Nobody likes going to the dentist, but redheads may have good reason. A growing body of 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 particularly nervous about dental procedures and are twice as likely to avoid going to the dentist as people with other hair colors, according to new research published in The Journal of the American Dental Association. Researchers believe redheads are more sensitive to pain because of a mutation in a gene that affects hair color. In people with brown, black and blond hair, the gene, for the melanocortin-1 receptor, produces melanin. But a mutation in the MC1R gene results in the production of a substance called pheomelanin that results in red hair and fair skin.
Redheads feel a different kind of pain
Redhead/Pain Tolerance | MythBusters | Discovery
And there is all this garbage on the Internet saying redheads are quickly becoming extinct. To top it all off, they couldn't even get an emoji in the latest Apple update a petition led by Ginger Parrot is hoping to change this on Change. Besides, redheads may actually be the ones who wind up getting the last laugh. As it turns out, a lot of that popular "science" is inaccurate.
A UCLA doctor argues that a “one size fits all” approach to pain is failing you
A gene associated with red hair and fair skin may also be responsible for how females respond to painkillers, according to a study conducted by lead researcher Jeffrey Mogil, a McGill University psychology professor, and collaborators in the United States. Previous research suggested the existence of a female-specific pain pathway in the brain. Analgesics that target receptors in this pathway, called kappa-opioid receptors, have been reported to work only in women. Using a technique called quantitative trait locus mapping, Mogil and his colleagues identified a candidate gene that may be responsible for this sex difference. Interestingly, the gene, called Mc1r, was first associated, not with neurological function, but with pigmentation.
CNN -- Despite two injections of anesthetic, Amy Anderson felt like her dentist was jamming rods into her tooth during a root canal. She writhed in pain as her infected tooth was hollowed with a drill, its nerve amputated, and then sealed. Studies say redheads avoid dental care after having painful experiences and may require more anesthetics.