Sometimes, your dentist may need to numb your mouth with anesthesia for a root canal, cavity filling, or other dental procedure to ease the pain that may occur. It is not normal, however, to experience chronic numbness in the mouth without anesthesia or after anesthesia ought to have worn off. If you have started to notice a numbing or tingling sensation in your mouth, you could have an allergy or a medical condition.
Common Causes of a Numb Mouth
A numb mouth may simply be a reaction to something you ate or it could be a symptom of a larger health problem.
A sudden numbness in the mouth after eating or drinking something is called anaphylaxis. This kind of allergic reaction can cause numbness in the mouth, but also a tingling sensation in the lips. In some cases, there may be facial swelling that accompanies the numbing sensation. Common foods that can cause an allergic reaction include pollen, nuts, celery, fennel, or shellfish.
If you don’t have a very nutritious diet, the vitamin deficiency may cause uncomfortable symptoms like a numb mouth over time. B vitamins in particular are crucial for the health of nerve and blood cells. A lack of vitamin B12 impacts the formation of red blood cells and can lead to numbing or tingling sensations in the body. To be sure you are getting enough vitamin B12, make sure to eat foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, supplementation may be necessary to keep your B vitamin supply at a healthy level.
Some medications and medical treatments can lead to a numbing feeling in your mouth due to the effect they have on the nervous system. The most common treatments that can lead to a numb mouth include chemotherapy, bisphosphonate therapy, radiation, or other nerve-blocking medications such as gabapentin.
Cancer in the mouth and throat can affect chewing or swallowing sensations in the jaw. This is the most common head and neck cancer and can damage blood vessels or nerves within the oral cavity. Other symptoms of oral cancer besides a numb mouth are mouth sores, a lump in the neck, difficulty swallowing, or ear pain. If a dentist suspects you may have oral cancer, they will refer you to a medical specialist for testing and diagnosis.
Burning Mouth Syndrome
Burning mouth syndrome involves an ongoing burning sensation or numbness in the mouth without any particular cause. Some people with burning mouth syndrome may also experience a loss of taste or increased thirst.
A stroke is a medical emergency. It occurs when the flow of blood to the brain is interrupted and can result in slurred speech, slower thinking, and numbness in the mouth. If you or someone you know is experiencing oral numbness accompanied by other neurological symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
A blow to the face area can lead to inflammation and numbness in the mouth. This is especially true if someone is hit in the jaw or falls and injures their mouth and teeth. If you have experienced a mouth injury, a medical professional can prescribe medication to ease the pain and speed up the healing process. Your dentist can treat any damage to your teeth.
How To Treat a Numb Mouth
How you treat a numb mouth will depend on the cause and severity of your symptoms. If you receive a cancer diagnosis, for instance, your treatment will be much more extensive than someone experiencing a mild allergic reaction.
Gargling an antiseptic mouthwash can prevent excess bacterial growth. Keeping your mouth clean reduces the risk of inflammation, infection, and a numbing sensation around the teeth and gums. It is recommended to rinse your mouth once or twice a day in addition to flossing and brushing for optimum oral health.
The best way to treat an allergic reaction that causes numbness is an antihistamine. Antihistamines work by blocking the histamine receptors in the brain and reducing symptoms of an allergic reaction.
A salt-water solution works similarly to an antiseptic mouthwash and has antibacterial healing properties. Salt water can also help ease pain in the mouth and ease the inflammation that is causing the numbness.
Oral Gels and Creams
If you’ve already tried some at-home care, the next step may be to try an oral gel or cream. These solutions can relieve mouth pain or irritation in the mouth. Often, once the irritation in the mouth subsides, normal nerve sensations in your mouth will return.
Talk to Your Dentist
If you’re concerned about the numbness in your mouth, talk to your dentist. They can help determine the cause of the numbness and help guide you toward an appropriate treatment. They can also recommend at-home treatments that might work for you if other options haven’t.
"I came to see Dr. Standish on the recommendation of my grandmother and mother. Dr. Standish also made me feel welcome and answered all my questions. Eagle Harbor Dental is truly our family's dental choice for all dental needs. P.S. They have the MOST comfortable dental chairs I have ever sat in!"Read More
"From the Front Desk to the Dental Assistants - Eagle Harbor Dental is the epitome of what and how a dentist should be. The trust we feel for the staff and Dentist at this office are UNBELIEVABLE! We just wanted to THANK them in writing so our whole world knows JUST HOW GREAT THEY ARE!!"Read More
"Been going to see Dr. Standish for many years. My teeth were a mess when I first started and now I have no issues. I'm 67 years old, I have all my own teeth, and I'm good to go for a long time. Never thought it would be that way. Along with the great dental care comes the great people that work there."Read More
"What makes Eagle Harbor Dental amazing is the people who are awesome at what they do. The staff that work there actually make me look forward to going to the dentist. I moved to a different county, but still make the drive."Read More
"Love my Dentist office. Erin and Renee always go above and beyond to always make my visits a great experience."Read More
"They handled every step promptly and professionally. They were very up front about options I had and what costs to anticipate. Hire with confidence."Read More
"The dentist used to be my least favorite place to go. I have been so blessed to find Dr. Standish & Dr. Kelly. They are phenomenal. I recommend them to anyone looking for a competent, professional, gentle and caring dentist! You will not be disappointed when you go there."Read More
"Eagle harbor Dental is such so amazing, I have been going there for a while now and I have had alit if Work done recently. Everyone is so friendly and my dental hygienist which I see every time I go is amazing! She always makes me feel so comfortable. Thank you for being so great! "Read More
"Dr. Standish is a remarkable Dentist and he has an incredible staff. He has a wonderful personality and his staff follow his example. His office is very high tech, but he likes to refer to himself as "an old school Dentist"."Read More
"I am happy to have found Eagle Harbor Dental, and their great team. My first visit was to outline options for some dental work and they were very thorough in talking through options and next steps."Read More
"I had Dr. Standish recommended to me and I was immediately pleased with the recommendation, and the service received. Nice staff, lovely premises. treatments suggestions gone over thoroughly but nothing *pushed* on you. I definitely plan to continue coming here."Read More
"What a wonderful experience. Dr Standish and his staff are outstanding in every area. Beautiful facility. Could not have been more impressed."Read More
Meet our Family of Dentists
Dr. Standish has been serving Clay County patients at Eagle Harbor Dental for over 30 years. His daughters Dr. Kelly & Dr. Erin joined the practice and they’ve been creating beautiful smiles as a family ever since. With extensive educations and memberships, our dentists are the best that Fleming Island has to offer.
Don't see your insurance listed? No worries! If you have a PPO plan, you can use it here.
Contact us to verify your coverage
Ready to get started?
Book your appointment
Give us a call
or send us a message using the form below