Anaesthetics severely impact your health

Dental anaesthetics pose serious health problems

Just over twenty years ago in 1993, the US Food and Drug Administration found that the local anaesthetic, lignocaine (a.k.a. xylocaine or lidocaine), which is commonly used by dentists breaks down in humans to form 2, 6-dimethylaniline (2,6-xylidine). In fact, in tissue studies the FDA determined that two-thirds of the lidocaine is converted into anilines within the body.

Anilines are one of the main carcinogens found in tobacco with just one cartridge of 2% lidocaine local anaesthetic producing a dose of anilines equivalent to smoking 84,000 cigarettes!

In one experiment the researchers recovered 10% of the lidocaine injected in the urine and this was taken to be a sign that it was passing from the body unchanged. However, the question remains as to where the 90% that was not excreted is being stored.

Aniline is a coal tar substance whose carcinogenicity first became apparent in 18th century chimney sweeps exposed to coal soot. It can cause just about every kind of cancer in animals including breast cancer, prostate cancer, brain cancer, leukaemia, sarcomas, and carcinomas – and does so up to 99% of the time.

In addition to which anilines have also been associated with causing cardiac arrest, neuromuscular disease, asthma, central or peripheral nerve injury, dementia, severe depression, and possibly suicide and criminal behaviour.

Cancer and anilines

An analysis of World Health Organisation data showed a correlation between cancer and particularly breast cancer and the use of local anaesthetics. And we know that cancer rates have sky-rocketed in the last century from being rare to being one of the leading causes of death in the developed world. We also know that this has happened in tandem with the development of modern dentistry. While association is not causation, this could be one factor in the mix that has hitherto been largely overlooked.

Breast cancer occurs more often in women of higher socioeconomic status. And it is these people who are likely to have had more medical and dental care and a greater exposure to local anaesthetics. In one study of cancer patients, they were all found to have undergone between 12 and 28 extensive dental procedures necessitating local anaesthetics.

Another piece of evidence that may implicate local anaesthetics in cancer causation is the fact that there is a significant difference in cancer rates between Southern and Northern California with Northern Californians getting more of most types of cancer than their Southern counterparts. This may be due to the fact that two-thirds of the oral surgeons and surgeons in Southern California use an alternative technique known as the Hubbell Technique which incorporates oxygen, Demerol, and barbiturates like Brevital and Pentothal in place of aniline-containing local anaesthetics.

“This may be the most significant factor in U.S. cancer mortality since 1930.”

The quote above is from oral surgeon Dr. Alfred Nickel DDS MS talking about aniline-containing local anaesthetics In the US, after the aniline break-down products of local anaesthetics were discovered, the FDA required all new pharmaceuticals containing local anaesthetics to carry a cancer warning on the package insert. However, existing products were not required to carry the warning which is why most health professionals are still completely unaware of the dangers posed by the pharmaceuticals used in this routine procedure.

Local anaesthetics:

Other ingredients

Ephinephrine (adrenaline) is added to many local anaesthetics in order to prevent the anaesthetic being flushed from the injection site and thus wearing off too rapidly. It is also added to prevent excessive bleeding during surgery or extractions, but may prevent formation of a proper blood clot leading to ‘dry’ or infected sockets and ultimately to cavitations (incompletely healed extraction sites). The intention is to inject the tissues adjacent to the nerve, but if an adenaline-containing local anaesthetic is injected directly into a blood vessel it can cause unwelcome symptoms such as heart palpitations or fainting.

Preservatives In addition, many local anaesthetics include preservatives such as sulphites and some people may be allergic or react to these. Alternatives to aniline-containing anaesthetics No local anaesthetic To minimise exposure, only have local anaesthetics where absolutely necessary and use the minimum dose possible.

Bupivicaine Preservative-free, epinephrine-free (adrenaline-free) bupivicaine is available to licensed healthcare professionals from holistic pharmacies. It goes under various trade names including Marcain, Marcaine, Sensorcaine, Carbocaine, Polocaine, Vivicaine and Mepivicaine. It is an amino amide-type local anaesthetic and produces only 20% of the aniline residues in the body of lidocaine. However, compared to other local anaesthetics, bupivacaine is markedly cardiotoxic although when used properly for dental applications side-effects are rare.

Septocaine Septocaine is the local anaesthetic of choice for many biological dentists. It is articaine (an amide-type local anaesthetic that is not derived from coal tar and cannot break down into anilines) combined with 1:100,000 epinephrine and a preservative. It was developed almost 40 years ago in Germany and is known as Articaine, Ultracaine, Septanest, Astracaine, Zorcaine, and Ubistesin. Septocaine does have some side-effects and can interact with some medications. In addition it may be harmful to the foetus if pregnant and it is unknown if it passes into breast milk in nursing mothers.

Pethidine/Demerol Many dentists are now using Demerol, which is a synthetic opioid analgesic which is injected directly into the gum in lieu of lidocaine or other aniline-based anaesthetics. Demerol in a dose of 5 to 15 mg per site is usually sufficient for most procedures. Besides not being carcinogenic, it has the additional benefit of not causing numb lips.

The Hubbell Technique As described above.

Acupuncture and hypnosis Some dentists offer alternatives including acupuncture, hypnosis, TENS and even just listening to music can be sufficiently distracting for some. Supplementation and drainage remedies Finally, some dentists might prescribe nutritional supplements and homeopathic drainage remedies to help detoxification of any local anaesthetics used. Relevant products:

For more information about the hazards posed by routine dental procedures read 'Uninformed Consent' by Dr Hal Huggins DDS MS. Click the appropriate link for UK and US Amazon below. -

The above article was reproduced by kind permission of Dr Alison Adams, the Mouth Body Doctor who has extensively researched the impact of Dentristy on health since her own health breakdown due to mercury spillage in her surgury. See more at: