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Got Teething Pain?


In recent weeks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received reports of methemoglobinemia, a rare but serious blood disorder that is associated with pain relievers, including teething gels, that contain benzocaine. These products are sold under the brand names Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, Orabase and generic brands.

Methemoglobinemia is a serious blood disorder that reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood stream and, in severe cases, can lead to death. Symptoms include pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips, and nail beds; shortness of breath; fatigue; confusion; headache; lightheadedness; and rapid heart rate.

The FDA’s alert concluded that topical pain relievers and medications that are rubbed on the gums are not necessary, or even useful, because they wash out of the baby’s mouth within minutes. When too much viscous lidocaine is given to infants and young children or they accidentally swallow too much, it can result in seizures, severe brain injury, and problems with the heart. Cases of overdose due to wrong dosing or accidental ingestion have resulted in infants and children being hospitalized or dying.

For more information on this alert, visit the FDA website and the ADA website.

Dr. B recommends…

Dr. Brandon agrees with the FDA warning and follows the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines by recommending that all children have their first dental visit as soon as teeth begin to come in, and no later than age 1, which provides him with an opportunity to chat with parents and caregivers about proper tooth care, including ways to deal with teething pain.

It’s important to keep in mind that teething is a normal part of a child’s development. To help relieve teething symptoms, Dr. Brandon recommends:

  • Using a cold teething ring  or wash cloth
  • Gently massage your child’s gums with your finger

For more information on teething or healthy habits, give our office a call 830-515-5365,  refer to our FAQs or visit the AAPD’s website.