The active ingredient in teething gels can lead to a rare but serious and sometimes fatal condition.
Beverly Hills, CA (November 2012) – Parents will surely do all they can to alleviate any pain their child may face, and teething can be particularly uncomfortable for tiny tots as their first teeth began to emerge through the gums. Parents may want to think twice about using commonly available teething treatments due to a recent FDA warning linking the active ingredient, benzocaine, to a rare condition called methemoglobinemia. Though the condition is rare, it can cause serious and permanent problems and in some cases lead to death. Because benzocaine is a commonly used anesthetic, found in over the counter products like Baby Orajel, Orajel, Orabase, Anebesol and Hurricaine, the FDA has issued an alert reporting these findings. As a top choice in greater Los Angeles, Beverly Hills Dentist Dr. Alex Farnoosh is at the forefront of patient care and comfort. He states, “Benzocaine, in one form or another, is a common anesthetic used in virtually every dental practice out there. It is very important to keep on top of alerts like this so that we can best serve our patients.”
Methemoglobinemia is a condition that limits the amount of oxygen that can be carried through the bloodstream. It can be an inherited condition, but it is most usually an acquired disorder developed by the exposure to certain chemicals and drugs. Adults with heart or breathing problems and smokers are at greater risk for the disorder. If left untreated, it can cause permanent injury to body and brain tissues and can even lead to death. The FDA first issued a warning linking benzocaine with methemoglobinemia in 2006. Since that time, there have been 29 cases of benzocaine-induced methemoglobinemia with 19 of those cases attributed to children. Because 15 of those 19 cases developed in children under the age of two, the FDA is issuing a warning specific to children under the age of two. Symptoms of methemoglobinemia include fatigue, slow development, shortness of breath, and sometimes a bluish coloring of the skin, all of which may be hard to spot in infants. Parents are advised to not use oral medications with benzocaine for teething discomfort and to seek treatment immediately if a child shows signs of this disease. Dr Alex Farnoosh adds, “Though incidents of this are rare, parents should seek other solutions to combat teething pain. Many natural and holistic remedies and treatments are now available. If the pain seems very severe, I would advise one to see a dental professional and discuss alternative options with their dentist.”
As a pioneer of revolutionary dental techniques like his lip lowering treatment for a gummy smile, Dr. Alex Farnoosh is at the pinnacle of advanced oral wellness. He is a specialist in periodontal and cosmetic procedures for both adults and children.
The Total Smile was founded by Beverly Hills Periodontist Dr. Alex Farnoosh. Serving patients from around the globe at his Beverly Hills office for over 25 years, Dr. Farnoosh has proven expertise in the field of dentistry and offers many unique cosmetic and surgical services. Dr. Farnoosh specializes in dental implants, laser periodontal surgery, gum and bone grafting and his novel gum bleaching approach for treatment of dark and discolored gums and his lip-lowering treatment for a gummy smile. Dr. Farnoosh has been recognized by the Consumers’ Research Council of America (CRC) as one of America’s top dentists in their annual report since 2008. To learn more about Dr. Farnoosh and how to achieve The Total Smile, visit:

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