My fellow redhead and friend Trisha from Sweet ‘n Sassy Girls introduced me to an article about how redheads are more susceptible to pain. Now I know why I hate having dental work done. According to the article, research shows that people with red hair need larger doses of anesthesia and often are resistant to local pain blockers like Novocaine. As a result, redheads tend to be more nervous about dental procedures and are twice as likely to avoid going to the dentist as people with other hair colors. I have always dreaded the dentist. Always. I thought it was because of my past TMJ surgery which does bother me a lot when I go because it hurts to hold my mouth open for a long time. But now I know why it hurts so much when I get shots of Novocaine and why they don’t feel like they numb me at all. So now in addition to the freckles and sunburn, I have to worry about a gene mutation that causes redheads more pain. Researchers believe redheads are more sensitive to pain because of a mutation in a gene that affects hair color. If you want to read the full report, check out this article from The Journal of the Americal Dental Association.
The good news is that soon I am going to have a very understanding dentist. In December my cousin Cathy, a dentist, will be moving back to the U.S. from Germany. So finally I get to go to someone who I know will understand my pain. My current dentist just blows me off when I say I am still hurting.
I have to say pain or no pain, I wouldn’t trade my red hair for anything in the world. Thanks Mom & Dad for the redheaded gene. I guess I better also thank my Grandma who had red hair since it skips a generation in our family. One day, a long, long time from now I hope to have some redheaded grandkids. We can commiserate about our dislike of dental procedures together. Any other redheads out there feeling my pain?