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    shira232's Avatar
    shira232 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Dec 29, 2011, 11:53 AM
    Lock Jaw from Novacaine
    Is it common to get locked jaw from Novocaine? I went to the dentist for a filling yesterday morning and my jaw is still locked where I can hardly open in to talk and can barely eat. Did they screw up or is this a common side effect?
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #2

    Dec 29, 2011, 12:10 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by shira232 View Post
    Is it common to get locked jaw from Novocaine? I went to the dentist for a filling yesterday morning and my jaw is still locked where I can hardly open in to talk and can barely eat. Did they screw up or is this a common side effect?
    Was the filling/injection close to the hinge of your jaw? Is there a lot of swelling?

    If your ability to swallow is being affected, you need to call the Dentist.
    shira232's Avatar
    shira232 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Dec 29, 2011, 12:20 PM
    There is not much swelling and I can swallow. I called yesterday and he said it should go away in a week! I just have never heard of this happening and it is definitely putting a damper on my holiday. Does this happen often?
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #4

    Dec 29, 2011, 12:22 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by shira232 View Post
    There is not much swelling and I can swallow. I called yesterday and he said it should go away in a week! I just have never heard of this happening and it is definitely putting a damper on my holiday. Does this happen often?

    That's their medical advice? "It should go away - ?" Oh my gosh.

    I had a similar problem with a back molar and the novacaine being given directly in the hinge of the jaw.

    I agree - this DEFINITELY will hamper your holiday. I don't know that there's much you can do. If it's the hinge, perhaps an icepack on the outside of your face? Otherwise if it's a bruise from the injection it just has to heal.

    I would not be happy!
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,267, Reputation: 7690
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    #5

    Dec 29, 2011, 12:43 PM
    I had my entire upper lip numb for almost a week, and as you said, was told it will just go away in a week or so.

    I can not find any stats on it, but yes I would say it happens more than they mention.
    Allenda's Avatar
    Allenda Posts: 29, Reputation: 3
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    #6

    Jan 2, 2012, 03:48 AM
    The use of Novocain or any other local anaesthetic in the nerves near the jaw hinge are highly unlikely to cause it to lock. Have you been treated previously with Novocain? Were there any complications then?
    Do you sometimes have problems keeping your mouth wide open for long periods while under treatment?

    Could it be that your dentist works in a traumatic fashion, where he tends to hold or force you to have your mouth open more than you would normally, could he have dislocated your jaw during treatment, or have you a history of such dislocations?

    If it is not the result of what is above, I would say it sounds to me like you may have some form of temporomandibular joint disorder which is a term for acute or chronic inflammation of the joint, which connects the mandible to the skull. The disorder can result in significant pain and impairment.

    Either case, "it should go away" is not any professional judgement, I would go back and have it checked out.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #7

    Jan 2, 2012, 08:48 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Allenda View Post
    The use of Novocain or any other local anaesthetic in the nerves near the jaw hinge are highly unlikely to cause it to lock. Have you been treated previously with Novocain? Were there any complications then?.

    I realize you appear to be a Dentist - however, this DID happen to me and it was a result of the injection into the hinge of my jaw.

    Maybe it's highly unlikely - but I was part of the statistic.
    Allenda's Avatar
    Allenda Posts: 29, Reputation: 3
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    #8

    Jan 5, 2012, 12:45 AM
    Don't get me wrong, I won't ever say it's not possible that the anaesthesia is NOT the cause.

    It is far more common for jaws to lock or become very painful/stiff if the injection is given in the wrong place.

    How is your jaw today Shira?
    lsbrkr's Avatar
    lsbrkr Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #9

    Jul 19, 2012, 02:53 PM
    I had this exact problem happen in March. It has been 4 months and I still can't open my mouth. I had two novacane shots in my lower left jaw and never got numb so the dental work was not done. About 1 week later I could not open my mouth and still can't. Did yours ever get better? How long has it taken? Did you do any therapy of any kind. I am desperate. My dentist keeps telling me it had nothing to do with the shots but I don't believe it.
    liljay86's Avatar
    liljay86 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Nov 17, 2012, 11:02 AM
    I am going through this as well. I went to the dentist to get 3 fillings done. But for some reason, the first shot of novacane had no affect on me... so the second one he kind of put in the meat of my cheek, and then when that didn't work, and he was putting in the 3rd dose of novacane... he was kind of poking it all over my cheek and way back in my mouth, then all of a sudden I felt a little pinch right in the hinge of my jaw... but was already becoming numb. My mouth was held open for about an hour while he did the fillings... and then when we the numbing came out it was unbelievable how little range of motion I had in my jaw. My chiropractor said my jaw was slightly out of place, so she thinks its solely because of having it open so long. But because I felt that pinch when he administered the numbing... I think both factors played into this.
    gdfeeley's Avatar
    gdfeeley Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #11

    Jan 15, 2013, 04:29 PM
    Novicaine did cause my jaw to lock today at the dentist 1/15/2013. It went away after the novicaine wore off several hours later. Do not loose your cool over this common occurrence. Yes, the injection was close to the jaw hinge area and yes novicaine can cause temporary lock jaw. It did in fact in me. The turn around period for your lock jaw may depend on your age and your bodies healing potential. I found a warm compress and ibuprofen to be very helpful.
    Joanne2212's Avatar
    Joanne2212 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #12

    Nov 2, 2015, 10:06 AM
    Hi, this happened to me as well. I had had three rounds of hour-long dental procedures, each about two weeks apart. The fourth, and final round of fillings, could not be done because the novocaine injection caused my jaw to lock. My jaw had just had enough by that point, and likely was too stressed out. I wish this had not happened, because I am dreading going back for that final round of fillings tomorrow. It has been two months and my jaw is back to baseline, which means it's a little inflamed, but that has always been my normal baseline. This is due to a mild case of TMJD.

    To answer your question, the lockjaw was scary because you feel out of control, and weird that you cannot shut your mouth. Mine did relax within a few hours, after the novocaine wore off. It was sore for four or five days after, Ibuprofen definitely helped, I could swallow, talk, sleep just fine. I did not crunch any foods, or bite into anything big, and two months later- though I probably could, I choose not to because I don't want a flare up again.

    It was not a horrible situation, just weird and it went away within a few hours.

    The worst part is that I have to go back and try to have the novocaine again, and get the two fillings done. My dentist is having me take FLexeril a muscle relaxant tonight before bed, and 800 mg Ibuprofen an hour before the apt tomorrow morning. This will hopefully keep the jaw muscle relaxed enough to get the fillings done without locking my jaw. I will post back and let you know.
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
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    #13

    Nov 2, 2015, 10:16 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Joanne2212 View Post
    Hi, this happened to me as well. I had had three rounds of hour-long dental procedures, each about two weeks apart. The fourth, and final round of fillings, could not be done because the novocaine injection caused my jaw to lock. My jaw had just had enough by that point, and likely was too stressed out. I wish this had not happened, because I am dreading going back for that final round of fillings tomorrow. It has been two months and my jaw is back to baseline, which means it's a little inflamed, but that has always been my normal baseline. This is due to a mild case of TMJD.

    To answer your question, the lockjaw was scary because you feel out of control, and weird that you cannot shut your mouth. Mine did relax within a few hours, after the novocaine wore off. It was sore for four or five days after, Ibuprofen definitely helped, I could swallow, talk, sleep just fine. I did not crunch any foods, or bite into anything big, and two months later- though I probably could, I choose not to because I don't want a flare up again.
    It was not a horrible situation, just weird and it went away within a few hours.

    The worst part is that I have to go back and try to have the novocaine again, and get the two fillings done. My dentist is having me take FLexeril a muscle relaxant tonight before bed, and 800 mg Ibuprofen an hour before the apt tomorrow morning. This will hopefully keep the jaw muscle relaxed enough to get the fillings done without locking my jaw. I will post back and let you know.
    Considering this was years ago, not sure if the OP is still around. Thanks for your input but be sure to look at the original posting date and then see if the OP has ever answered back.

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