Woman suffering toothache with hand on face

We use our mouths to sense taste, heat, cold, pressure, and even to help us smell. Your mouth is one of your most important organs, so it can be unnerving when it goes numb. Sometimes, a lack of sensation can be even more troubling than discomfort. Fortunately, Dr. Craig Armstrong and our team are here to help you sort out all your oral sensations (or lack there of). There are many reasons your mouth, or a section of your mouth, could go numb. In many cases, the issue is minor and easily resolved, but a numb mouth could also be a warning sign of more complex conditions. In the following blog, Houston dentist, Dr. Armstrong and our team describe various reasons your mouth might be numb and explain what you can do to enjoy a sensational smile once again.

Local Anesthesia

This is perhaps the most obvious potential cause of numbness. When you come in for a filling, root canal, or another restorative procedure, Dr. Armstrong may administer anesthesia. Topical (applied directly to your gums and teeth) or injected anesthesia is designed to temporarily eliminate sensation in the treatment area so you can remain comfortable and relaxed while we work on your mouth. It’s normal to continue to feel numb for a few hours or even the rest of the day after you have local anesthesia. However, if this persists for more than about 24 hours after your procedure, please contact our practice for assistance.

Allergic Reactions

Intolerance to certain foods, medications, or other substances can cause all or part of your mouth to go numb. If your mouth begins to lose sensation, think about what you’ve recently exposed your mouth to. Particularly if you get a rash, hives, or other symptoms of allergic reaction, this could be the cause.

An Abscess

If a particular tooth or an area of your gums suddenly begins to feel numb, you may be suffering from an abscess, or a pocket of infection. An abscess can damage the nerves in your teeth. Your Dentistry Guide explains: “if the infection kills the tooth nerve, the toothache may stop. However, this doesn’t mean the infection has healed; the infection continues to spread and destroy tissue.” If you’ve been suffering from a persistent toothache, numbness may come as a relief. However, in this circumstance, it is even more important that you get to our office right away, as it is a sign the infection has progressed even further. Dr. Armstrong and our team can help you identify the issue and recommend a restorative treatment, such as root canal therapy.

Xerostomia

This is the technical, medical term for dry mouth. You may not realize it, but your mouth depends on spit. Improper saliva flow can impair all sorts of oral functions. As Colgate Oral Care Center describes, if you have trouble producing enough spit, you might have “trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting, or speaking.” Aside from dehydration, there are many things that can cause xerostomia, including “nervousness, stress, certain medications, aging, cancer therapy (radiation/chemotherapy)…autoimmune disorders…smoking, and methamphetamine use.” We can diagnose and treat dry mouth so you can sense properly.

Oral Cancer

In her Consumer Health Day article, “Warning Signs of Oral Cancer,” Nancy Montgomery writes: “approximately 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer annually, and just over half will be alive five years later.” This damaging disease is rarely talked about, and often left unnoticed until it’s too late. Ms. Montgomery notes: “persistent tenderness, pain, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips” can be a symptom of oral cancer. This is why it’s vital to come to our practice for an examination if you experience prolonged numbness. If diagnosed properly, and early, oral cancer is highly treatable.

General Neuropathies

Of course, the source of your numbness might not be specific to your mouth at all. If you suffer from neuropathy—a condition, such as diabetes, stroke, etc.—this could affect any or all of the nerves in your body, including those in your mouth. Without properly functioning nerves, your mouth might become numb. If this is the case, you can search for peripheral neuropathy specialist near me and allow the professionals to identify this and send you to an appropriate specialist for further care.

Is Your Mouth Numb?

We are here to help you maintain a beautiful, healthy mouth. If you’re suffering from numbness, Houston dentist, Dr. Armstrong and our team can help you pinpoint the cause and remedy your condition. Contact our practice today to schedule an appointment.

Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/restorations/why-is-my-mouth-numb/

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