Health & Fitness

Numb Tongue After Sedation Dentistry — Tongue Numbness Causes

A lot of people feel scared or uncomfortable when going to the dentist. However, for some, that uncomfortable feeling can lead to dentophobia, an extreme fear of going to the dentist. That’s where IV sedation dentistry can help. Light sedation before an appointment can relax you and make you feel calmer during the dental procedure. Still, the procedure comes with a few side effects, such as a numb tongue or tingling lips. Additionally, many illnesses and deficiencies can also cause tongue numbness. If you want to know what you can expect during and after sedated dentistry, and what causes a numb tongue, read on. 

What is IV Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a form of conscious sedation, and it can help you feel more relaxed during the procedure without having to go under anesthesia. The method won’t put you to sleep, but it will make you feel less anxious and aware of the dental procedure. There are a few reasons why you may choose to be sedated when visiting the dentist.

Firstly, if you’re afraid of the dentist or find dental procedures uncomfortable, the sedation can relax you. Secondly, if you’re having painful dental work done, but you don’t want to go under anesthesia. Additionally, if the procedure is long, sedation can make the process easier for you. And lastly, if you have a strong gag reflex during dental procedures, sedation can help lessen it.

What to Expect During an IV Sedation Dentistry Procedure

If you choose sedation dentistry, your dentist will administer the sedative through an IV. The sedative will work quickly, and you won’t feel pain or discomfort during the procedure. However, since the medicine creates a period of amnesia, you won’t remember the procedure after it’s over.

Although the amnesia may make you hesitant to try sedation dentistry, there’s nothing to worry about, as your dentist will be there the whole time. They will monitor your vitals and adjust the dosage of the sedative as needed. Still, you will need someone to pick you up after the procedure and take you home. If you want to learn more about the safety of sedation during dental procedures, read this NCBI review for more information.

Tongue Numbness After Sedation Dentistry

If you choose sedation dentistry, your dentist won’t use an anesthetic during the procedure. However, you can still expect some tongue numbness and tingling lips after it’s over. A numb tongue is one of the most common side-effects of dental surgery. You can expect to feel the numbness for up to 24 hours after the procedure.

The sedative will lessen your ability to feel the sensations in your mouth. That means you won’t feel pain during the procedure. However, it won’t stop working immediately after you leave the dentist. Your tongue will feel enlarged and numb for a while after the procedure, which will prevent any additional oral pain. Still, if the tongue numbness persists for more than 24 hours, you should contact your dentist.

How to Treat a Numb Tongue After Sedation Dentistry

A numb tongue and mouth can feel quite uncomfortable. The numbness should pass by itself within a day or so. However, there are some things you can do to make the process more pleasant. Firstly, you should massage your cheeks and mouth gently. Doing so will increase the blood flow to your face, lessening the numbness.

Secondly, you can take a nap or distract yourself. Although that won’t make the effects of the sedative disappear, it will make the time go by faster. If you don’t find the numb and tingly feeling pleasant, going to sleep is your best bet. By the time you wake up, the numbness will likely be gone.

5 More Common Causes of Tongue Numbness?

Tongue numbness is common after dental procedures. However, if your tongue or lips are numb and you didn’t go to the dentist recently, you may feel concerned. When a numb tongue is accompanied by an inability to speak, facial drooping, confusion, or vision loss, it can be a sign of a stroke. But there are also a lot of common causes of tongue numbness that aren’t dangerous. Here are four common causes of a numb tongue and tingling lips:

1. Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions are the most common cause of numb lips and tongue. Food, medicine, and pollen are the most prevalent causes of allergies. In addition to a numb tongue and tingling lips, symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • itching and hives
  • swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat
  • trouble breathing
  • throat tightness and swallowing difficulty

If you notice any of these symptoms, call a doctor as soon as possible. Although allergic reactions aren’t always life-threatening, you should find out what you’re allergic to. That way you’ll be able to get proper treatment and learn which foods to avoid.

2. Canker Sores

Canker sores are shallow sores that appear in your mouth. They can develop on your tongue, on the inside of your cheeks, or the gums. There isn’t a single cause of canker sores. Injuries, hormonal changes, allergies, poor nutrition, and infections can all cause sores in your mouth. Canker sores are painful and may cause numbness around the affected area. However, they only last a few days, so the symptoms should subside quickly.

3. Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is a common symptom of diabetes. If you have diabetes and feel tongue numbness, it could be caused by a drop in your blood sugar. The symptoms of hypoglycemia are:

  • dizziness
  • confusion or irritability
  • feeling tired, weak, or shaky
  • breaking into cold sweats

If you experience any of these symptoms, the best thing you can do is eat something sweet. A piece of chocolate, a tablespoon of honey, or sugar dissolved in water should be enough. However, if the problem persists, you should contact a doctor for a checkup.

4. Vitamin B Deficiency

A vitamin B deficiency can affect your whole body. Low levels of several B vitamins, such as B-12 or B-9, can cause a swollen and numb tongue. Additionally, a deficiency can cause tiredness, difficulty concentrating and tingling of the hands and feet. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should invest in high-quality supplements. Go for ones that contain high levels of B-12 and B-9. Alternatively, you can add more vitamin B rich foods into your diet.


Numb tongue and lips are common after dental procedures. However, if you’re experiencing tongue numbness and haven’t been to the dentist lately, you should visit a doctor. They will let you know what is causing the symptoms and how you can reduce the numbness.

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