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Has Anyone Else Had A Similar Reaction Following Dental Work?


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Tingling, numbness spreading gradually across the face then up the neck, head, up the back (like icy spiders) and down the arm(s) / leg(s). Followed by severe episodes of pre syncope.

I had an acute onset of POTS and NMS following a root canal (left upper) last August.

The day after the root canal I had tingling and numbness in the left side of my face as is if the anesthesia was wearing off a second time. The next day I had the same sensations on the right side. The next day in my feet, then up my legs, arms, back and neck. Then came the waves of faintness and palpitations that landed me in the hospital. This is how my Dysautonomia journey began.

This past Monday I went in to have a filling done (lower left - my first work since the root canal) and ended up in the ER last night with a similar set of symptoms:

-tingling and numbness on left side of face and left side of chin, moving up my neck, back head and down my arms. Palpitations have begun. All seems to be unilateral this time.

My primary wanted to rule out stroke and my autonomic specialist recommended a steroid pack to reduce inflammation in the event of a rare allergic reaction. We ruled out stroke and I'm now on a steroid pack.

My docs are puzzled so I'm wondering if any of you have insights into this weird repeat reaction.

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I get tingling and numbness in my face, hands, arm, neck, back of the head and back. I had the arm/ hand tingling before any dental work. But it wasn't until about a month or so after having dental work that I got severe numbness on one side of my face. It felt like I had a shot of novocain, I went to the ER and they couldn't find anything. After a few hours it dulled to a "novocain wearing off" feeling. A few days later it spread to the other side of my face too- the whole episode lasted a week. It came and went occasionally after that but never as significant again... until I had more dental work done. This time I had the numbness feeling the next day. The first bout of numbness was so far away from having dental work done that I never connected the two, but the second time it happened it was so immediate I wondered if the two were connected. It still comes and goes but hasn't been severe since that second procedure.

BTW- both dental procedures happened after I already had Pots. Both times I felt very faint standing up after it as all done, and became so nauseous I almost got sick in the office. They ended up giving me oxygen and had me lay down until some color came back to my face.

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oddly enough I also had a filling done this week and have been in bed since :( I know the tools like the grinder etc were really causing my head to vibrate so bad I felt like I would throw up......I think for whatever reason that and having my head at such an odd angle for so long set off a flare for me..... my tachy, lightheadedness, balance have been really bad and I have had 2 mild grey outs over the last couple days. i was fine before the procedure....I am just trying to hunker through it :(

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Funny you posted this.. I had dental work done today for the first time in 5 years. I have a mini-anxiety attack (adrenaline rush, tingling, tight throat, pre-syncopal feeling) that came and went when the Dr was getting ready to work. BUT I truly believe my experience with POTS has given me Health anxiety. Did you know that anxiety causes all kinda of crazy physical symptoms.. Numbness and tingling are some of the symptoms.. If your Dr has ruled out all the medical causes, do you think it could just be nerves? The dentist gives me the worse nerves!! Hence why I haven't been in years lol :)

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I had a root canal done about 18 months ago. Had pretty significant pain for a couple of weeks afterward which precipitated a major POTS flare and my one (and ONLY!!) trip to the ER. My theory is that the pain sets off the ANS, making it think something is "wrong" with my body so it does the hyper-drive thing.

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Mine starts in my tongue, moves through my mouth down my throat and then overtakes my body. Happened a couple of times a few years ago. Wasn't at the dentist though.

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I am careful about head posture. Seems that if I look down for too long such as at my computer, or look up for too long such as at the hairdresser or in dental chair I can become symptomatic. Shrugging my shoulders, which I find I posture myself that way a lot will bring on symptoms quickly. Also, if I do the stand up tanning with my arms overhead - huge no - no for me. I seem to need vascular clearing thru my neck.... have no clue why that is or how I figured it our for myself but that's my new weird body. Good luck.

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I learned long ago that I react to the Epinephrine in the numbing medication. It always gave me heart palpitations and made the weak for the rest of the day and into the following couple of days. This was long before I knew anything about POTS. I've never had the extreme tingling and numbness in the following days like you describe which sounds like Bell's Palsy.

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Before I had POTS, I would feel "yucky" all day after getting an epinephrine shot. LIke my heart was pounding and weak all over. I thought it was a nervous reaction to being at the dentist. I once "embarrasedly" asked the dentist about it and he told me that I was sensitive to epinephrine. Now they have it on my chart, and they stopped using it, and I am fine after the dentist.

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I get painful tingling in my scalp, trembling and palpitations a few minutes after the injections.. Years ago I also had a severe reaction to the injection. I collapsed and was twitching on the floor of the waiting room whilst being fully aware of everything but having no control - with everyone watching me :wacko: . I had to leave my car there and a member of staff took me home. What that was about I do not know to this day.

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I agree with the previous comments about epinephrine. I request the shots without epi because I get major POTS symptoms with it. There is also some sort of relaxant/downer shot they can use as well. I stay away from both of them and just get the regular shot. I would ask what type of numbing agent they are using.

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Thank you to all of you for replying. It helps me to realize I'm not so alone.

It is interesting that during the dental procedure last year they used Lidocaine w epi in my upper left jaw. My chart has already been flagged with no epi so the dentist used Mevapicaine without epi this time in my lower left jaw. It makes me wonder if I would have a nerve block to the right side would I have a similar reaction? The ER doc suggested to consider a different class of local anesthetic such as Ether. Have any of you had Ether?

My symptoms have continued to worsen since my last posting (all POTS related: severe fatigue, near blackouts, bilateral parasthesia, shortness of breath, unusually high tachy, etc. ) Today in addition my doc started me on IV saline therapy. I hope the hydration will help.

Any suggestions for future dental work? and/or do any of you know of studies done with POTS patients related to dental work?

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