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If you have ever had a late night when you or a member of your family has been suffering from a toothache or a pain in their mouth, you have probably found yourself wandering the aisle of a grocery or convenience store, looking for benzocaine. Well, you were actually looking for a topical anesthetic to help dull the pain until you could get to the dentist, but the product more than likely contained benzocaine. It is the active ingredient that makes you feel better, and it is found in many topical pain relievers. It works well for adults, but it is not recommended for children under 2.

There have been some cases in which benzocaine has been linked to a condition called methemoglobinemia. This condition reduces the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream and could be fatal in some instances. Symptoms include pale, blue or grey coloring in the lips and skin; fatigue, confusion, lightheadedness and a rapid heartbeat. If you notice these symptoms after using a product containing benzocaine, you should go to the emergency room immediately.

If your child is teething, do not give them a product containing benzocaine. Try a chilled teething ring or chilled spoon, or apply gentle pressure to his gums with your finger through a clean piece of gauze.

As soon as you or a member of your family starts to feel pain in a tooth or mouth, or if you have questions about teething, our dentist, Dr. Shuichi Yamaguchi will be happy to talk with you, If you need to make an appointment at 19th Avenue Dental in Everett, Washington call 425-385-8130 today.