Friday, March 20, 2009

Fat face

Last night I was thinking about dentists (a friend had a wisdom tooth out) and that got me thinking about the local anesthetic dentists use, and I started to wonder about something odd. Well, I think it's odd, anyway. Maybe you don't. Maybe you can answer this question for me.

You know how, when the dentist gives you an injection and half your face is numb, it feels like the numb half of your face has swelled to gigantic proportions? And when you look in the mirror it's quite surprising to see that actually your face is a normal size?

Well, that's what I started to wonder about. I think it's odd, and illogical. How does I can't feel my right cheek translate in our brains to therefore my right cheek is enormous?

I could understand it if the part of your face you couldn't feel seemed smaller than usual. But ... bigger? That doesn't make sense, at least to me.



Tabor said...

This is too hard for me to think about before my second cup of coffee!

Badaunt said...

See? If it made sense, you wouldn't need coffee to think about it!

kenju said...

Eddie, it makes NO sense, but I know what you mean because I've been there. In prep for gum surgery years ago (on the upper left quadrant of my
teeth) the dentist gave me 22 novocaine shots in that short space of maybe 3". Can you imagine how big my jaw felt???

kenju said...

I'm not crazy, I just got mixed up about whose post this is. Sorry.

Keera Ann Fox said...

OK, I'll bite (!): I think that because the body no longer has a sense of where (parts of) it is, it imagines itself to be bigger than it is just to be sure to not bump into anything or get too close to some predatory animal's jaws. That sort of thing.

fallensnow said...

I think it's like how it is with people with phantom limbs. The limbs are not there anymore, but they feel it anyway. Sometimes the non-existing limb hurts, sometimes they feel the wind, sometimes they feel swollen... I guess it's the way the brain tries to compensate for what it thinks should be there but cannot receive any signals from.