View Full Version : Trouble getting numb at Dentist??

02-02-2007, 12:32 AM
Today, I went to the dentist for the first of 2 root planing treatments needed to clear-up gum disease. I don't have a history of having trouble getting numb (novacaine) but over the past 6 months have had increased trouble getting numb.

The dentist has tried both Novacaine and another anesthetic that doesn't contain epinephrine (sp?); and after giving me 3 times the "normal amount" of both (2 last appointments) I am not able to be completely numbed!?

Can anyone tell me if SLE can cause a person to be resistant to anesthesia?? (I had the same problem when I had a kidney biopsy last July. The Nephrologist used Lanacaine for the procedure.)

I know to talk to my Rheumatologist about this at my next appointment, but am wondering if other's with SLE have had the same experience.

Thanks in advance for your help.

02-02-2007, 08:27 AM
But starting in my late twenties I started having the same trouble at the dentist's office. It would take several shots of Novocaine to make me even halfway numb...the dentist just told me that people's nerves are different, in different spots sometimes :?:
I always tell the dentist that I have lupus, and they have to give me LOTS of gas to even clean my teeth. ( :oops: yes I am an absolute coward when it comes to my teeth. I'd rather have a baby than get my teeth worked on because I never get NUMB!) Love, Kathy

02-02-2007, 02:54 PM
I haven't had any work done since I was diagnosed (just cleaning.) I'm having a lip biopsy next week (to firm up a Sjogren's diagnosis) and that's a local anesthetic (like novacain, I understand.) I'll be curious to see if it takes a lot to make me numb. Hope not! One thing I have always had trouble with is getting rid of the numbness. I'm a drooling fool for HOURS. :lol: Everyone's nerves are different, I guess.


02-02-2007, 03:21 PM
If you are extremely nervous or anxious, local anesthetics are not very effective, because the hormones your body produces when stressed interfere with the effects of the local anesthesia, so it can take a lot more to be efective, and may not work at all. Asking for a mild tranquilizer to take before your procedures can sometimes help this problem. If your nerves are in a strange location, or you've had previous dental surgery or an injury to the jaw, standard injection techniques may not work, and you may need a dentist or oral surgeon experienced in advanced local anesthesia techniques. There are other things that can interfere with local anesthesia - infection, inflammation, certain medications - anything that changes the PH in your tissues can all stop local anesthetics from working properly. So if you've had problems in the past, you definitely want to let your doctors and dentists know, with so many different anesthesia techniques available, there's no reason for anyone to suffer when they don't have to,

02-04-2007, 07:56 AM
Bec -- do you have Shogren's as well as Lupus? One tends to experience a lot of dental problems with it, so one begins to notice things like problems getting numb....

I do -- and I've had the same problem since I've been sick. My dentist have maxed out the # of shots they are able to give generally. And of course they are painful to get and hurt for days afterwards when they need to be really deep for root work.

I don't know if there is a connection -- there are people far more knowledgable than I here who can answer that.

02-04-2007, 07:01 PM
I do have Sjorgren's and have read where the illness can have an affect on salivary glands which can lead to dental decay and gum disease.

I'm ALWAYS nervous and anxious when it comes to seeing the dentist, (I think it started when I was 14 and had to have braces put on!)
Until recently though, I hadn't had a problem getting completely numb.

When I had the Kidney biopsy done last July, I fully expected to be completely numb during the procedure. I was no more apprehensive than I was before having previous procedures. Boy was I and the doctor surprised when I could still feel every bit of the procedure! ':shock:'

As if the Lupus, Nephritis, and Sjorgren's weren't enough, I also have Discoid Lupus, Reynaud's and Penniculitis - maybe being resistant to anesthesia is just an added bonus!? ':roll:'.

I really appreciate everyone's reply. I'll post the doctor's answer after I see him again.

02-04-2007, 09:24 PM
Huh, that is very interesting. I've had unusual symptoms where an autoimmune problem has been suspected since I was a kid... Just in the last couple of years Lupus has been put on the list.

When I was a teen I had both knees operated on for a sports injury, I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia. Later when I had gallbladder surgery and then several ERCP's and other porceedures later, I've always had a problem with anesthesia. One dr. even accuesd me of using street drugs because of my tolerance to the anesthesia. :mad:

Come to find out that my grandmother and a cousin also have the same problem. The same cousin and her mother are also undergoing diagnosis for Lupus, as well as my mother. I know this doesn't nesscessarly run in familys but it sure is odd.

As far as the anesthesia goes, is it autoimmune or genetics I wonder. <shoulder shrug>