Redheads really don’t have more fun … at the dentist

Human DNA responsible for redheads feeling pain at the dentist.

Do you have naturally red hair and don’t experience the same level of blissful comfort as your friends while visiting your ridiculously gentle dentist?  As you know, visiting the dentist is completely painless and enjoyable, as well as totally bloodless.  Especially when your dentist is Dr. Matthew King in Chester, NY.  It’s amazing.  But if you have red hair, apparently, it is a mutation of the gene that controls hair color that may also alter pain receptors in your brain. The MC1R gene belongs to a family of receptors that include pain receptors in the brain, and as a result, a mutation in the gene appears to influence the body’s sensitivity to pain.  Sometimes a patient with red hair may need extra amounts of local anaesthetic (novocaine) to feel comfortable, and sometimes it may not work that well altogether.  I have witnessed this phenomenon several times in my career, it’s real.  Chromosomes are crazy things.  Blonde, brown, black, grey, white hair no problem.  No hair, no problem.  Red hair?  We’ll use extra anaesthetic and be super gentle.  It’ll be great.


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