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Dental Anesthesia

Long-lasting face pain after dental work

10/15/2008

Question:

Yesterday I had work done on my bottom molar. After the anesthetic wore off, my cheekbone was really sore. It felt like a steam burn, but I don`t have any rash or anything visible. As the night progressed, the sharp pain traveled up to both eybrows. Heat helped and cold made it worse. Today my cheek still feels sensitive. It doesn`t hurt to touch; in fact pressing it makes it feel better. Is this a normal reaction to anesthetic? I`m still waiting for my dentist to call back.

Answer:

It is not clear to me that this is a local anesthetic reaction. The "cheekbone" is not near the site of injection for lower molars. It may be that this is an unrelated occurrence. Another possibility is that your jaw may have been strained a bit, as is typical when the very back teeth are treated, and this may have caused some "muscle spasm" leading to your symptoms. Pressure to the area may make it feel better. If this has not resolved, you should contact your dentist for professional consultation.

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Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University