Friday, June 27, 2014

No Numbing Gel for Babies

Teething is a normal part of development.  Baby teeth start to erupt between 5-7 months of age and continue to come in until the child is about three years old.  Babies may seem fussy, cry, and chew on their hands.  A cold cloth or teething ring for baby to chew on or massaging the gums with a clean finger are the best ways to treat discomfort.  (Fever during teething is coincidental and use of products with acetaminophen should be used according to directions to avoid overdose in an infant.)  While parents may be distressed that their child is in pain, numbing gels are never recommended to treat teething pain.  Over the counter products can do more harm than good and can cause a rare but potentially fatal condition called methemoglobinemia in which the oxygen level of the blood drops.  Parents should also never use left over adult prescriptions to treat teething pain in babies. 

For more information about the products in question and to read the FDA's warning, please go to: 

Now a word about the use of numbing gels for adults.  Pain in the mouth that is so severe you find yourself applying numbing gel is not normal.  Cavities or infections in the mouth do not get better, they only get worse.  At best numbing gel will only temporarily alleviate pain and then you may find yourself in a more painful or potentially dangerous situation.  If your teeth or a tooth hurts, see a dentist! 

This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or condition.  Please visit your medical or dental professional for treatment.

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