible it could last for up to a week. Every morning when I get up I am hoping it will be back to normal...but not so far!!!

I was just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience and if anyone had any tips on how to help the sensation go away faster or feel better. Warm liquids and food do help the tingling sensation but of course it doesnt last!

Please tell me Im not crazy and that this is not isolated! I am sooo scared to get any other dental work done again due to this!

Thanks for listening,
Beth :)

02-25-2005, 10:50 AM
Hi Beth:
I have heard of this happening alot after dental work when novacaine was used, although it hasnt happened to me....It can take anywhere from weeks to months to totally clear up from what I have read..I guess everyone is different..
I also have to get a deep cleaning done, and was wondering how much you got done at once? I had it done in the past, and they did it a quad at a time, 4 different times I had to go back...Just wondering how it went for you (other than the numbness of your tongue) and if you had any pain while they were doing it and if you have any pain or soreness after? Its been so long since I had it done ( i have just had regular cleanings since) that I forget what its like

02-25-2005, 12:23 PM
Hi Nancy:

Thanks for the reply...although I think I will just go completely crazy if this thing w/my tongue lasts for months!!! Its maddening!!! During my appt. I got my whole mouth done at once. It was supposed to be half my mouth and the other half for another appt. but while in the middle of the cleaning (I was on nitris (SP??) oxide), she asked me if I wanted her to just finish it...and I was pretty out of it and feeling nothing so said...sure! This of course prompted the dentist to come in and give me more shots of novacaine for numbing on the other side of my mouth! The whole mouth (which looks great) took about three hours! During the procedure, I honestly only felt a slight discomfort in having to hold my mouth open for that period of time when I felt like I was drifting in and out of sleep! I do have sensitivity and soreness (and slight gum bleeding) now but honestly...its not that bad! The worst thing is the whole tongue thing! The bad thing is ....I hadnt been to the dentist in years before this and although it was a fairly good experience overall...I cant see myself volunteering for any future novacaine treatments as this tongue thing is sooooo annoying!

Good Luck.
Beth :0

02-25-2005, 10:03 PM
Tongue numbness is probably due to lingual nerve injury. An oralsurgeon might be willing to give you some medications; or a neurologist would.
As the other poster said it could clear up in weeks, or in rarer cases months.
best wishes for a speedy recovery,

02-26-2005, 06:26 AM
Thanks Ann:

What kind of meds would help this ???? Im honestly going crazy!! Im going on vacation for a family wedding early next week w/my whole family! I was so excited about being away for a week w/my husband and kids but now Im not really looking forward to it as I am thinking I will still have the numbness!!! Cant taste any food really!! So, do you think I should call my dentist (who did this work in the first place??) and get a referral to a neuro or oral surgeon??? I was planning to call Monday anyway if its not better by than....I keep still hoping I will wake up normal one day soon!

I know it seems silly but it really is uncomfy!!
Although I definately know it could be worse!

THe worst thing is just not knowing when it will go away!

Thanks to everyone for reading,
Beth :)

02-26-2005, 06:55 PM
I think you should get a referral to an oral surgeon so he can determine the extent of the damage. There are medications like Neurontin, but if you are not in pain and just uncomfortable I'd forget about meds. The medications have side effects that may not make it worthwhile to you. If you are really anxious about it you might ask your doctor for a mild anti-anxiety med to take before bedtime. Watch for signs of getting feeling back; such as tingling and yes even pain is a good thing.
Take care and try to enjoy that vacation anyway.

02-26-2005, 08:18 PM
Sometimes anesthesia does not wear off for some time. Ideally, you should have been numb just long enough to get you through the appointment. Sometimes numbness can last for several weeks, months, or in very rare cases be permanent. This probably had nothing to do with the amount of anesthesia given to you as a healthy person can receive a pretty large amount. Call you dentist if you're concerned, but the only thing you can really do is wait and see. If a nerve was damaged during the injection, I doubt that there is anything that can be done. Chances are you'll be fine.

02-27-2005, 01:42 AM
Nerve repair surgery can be done im many cases but it needs to be done fairly early, within the frist few months. That is why i suggest you have the extent of the injury examinedl

02-28-2005, 07:43 AM
Thanks guys:

I plan to call my dentist if I notice no difference when I get back from vacation! So far...no difference at all with it! Its not too bad in the morning when I havent used my mouth all night...but as the day goes on I am definately struggling with it and having discomfort. I wouldn't call pain but just a high degree of discomfort. I do work which I am on the phone the majority of the day talking to people and its almost like I have to struggle to speak normally...by the end of the day I am exhausted and frustrated. It stinks just not knowing when this will clear up! I am scared it will be forever!!! I am worried but still have hope! In the meantime I plan to attempt to enjoy my vacation and try not to worry! If its the same when I get back, I will take further steps to see what can be done! Thanks so much for all your advice and info...I do feel better knowing Im not the only person to ever experience this but...at the same time, am terrified that it wont go away....If anyone else has actually experienced this...I would love to hear your story!

Beth :)

03-04-2005, 01:45 PM
Get an attorney... If its any kind of permanent nerve damage, they are at fault and you can sue and for big money.. The are suppossed to know what they are doing so these things dont happen.. More than likely it will clear up but get the nerve exam done and then contact an attorney.. if the nerve was damaged or severed.. it can be repaired, heres a good link


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03-09-2005, 07:43 PM
Well guys I am back in town now, and....the numbness is still there!! I think I am just getting used to this feeling as there are some parts of the day that I dont notice it anymore. I'm honsetly not sure if it is slowly getting better (its definately NOT gone) as sometimes it does seem better...but still there! I'm certainly hoping that there is no permanent damage and therefore no reason to even think about getting an attorney as someone mentioned in a previous post. I am trying to think positive and my dentist (who is calling me a few times a week now to check on me) swears to me that it will eventually go away completely although it could take a month or two (he tells me that is the worst case!!), and of course I am hoping and wanting to believe him!!

Thanks to all of you who have read and responded to this post! I am still wanting to hear from someone who has actually been through this and hoping to get a happy ending!

Beth :)

03-11-2005, 09:27 AM
Beth-I have been reading your posts and I noticed you have not posted in almost two months but this just happened to me-I had two wisdom teeth pulled on March 3rd which was 8 days ago which left the front right of my mouth and gums completely numb now my dentist says it might come back in time or it might be permanent nerve damage-I too am a nervous wreck and am like you hoping to find out info on someone who has results-so please let me know a update on your situation if at all possible I do hope you still look at these boards. Thanks so much Tammy

03-11-2005, 01:16 PM

Actually my last post was yesterday! I am still in the midst of this and it isnt fun! Hang in there as I do hear that the majority of issues like this do clear themselves up. Mostly my tongue feels like I burnt it on very hot coffee...its hard to tell if it is getting better or not. I have heard that while healing you don't notice a difference till one day you wake up and its just gone! Im waiting for that day still....I will continue to keep you and everyone posted. It really does help me to know I am not alone. I hope it helps you too! If I can help you further...let me know! I have gotten used to the feeling and although it is still very uncomfortable, somehow its not all consuming now every second of every day!

Keep me posted on your situation too,
Beth :)

03-18-2005, 04:27 PM
Hi guys:

I wanted to bump this post up for someone who is in the same boat to read!!

Thanks...nothing new here...still numb but a bit better

Beth :)

03-19-2005, 08:56 PM
Well Beth looks like my update is like yours as well-I too am still numb-its so agravating-I'm almost scared I am getting a little bit used to this, but its still so weird- but my dentist and others do say there is a good chance of it coming back within months or something like that, and that is my prayer at this point, we had a special prayer at church so I now I am just being patient, not a easy task, I cant remember what things taste like that is so agravating tasting has gone away alot I can hardly taste at all- and I feel like I always need to check to see if I have anything on that side of my mouth because I cant feel it if I do, Oh I do hope we are both able to post positive results before long. God bless.

01-31-2009, 05:38 PM
did the numbness go away? I am going through this now after having a filling re-done and am really scared. :(

02-08-2009, 11:10 PM
I have had this problem for over a year and it is driving me crazy! My tongue started feeling burned on top right after my dental work 1 1/2 yrs. ago and I could never figure out why. I feel bad for anyone going through this and would like to know if anyone has experienced this feeling as long as I have. I was not very happy with my dentist so did not go back to complete the work, but think I should call and let him know of this problem. I thought maybe I was allergic to the fillings, but from what I have read it sounds like nerve damage. I can't imagine living with this for the rest of my life! If it's been this long I don't think it will go away. Has anyone had any luck with surgery or what else has worked for you?

09-02-2009, 11:33 AM
My dad is currently going through this exact same thing, and I was curious whether or not the feeling in your tongue came back, and if so, how long it took? He's very frustrated with this, and it's largely because he doesn't know how long it will last for, or if it might be permanent. Did yours ever get better?

12-26-2009, 01:16 AM
Well, I am joining the club. I had a temporary crown put in and was experiencing some tingling which I likened to the feeling of putting a 9V battery on your tongue and the way it still feels immediately afterward. I had to go back in about a week later because my temp crown was making it difficult for me to actually chew on that side and I was supposed to have another crown done on the other side. Anyway, the dentist shot me back up and worked on the temporary crown. I usually have to get extra novacaine because I can usually feel it with a normal dose.

I left the dentist and went to get something to eat. I hadn't noticed this before, but I didn't have tasting ability and just chalked it up to numb tastebuds.

The numbness went away but I have had tingling and pain in my tongue to where I thought maybe some fries I had eaten after my dental work were too hot and burnt my tongue unbeknownst to me because of my numb tongue. I don't believe that is the case at all now as it has been feeling progressively worse over these 4 days.

I decided to search online today because this is bothering me quite a bit and I think it is the same thing as others here. I am going to call the dentist and see what he says. I definitely don't want to go in and have the remainder of my work done if this is the result!

Any suggestions on alleviating the pain? Is this really a nerve damage problem?

12-27-2009, 08:56 AM
This happened to me last year and scared the crap out of me! I had major anxiety but thankfully after 6 months it finally went away. I had, numbness, burning and tingling on the right side of my tongue after my dentist hit my lingual nerve when numbing my gums for a filling. I took a ton of vitamins, visted the Lingual Nerve Damage site, got plenty of rest, ate well, and just waited it out. I did see an oral surgeron and he gave me some presciption meds for the burning. I hope you are feeling better soon. It should go back to normal. Just a word of caution, if you goole Lingual Nerve Damage and go to the site beware that some of the stories on there will discourage you. Reading some of them sent me into a panic but I did get some great info from the site as well on what vitamins to take, etc. Hang in there. It should get better with time.

Frank Higgins
01-07-2010, 12:38 PM
I work in dental and there is a company called novalar of something like that who provide a drug to reduce to reduce/undo the numbing of Novocaine and similar local anesthetics.

They are new but maybe your dentist can check out their product as a resolution.

03-31-2010, 03:17 PM
Hi all! Wow the same thing happend to me it was january 21, 2010. I was in for a regular filling. I felt a shock after I had gotten the second needle of novicane. I asked the dentist what that was it scared me. He said he may have shocked a nerve. I didn't know what he was saying at the time, but I sure do now! I'm going crazy!! My tongue is numb in some spots as well as the back of my tongue. It has made my life very uncomfortable, most of the time it is consuming most of my thoughts for the day! :((( My dentist sent me to a Oral Surgent who but me on xanax for sleeping so I'm not so tired everyday! I go back to see the oral Surgent on 2/12 to discuss if we should go to another doctor to see about a surgecal produdure. However, he said it may make the sistuation worst! So so sad :(( I have to have more dental work done someday but I don't know how I could! What a huge problem!!