Why Dental Anesthetic Makes Your Heart Beat Faster

Why Dental Anesthetic Makes Your Heart Beat Faster

Dental Anesthetic Makes Your Heart Beat Faster
©Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.com

You may have noticed that when you get a dental injection, sometimes your heart feels like it’s going to beat right out of your chest.  You’ve probably just assumed that your heart is beating so hard because you’re nervous.

That’s partly true, but there’s another reason — the dental anesthetic actually contains something that makes your heart beat faster!

Why Your Heart Beats Faster When You Get a Dental Injection

Dental InjectionAs I mentioned above, nervousness may play a role in making your heart beat faster when you get a dental injection.  When we get nervous, our heart beats faster because our body sends out a substance called adrenaline that increases our blood pressure and causes our heart to race.

Most of the local anesthetics used in dentistry in the United States contain epinephrine (also known as adrenaline.)  Not only is your body causing your heart to speed up by releasing adrenaline, your dentist is giving you adrenaline in the local anesthetic!

Don’t worry, dentists don’t want you to have a double-dose of adrenaline to make you nervous.  Local anesthetics contain epinephrine for another reason: The epinephrine constricts your blood vessels.

With your blood vessels constricted, the local anesthetic stays near your tooth for a long time.  That way, it gives your dentist a lot of time to work on your tooth without you feeling it.  Another reason that dentists want your blood vessels constricted is so that only a small amount of local anesthetic gets absorbed into your body.


You may have felt your heart pounding more during some dental injections more than others.  If the dentist happens to inject the local anesthetic into a small blood vessel, it can quickly travel to your heart and cause it to beat very hard and fast.  This generally subsides after 10 seconds or so and is not dangerous to you.  Most of the time, the local anesthetic is not injected directly into a vessel and stays right near the nerve without affecting the heart.

Have you ever felt your heart race when getting a dental local anesthetic injection?  I’d love to hear your comments and questions in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!

Update 2/25/13 – I wrote a new post about why dental anesthetic makes your heart beat faster, with more science to back it up after some comments below made me question whether or not this can really happen. You can read it here: Can Dental Anesthetic Really Make Your Heart Beat Faster?


  1. I had a root canal done yesterday and the doctor gave me 5 injections. Before he was even finished i felt my heart speed up and i started shaking. I was not nervous at all untill this happened. It lasted for about 5 minutes. I did not tell the doctor but i will next time. I know the alternative to novacain does not numb you as well.

  2. Hi, I feel a little better after reading your comments re: rapid heart after having injection. I was having restoration to a wisdom tooth, my arms went limp, my heart has never beaten so fast, thought I was going to faint, was very frightening. My question – is it normal for my jaw to be very sore 14 hours later and I feel like I have a tooth ache but I can’t pin point which tooth. There was no ache before this treatment. Is it just the jaw, I am confused and taking panadol for the pain.

  3. Hi, Aurelia here again. I sent you a message a little earlier. Forgot to mention that I felt a very painful stabbing pain from my gum to my eyelid when the Dentist was giving me the injection. I usually put up with the injections quiet well but this one caused me to squeel in pain I am worried that this could have caused damage. It is now 20 hours later and I am still in pain. Help!!

  4. I have had four procedures (done in quadrants) over the last 6 weeks. Today, the final quadrant, she injected me and immediately I felt like my heart was going to come through my chest wall. It lasted for about 20-30 seconds and then subsided. After letting it “set” in for a couple of minutes she started to drill much to my surprise that the tooth WAS NOT numb! She gave me another injection this time without any adverse side affects and within a couple of minutes I was thoroughly numbed. I had just recovered from some arrhythmic events from being hyperthyroid and this gave me quiet a scare. Glad to see that it is a normal reaction. I appreciate your post because it put my mind at ease.

  5. I had work done on 3 teeth just two day ago .. had the kind of anesthetic that caused my heart beat to drastically increase for about 20 seconds. Had two of those pluse the other anesthesis usually used for root canal work. Piculair thing is that the procedure lasted 4 hours, tried to go to pass urine a few times – could not, ended up going to ER, had a catheter to empty my bladder. Still have it on for 3 more days.

    I am sure this was caused by the local anesthetic – because before these procedure I had no problem passing urine.

  6. Very interested by comments as I have had a racing heart after local anesthetic for some years now.I also have an anxiety disorder and as my heart usually beats faster as soon as I enter the dentist’s surgery I had always assumed it was part of the same thing.A couple of years ago,however,my dentist asked me if I had that effect after an injection because he had recently had a patient who’d had it and wondered if she was allergic,which for some reason had amused him(!).He said it was a combination of ,for most people.the adrenalin and(as in my case) nervousness,so now that I know it’s not just me I feel better about it as it doesn’t last very long,max 30 mins.Mind you a couple of posts have mentioned heart attacks so I’ll probably worry about that now!Had heard the non-adrenalin alternative is not nearly as effective for most people.I think if it were dangerous they would have to tell you,surely?

    • Janice you can tell them you don’t want epinephrine. That’s the one with the caffeine in it or something which makes you jittery. If they happen to hit a blood vessel and it goes right into your bloodstream it can cause issues for some people, for me it gives me shakes like the world is about to end.

      The non epi anesthesia wont last quite as long but you won’t feel uber nervous.!

    • Janice, although my dentist tried to ensure me the standard one was very very safe, as soon as I mentioned that I used to suffer from palpitations (due to some cosmetic defect on my valve, not dangerous, but annoying), she offered me the other one. She said they use the one without adrenaline for older patients and those with high blood pressure.

  7. hi.
    i had a root canal today. i told the dentist i am very sensitive to epi and he went ahead and gave me a shot with epi and one without. very quickly after the shots went in, i felt a burning sensation in my chest. it was very uncomfortable. it passed after about 3 to 5 minutes and then he went ahead and did the procedure. what caused this? i was anxious since this was the second root canal on the same tooth. now i am in more pain !! what options do i have at a dentist for other anesthesia if i cannot use “caines” ?
    eventually, i want to get veneers. what will i do then for anesthesia ?

    • I worked in a dental office as an assistant for years. Just simply tell him NO epinephrine. The end. The use it because it lasts longer but being traumatized isn’t worth it. when the numbness starts to wear off.. just tell then and they will re apply an injection.

      haha one time I even had a dentist totally miss and poke my lip… ouch.

      anyway…relax and know that you don’t have to go koo koo in the chair.

      Tom any thoughts?

      • I agree – you can always ask for no epinephrine – it’s an anesthetic marketed under the name of Carbocaine that they can give you. It won’t last as long, but usually is fine for routine fillings.

  8. Hello Doctor
    Im 24 years old, i had root canal treatment in one of my tooth, later on it got infected and the filling went out of it then i decided to get my tooth removed, today i went to the doctor and he operated me and the tooth was removed. As soon as i left the dental chair i felt diziness, numbness loss of hearing and eye sight. Doctor gave me decadran inj. And i felt like i got paralyzed my feet got curved hands and rib cage had the same situation, i felt tightness in my body then after the second inj dont know what it was , i felt better… Can u plz me what is the reason behind? It took enough time to remove my tooth bcoz it got removed into pieces as it was totally destroyed. For some time i was gud but in the end i felt like above???

  9. I had an injection for an extraction yesterday. After receiving the injection my heart beat hard and fat. It lasted about 10 minutes. This has happened only once before. My blood pressure was check during the racing it was 201/106. I do not have high blood pressure. Why was my pressure high?

  10. Hi!,
    Few days back, I was with dentist for tooth extraction and adraline was injected. As was being done, my heart started punding for about 10 seconds. Unfortunately, I had to keep mouth open as there were intrsuments inside mouth and hence could not talk to dentist immediately. The throbbing suddenly stopped. Eventhough, I have had few dental treatments in the past, this was first experience! I am 59 and have BP & Diabetics in control. Dentist is advising me to take cardilogists opinion before any further treatment.

  11. Hi everybody,
    Around six mounths ago I had extensive dental work carried out,which was spread out over a period of 3 mounths. The work consisted of 6 big fillings.
    I had the same experience as all the other people, but the difference for me is since the work I’ve never felt the same!…I’ve experienced regular head aches and bouts of dizziness and with some nausea thrown in.
    I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience, any help would be a relief, as I’m off to the doctors today for a full health check.
    Thanks for reading.

    • I have had this happen as well!!!! In 2010 I found out I needed bout every tooth In my mouth worked on ranging from large fillings to small fillings. I was going in throughout the month and every single appointment after the injection I would get to feeling very bad…..shaking, sweating, chills, nausea, pounding heart and dizziness. Now I have always had panic disorder but the going to the dentist really wasn’t a big deal for me until 2010!! I made it to about 4 appts and couldn’t finish the rest of my teeth…..the after effects of those numbings has stayed with me and I thought it was from the silver fillings. My anxiety and panic disorder went insane!!! I am now do for even more fillings along with the ones I couldn’t do in 2010 I am scared to death!! Apparently it wasn’t the silver fillings causing all my mental symptoms (depression, panic) and the body symptoms (nausea, even lock jaw!!!!) Those two weeks in 2010 ruined my life and now I have to go back for hours of more dental work….thanks a lot dentist for making my life hell!! And I think ALL dental offices should have iv sedation so you don’t have to go through this…..iv sedation is over two hours from where I live!! and way more expensive!!

  12. This explanation falls under the category of “it works in theory.” But it’s wrong.

    Yes, epinepherine is included in local anesthetics that dentists use . Yes, epinepherine can make your heart beat faster and harder (through B-1 adrenergic receptors in the heart). But the amount you get is not enough to cause systemic effects. The epi that you get instead acts at alpha-adrenergic receptors in the blood vessels near the injection site to squeeze blood vessels (cause vasoconstriction). This has two effects: 1) decreases bleeding where work is going on, and 2) more importantly, decreases blood flow to the area to slow the rate at which the anesthetic is leeched away from the site. In effect, this makes the anesthetic last longer. To reiterate, epi *decreases* the already-small amount of anesthetic that gets into the bloodstream.

    You actually get more anesthetic than epi. To get a systemic (cardiac) effect from the epinepherine in locaI anesthetics, you’d have to get a dose so huge that you actually get an arrhythmia from the local anesthetic itself. And it would have to be injected directly into a vein. And those things don’t happen in the dentist’s chair.

    When your heart goes thumpity-thump from getting poked in the mouth, it’s because you anticipate not liking it (epinepherine release from the adrenal glands), and you don’t like it (epinepherine release from the adrenal glands). It’s 100% the fight-fright-flight response.

    • ohhh I don’t know about that one. I have been completely fine and calm and still then when then one of 2 things happen after the injection.
      1- my lip (assuming lower block) gets numb
      2 – my lip (assuming again lower block) doesn’t get numb but my heart starts racing like a mother….

      (p.s. worked in a dentist office for years so I’m not afraid.).

      I love the time my eye started burning :)

    • I disagree.

      I’ve fought off machete-wielding thugs while choking on a smoke grenade. I’ve saved the life of a woman collapsed with cerebral haemorrhage while waiting nearly three hours for the ambulance. I’ve taped my own thumb back together after slicing the distal phalange almost completely in half hours from help. I’ve been caught amongst ferrous-rich rocks during a thunderstorm on a mountain, yards from multiple lightning strikes that made my hair stand on end (thinking all the while, “wow wow wow wow”). I spent three hours trapped in the passenger seat of a wrecked car once, bleeding profusely from the gash my teeth opened through my cheek, joking and chatting with the fire crew that spent two of those hours trying to cut me free (they’d spent the first hour getting to the remote country road my lady friend driver had chosen to meet with a tree on); once I’d established the driver was unharmed and able to remove herself fromt he vehicle, I didn’t see much point in making a big deal out of it.

      Not one of those situations resulted in an extreme flight/fight response. I don’t fear pain thanks to a lifetime of debilitating migraines. I don’t fear needles, though they rarely have any effect upon me and I’d be happy never to see another one. I certainly don’t fear dentists or surgery – they’re not half as intimidating as trying to hold a door against a bunch of murderous scumbags while getting caught by the odd blade thrust through the door (one of the few times I was NOT surprised at the vast volumes of blood pouring from my head at the slightest cut), and fumbling on the floor for the smoke grenade that they threw through one of the new holes in the door.

      If you want to see me nervous or scared (or terrified) put someone I care about through that sort of pain or misery, but I’ll still maintain my composure while I’m thinking hard on what to do next (and possibly, just how much I can hurt you before someone pulls me off you – I LIKE my adrenaline, and I know how to use it).

      So, it has to be said, I was very surprised by my reaction to an injection a little over a year ago. I normally expect a slight tingling sensation that fades in about the time the dentist expects me to start drooling and slurring (much to their concern, this rarely happens). When my heart began pounding within a few seconds, my skin went cold, and I had the very real feeling that I was about to black out, I can assure you that the only possible reason for it was something in the injection.

      For the few seconds it lasted (felt like minutes), I honestly did not enjoy the sensation at all. Once I’d regained myself somewhat, I jested that it felt like I’d had a great whack of adrenaline. I was surprised when the dentist confirmed that there was a little with the anaesthetic.

      I was not so surprised that the injection had little effect, barely dulling the pain of having a broken tooth uprooted; a novel sensation that I’d rather never experience again, but still not one that evokes even the most remote sensation of fear as I understand it. Sure, I’ll be more careful about breaking my own teeth from now on, but there is no way in hell that I suffered a natural flight/fight response in that chair. I know my own body and mind better than anything else in this universe, and I’m a science and technology nerd, so that’s saying something!

      The theory and the fact are not always entirely reconcilable. This is just my tuppence worth.

  13. Thankyou for posting this site. It does help me feel a bit less scared, because othwer people have experienced these things too.
    I had 2 fillings at a new dentist yesterday. I’d told him I don’t have the adrenaline injection because it made me feel very ill once, so I assumed I was allergic or sensitive to it. He probably injected into a blood-vessel. had suffered with panic attacks and free-floating anxiety for years and the last thing I needed was any extra adrenaline!!!
    He didn’t seem too keen on using another anaesthetic as it wouldn’t last so long, but I assumed he used something else as I’d asked him to. He injected both teeth at once, one a the top and one at the bottom back, and by the time he started work on the big bottom tooth I could feel pain from the nerve. He stopped and injected again. When he started drilling I could still feel the sensitivity. So he gave me 2 massively long injections on different sides, which hurt all the way up my nose to my eye. The anaesthetic was dribbling down my throat in one of them and it was horrendously bitter. I started to choke and try to cough. I don’t know how I held off. As soon as he finished he let me sit up and I was choking and coughing and nearly being sick.
    I didn’t have pain during the filling and was mighty relieved when it was all done! But when I stood up I felt all woozy….every time I moved my eyes everything took time to catch up. I didn’t feel at all secure so I asked to sit down in the waiting room. I was given a glass of water but was there for some time and still felt very peculiar. I felt on the edge of a faint or of being sick, had a headache and my head felt big and stuffed and I felt too dizzy and wobbly to go anywhere. I have never experienced this before.
    The dentist advised me to have something sweet and told me to eat before I came next time…but I’d had a meal before I went. He said it was a combination of lying down for a long time plus stress. That’s always the case at the dentist, but I’ve never felt like that before.
    The biscuits worked fairly quickly, but when I looked in the mirror I was really red as if my blood-pressure was very high. I felt strange all the rest of the day and my mouth was very bruised and swollen from the injections, which I’ve not experienced before.
    Today I’ve been having lots of uneasy feelings and waves of nervousness, which I’ve not had for years. I even found it hard to eat and I felt a bit sick and had the runs.
    Is this the result of the injections because I had too much? Or do you think he gave me the adrenaline injection without telling me? Or can the alternative anaesthetic produce these symptoms?
    And why didn’t he wait till he’d done the first filling before giving me the injection for the 2nd one?

    • I REALLY hate when dentists rush. If they cant wait a few minutes for the needle to take effect they shouldn’t be in business. This isn’t a butcher shop.

      next time tell HIM To *WAIT* until your lip feels numb. It sounds like he kept missing and got frustrated.
      That is in my opinion.

      Too bad we dont all live in Bridgewater, VA – we could go see Tom who probably cares about his patients.

      • That’s definitely true, some dentists do end up rushing, which may help them in the short-term (get through more patients and get more revenue), but I think it hurts them in the long-term when the make their patients uncomfortable. If I miss the nerve on the first and second times, I’ll usually get some anesthetic right around the tooth and then when that’s done taking effect, I’ll give an injection in the ligament right next to the tooth, and that one will usually get the stubborn teeth numb.

        I think it’s definitely a right to be comfortable when you have dental/medical treatment in a routine setting.

        Thanks for the kind words, Scooter – I did end up choosing somewhere that’s quite a ways off the beaten path!

  14. I just had a root canal retreatment done today. The endodontist was first going to do the top tooth (#3), so gave me two injections of local anesthetic. I felt my heart racing for a short while, and felt a little shaky, but just focused on taking deep breaths and it quickly went away — I thought maybe I was nervous even though I didn’t feel nervous. It turned out that the top tooth couldn’t be saved, so he instead did the root canal on the bottom tooth (#30) that also needed one, so he did two more injections. I felt the same heart-racing, so knew it was some kind of mild response to the anesthetic. Figured I was just extra sensitive, but decided to google it tonight. I’m so relieved to find out that this happens in a lot of people, especially since I’m having oral surgery next week to remove what’s left of #3. Thanks for the website. :)

  15. Thanks for the article. I’ve had dental work done numerous times and never had any issues. Today was different. I’m 32, female and healthy. No known allergies. I got the first shot for numbing. My dentist poked around to inject again. I winced and he stopped. He asked if I was okay and suddenly I felt extremely light headed. Everything went white and my eyes shut. Immediately my heart began to race and I had short rapid breathing. This lasted about 3 minutes. Then slowly subsided and everything was back to normal. Totally weird experience! My dentist was kind enough to walk me through what was happening and telling me to breath slowly through my nose, asked if I ate breakfast and said that this was a reaction to the epi. He said it must have hit a blood vessel. So the event was a bit strange, but I appreciated him talking me through it and explaining. He need two more injections afterwards. Everything was fine. I felt a little during the procedure, but it felt like something cold than pain. I just had never experienced that nor did I know that could happen. I feel fine now, but am going back next week. I like my dentist and think he is great. It was my blood vessel that caused the issue :)

  16. Hi! I had to have a molar removed yesterday – after-effects of root canal done years ago – and for the first time I experienced the adrenaline surge. My heart was racing so wildly I was seriously concerned. Added to that, once the heartbeat subsided my muscles were tensing involuntarily, making my legs shake and twitch. Quite an experience. The downhill slide from that rush left me miserable and depressed and feeling this morning like a truck went over me. Fortunately as the day has gone by I’m recovering equilibrium!

  17. Yes, my heart was pounding so hard and fast, I felt unsteady and thought I was going to pass out, seemed like it lasted about 30sec or more and I felt uncomfortable and uneasy all day. That happened only once. Mostly the other times I usually feel a little uneasy eg; trebbling hands for about 10 is that normal?

  18. I had a broken filling removed today and when the dentist injected the lido I immediately experienced terrifying rapid heart beat and felt difficulty breathing. Before I even said a word the dentist told me he “was close to a vessel and my heart is probably racing but it will pass soon”. I have never experienced this before and it was horrible. I am puzzled how the dentist knew I was experiencing tachycardia.

  19. a few months ago i had two fillings and a wisdom tooth removed. when the dentist injected me my heart started to race in my chest, i felt really fluttered and anxious, i had no idea what was happening. i said it to the dentist and he said its probably the adrenaline being absorbed into your bloodstream which happens sometimes. it would have been nice to know beforehand that there was a chance of this happening!

    i was back again recently to get two more fillings done and after i was injected and left to get numb i had a weird shaking sensation throughout my body. but no heart racing this time.

    i don’t understand why patients are not informed about these side affects.

  20. Hi Tom,

    I Just had this happen today and it scared the hell out of me! I was having a root canal on the 16. It’s a long story, but basically crown had been loose for over a year and despite my complaining, dentist missed it. Crown fell off a few days ago and tooth underneath was black! My Dentist thought he could save it by doing a root canal. I was SOOO nervous, as I know this is close to the sinus cavity and figured there had to be a ton of decay to cause it to be black. It took a LOT of freezing 2 1/2 vials and lots in tooth canal as well. I Could still feel it. The Dentist cleaned out most of the 4 canals but temporarily filled it and am going back in a few weeks to finish it off. He said he wanted it to heal a bit (and he ran out of time). He mentioned that the anatomy was not what he expected (not sure what that meant)? Also, the Assistant told be it was bleeding. I was on Nitrous oxide for the first time and at first it didn’t help because I was too nervous. I Cried a little after about 30 minutes when there was still pain in tooth after the 5th needle? I think I finally fell asleep with mask on but possibly passed out because all I can remember was flashing lights under my lids and my heart beating so fast and loud that it brought me “to” if you will. I somehow shouted “hot” maybe meant “heart” and then gradually came to and calmed my breathing. As I said, it scared the shit out of me. Had a good cry on the way home in the car. I seriously thought I might have been dying at the time. Any thoughts? I have an appointment to finish the root canal and possible crown lengthening in a few weeks time. Will be just as nervous, I’m sure. Could the combination of nitrous oxide and the excessive amounts of anaesthetic be dangerous? Or had the oxygen run out? I know they fiddled (removed one) with the tanks part way through my appointment. Thanks

  21. I’ve had a terrible past with dentists having grown up in another country and not experienced American dentists until recently. My fear of them kept me away from them for a while longer than I should have stayed away. Also lack of money and health insurance were major factors too. Now I’m playing catch up and have insurance and a bit more funds to take care of many issues like root canals, crowns and an upcoming extraction.
    I find that even though I’m slowly learning that my dentists can be trusted to not deliberately hurt me, I’m still wary of the methods used to work on my teeth. I find that after procedures and lying in the dental chair for whatever amount of time that I’m very unsteady on my feet and worry I’m going to pass out after standing up. I haven’t done it yet but I never feel very stable when I get up and have the fear I’ll one day embarrass myself by falling over. Is this from the injections to numb me up or is this just me being ridiculous?

    • Hi Fran – You could ask the dentist to slowly raise you up in the chair. If you’ve been lying down for a long time and suddenly stand up, gravity can cause blood to rush downward toward your feet, making you feel lightheaded. I would discuss your concerns with your dentist. Changes are he/she would be more than willing to accommodate you if you bring up your concerns. I hope that helps!

  22. Yesterday I went to have a tooth extraction,feeling very brave and thinking I’d overcome my fear I decided to have it done awake,as soon as the injection hit my mouth I felt an awful hot electrifying pain and within seconds the room was spinning I started sweating and then continued to be sick. The next day and I’m still feeling very dizzy,sick and my face doesn’t feel right any ideas why this has happened

    • Hi Erika – I’m not sure what could be going on. Do you have any allergies? The epinephrine reaction usually just lasts for a minute or so. Other than that, it could be pain from the extraction that you’re still feeling. Beyond that, I’m not quite sure. I hope that helps!

      • Hi I didn’t have it taken out I was being too sick,I have just got back from a and e they think that it must have been a nerve it was injected into and I have had a bad reaction to it still feeling very queezy

  23. Well I went back for a second part of my root canal for the “build up”. This root canal seems very long to need 3 visits. The first one I felt great after, took some ibuprofen for a few days and was great. This time was brutal, and when I got the anesthetic my legs immediately felt heavy, my heart raced and then I started to shaking. They give me the informed consent to sign and I barely could hold the pen. I was told it was the epinephrine to make the shot last longer. They must of hit a vessel because I didn’t feel this at all last time. I work in a pain management program and do biofeedback so I teach people all day how to relax and avoid the fight or flight response. I went about my self hypnosis for the rest of the procedure but now my mouth is hurting worse then before the root canal, I had to embarrassingly ask for pain meds, and my chest hurts from fighting against the epinephrine for 2 hours to lower my heart rate and relax.

    Injecting epinephrine for a dental procedure is completely counterproductive to helping people relax. No wonder people have panic attacks at the dentist, this initiates them. They really need to find something else.

  24. This just happened to me today, so I thought I would do a little research to find out if it was normal. I’m glad to know that is was not just a nervouse or anxious reaction to getting a shot. It did subside within a few seconds. But I also notice that I feel a little tired for a couple hours after I get my dental work done. Maybe that’s an effect from coming down from the adrenaline. I will do more research. Thanks for the info!

  25. Thank you Tom for posting this. This never used to happen to me before, but today suddenly I felt dizzy and heart beat racing after she gave the injection for almost 10-12 seconds. I thought of running out of the clinic. I started breathing slowly and deeply and that feeling vanished. The moment I came back from the clinic I checked and got this very useful information. Though my dentist is very very calm and never hurries, I didn’t tell her anything about what I experienced. Now I will definitely inform her, so that she is also aware of my sensitiveness for certain drugs. Thank you once again…

  26. I am 57 and have never had any problems at the dentist – until about 2 years ago when I needed a filling – the first injection didn’t work, so he gave me another, that didn’t work either so he gave me a different one – that one made me feel so ill – my heart was racing, I felt feint, sick, dizzy, tingly I thought I would end up in hospital – then a week or so ago I broke a back tooth and went to the dentist today – I remined him that I had a bad reaction last time so he said he would give me a ‘special’ one so that I would be ok.

    A few mintues after the injection I felt spaced out, tingly hands, hot and sweaty and ‘not quite with it’ he insisted I sit for a while before commencing with my filling – after the work was completed I still felt odd – and was given some water to drink – that was about 3 hours ago and although the effects are wearing off I feel tired and headachy – why is this?

  27. Glad I found this article! I also thought I was spontaneously having my first-ever dentist anxiety attack, but it’s obvious now the dentist just hit a blood vessel. It was a horrible experience – heart beating like it was going to explode, shaking, numb extremities, tingly left arm and cold sweats that lasted an hour. I actually apologized for being so nervous. I have a feeling the dentist knew what the problem really was but didn’t mention it.

    I’ll ask her to skip the epinephrine next time. I’d rather have the pain!

  28. hi, this happened to me today, i had 3 injections to remove a molar, probably the wierdest feeling ever, my heart beating so fast for about 20 seconds, it was quite scarey, at least now i know why, thankyou.

  29. Hi, I just went to the dentist a couple of days ago and had a tooth pulled, it was a different experience since the last times I had a tooth pulled. My heart started beating so fast as soon as I got the first injections, I got a second injection and the same thing happened, even when the tooth was being loosened and pulled on my heart was beating faster and faster that I started to get dizzy, I had to God to help me to slow my heart beat down because I thought my heart was going to bust. Finally it did slow down and had to wait 15mins before I felt ready to get up and walk.

  30. It’s a shame that when a person is already apprehensive about going to the dentist because they are so expensive and very evasive about what they are doing, that you should then be traumatized by thinking that you are going to have a heart attack in the dental chair.

    Is a patient allowed to request the absence of epinephrine in their treatment?

    • Hi Debbie – You are in control of your dental treatment. If you don’t want epinephrine, you can ask your dentist and they are obligated to not give you epinephrine (or refuse to treat you in the worst case scenario, but I think that would be unlikely especially in today’s economy).

      I hope that helps!

  31. It makes my face sweat, cause me to be nauseous and yes my heart race so much I want to fight or flee Anxious) sick for hours after and days of feeling like my heart is doing flip flops. I think I am allergic ????

      • Umm I do not drink / take any products with caffine in at all – so if caffine is in this product that would explain the heart issues… no not a good feeling at all

  32. I just had a wisdom tooth extracted 2 days ago. After she was done I started feeling my heart pounding very fast and I felt very strange, also felt like I was about to faint, the dentist told me it was from the anesthetic and they had me sit in the chair for awhile until I felt better. I also went numb very fast, she told me that she’s never had anyone go numb that fast before, it was almost immediately and she was able to start pulling my tooth right away. I worry now if there may be a problem since I went numb so fast?

  33. This has happened to me last week and again today. I have an erratic heartbeat anyway and am not on beta blockers due to resting heart beat very slow. I have to avoid caffeine etc to prevent episodes. Anyway worse effects today racing heart palpitations, my, neck and shoulders flushed bright red and very shakes hands and legs! Thankfully I found this so I know I’m not allergic to the anesthesia just effects my heart phew! Very hair raising

  34. This just happened to me yesterday when having an implant. I’ve never experienced this at the dentist before, but I have been having adrenal issues and boy did it have my heart racing yesterday. I do not like that feeling, but just wondering if it’s dangerous? Do I request that they not use the adrenaline with the next session?

  35. I had a dental injection once and instantly became shakey (almost as if I were cold). It was uncontrolable tremors, very strange. It was the epi free stuff too – wasn’t not a pleasant feeling. Dentist said it could of been I didn’t eat enough that day.

  36. Because of this sensitivity, my dentist supposedly gives me the alternative anesthetic, but I still feel incredibly unwell; my stomach feels upset, I get a headache and generally feel off balance for most of the day after.
    Is it possible to have a sensitivity to the alternative anesthesia?

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