If you’ve seen videos or memes of people acting loopy after wisdom teeth removal, you might be wondering what’s happening and whether it’s normal. Here’s why people sometimes act funny or strange after having their wisdom teeth pulled out.
Can wisdom teeth removal make you loopy?
Yes, wisdom teeth removal can make you loopy. This is a short-term effect of dental sedation. The medicines used to relax you and reduce anxiety during the wisdom teeth procedure can affect certain brain chemicals and alter your behavior for some time afterwards.
Why do people act loopy after wisdom teeth removal?
People act loopy after wisdom teeth removal specifically because of nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas. It is a colorless, odorless, non-flammable gas used for dental sedation and also during general anesthesia.
Nitrous oxide has anti-anxiety effects because it activates GABA receptors in the brain which slow down brain activity and relax you. It also has analgesic (pain-relieving) effects through its actions on opioid receptors.
Nitrous oxide is much less potent than other anesthetics and has minimal effects on breathing and circulation. This makes it an ideal choice for dental sedation during procedures like wisdom teeth removal, because you remain awake throughout the procedure, but are less anxious.
How long does loopy last after wisdom teeth?
Loopiness or the effects of nitrous oxide last only for 3-5 minutes after the face mask is removed and you stop inhaling the gas. There are no long-term effects. However, you might feel slightly “floaty” or “loopy” after wisdom teeth removal. Many people report sensations of heaviness, tingling, or lightheadedness. If you inhale too much of the gas too quickly, it can cause side effects like dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.
Keep in mind that others types of sedation used during dental procedures can have longer-lasting effects. For example, oral sedation with a benzodiazepine medication can last for 4-6 hours after the dental procedure. These medications can also affect your emotional state. If you’ve seen people acting loopy after wisdom teeth removal, it may be from altered brain chemistry due to different drugs used for sedation.
So, now you know why some people act loopy after wisdom teeth removal. Stay tuned to the Express Dentist blog for answers to more of your questions. In the meantime, read more about wisdom teeth removal:
- Why they’re called wisdom teeth
- How to prepare for wisdom teeth removal
- What to expect during wisdom teeth removal
- How to sleep after wisdom teeth removal
About the author
Dr. Greg Grillo
Dr. Greg Grillo DDS studied at the University of Washington where he received a bachelors degree with Honors and later attended dental school on the same campus. Following school Dr. Greg served in the United States Navy as a dental officer. During this time he received advanced training in specialty areas of dentistry while also treating families of members of the military.
As well as sharing valuable information on dentistry and oral health, Dr. Greg remains a practicing dentist to this day. He works with families in the Okanogan Valley where he lives with his wife and three children.