Why do I bite my cheek after a filling?

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General Dental Care
BDS (Liverpool)

cheekIf you need a filling or have decay in your tooth, the cleaning of the tooth to make it ready for the filling can irritate the nerve of the tooth and this can cause a sharp shooting pain. To save you any discomfort during this procedure, your dentist will usually administer a simple injection of local anaesthetic.

At Smile Solutions, all our dentists, therapists and hygienists are highly skilled and trained to make the administration of local anaesthesia as painless as possible.

The area to be injected will be swabbed with a special numbing gel before the injection; this makes it more comfortable to you. Then we will slowly inject the fluid. The needles used are very fine, and most people don’t feel them going in, but there may be a little “sting” or “pinch” as the medicine displaces tissue in the gum.

There are two main types of numbing preparation. A block injection will numb an entire area of the mouth, such as the lower jaw on one side. An infiltration injection will numb a specific smaller area, such as one or two front teeth.

Your highly trained clinician will decide which is best for you, determined by the tooth needing the dental filling or procedure and the size of the dental filling.

The area that has been numbed can feel swollen (it’s not swollen; it just seems that way). You may also feel that the area numbed is a little droopy, and you may experience a “pins and needles” sensation as the medicine begins to wear off. This depends on the dose and type of numbing medicine used. Typically the anaesthetic can last for a couple of hours to several hours.

While your mouth is still numb, it is very important that you avoid very hot food and drinks, as the area in which you had the filling will have no sense of temperature. Equally importantly, you should avoid chewy foods as they could cause cheek biting without your being aware of it.

Our best advice is that, if you need to eat while your mouth is still numb, you should limit yourself to soft foods that aren’t hot or chewy.

What should I do if I accidentally bite my cheek?

If you have bitten your cheek or caused trauma to your mouth while it is numb, rinse with a warm salty mouthwash to clean the area and prevent the development of any infection. Avoid smoking and alcohol while the wound is healing.

Most cheek biting injuries are very small and will heal in a few days. However, if you are worried or concerned just call our friendly reception team on 131 396 who can arrange a appointment for you to see one of our clinicians.

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