Brace yourself: a woman recently went viral on TikTok after having a major mishap at the dentist, which resulted in half of her face becoming paralysed (to such an extent that she had to use her finger to close her own eye). Crikey.
Luckily, the social media user who goes by the name of @3ethy (or Bethy.Bee), said that everything returned back to normal the following day, but wanted to warn others of her experience.
"A little word to the wise: Don't take any vitamin C or drink any caffeine before your dentist appointment," Bethy.Bee told her followers, her face visibly different on the right-hand side. "They may have a hard time numbing you and you'll end up with half your face nearly paralyzed and still no work done 'cause you could still feel it."
She continued on to say, "Now I have to go back in three weeks and try this again. Wish me luck." On the subject of her eye alone, she added, "Seriously, I can not even blink my eye. I have to manually shut it, craziest thing ever."
Although in the clip Bethy.Bee says she believes the numbing agent used by her dentist wasn't effective due to her having consumed vitamin C and coffee before her appointment, it seems there's very little hard evidence to support that theory.
Speaking to Health, Charles D. Azzaretti, DDS, Program Director of Dental Anesthesiology at NYU Langone Dental Medicine, said. "I don't believe there is any credible evidence for this. I was not able to find anything in the scientific literature that supports the theory." However, there is some data that shows if vitamin C is taken before a local anaesthesia that the effectiveness of said anaesthesia may be lowered.
As for coffee, John Luther, DDS, Chief Dental Officer at Western Dental & Orthodontics, again told Health, "Caffeine is known to heighten awareness and in high doses may increase a patient's anxiety or make them nervous during dental treatment, affecting the patient's experience whether or not anaesthesia is given."
Azzaretti added, "Personally, I think operator accuracy, thoroughness, and patients is the most important variable. I believe any of the above variables alone would be at least as significant, probably [more so], in achieving effective local anaesthesia than if the patient had several cups of coffee prior to the procedure."
So there you have it - there's no hard evidence to suggest avoiding caffeine and vitamin C prior to a dental procedure, but if you're keen to err on the most extreme side of caution, there's no harm in giving both a miss for a day.
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