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People With Red Hair Afraid More Of Dental Pain

Posted by drg. Ardyan Gilang Rahmadhan SKG. On 9:08 PM

Red hair people seem particularly more nervous to dental treatment than other pigmented hair. New study explain it because of their genetics that may play role in processing anxiety and fear.

Particular variations in what is called themelanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene resulting this red pigmented hair. This gene helps determine pigmentation in human. It was once thought that the gene was active only in the skin, hair and eyes. But now, more-recent research has shown that it also functions in the brain, where it may play a role in processing pain, anxiety and fear.

Researchers led by Dr. Catherine J. Binkley, of the University of Louisville in Kentucky, try to find whether red hair and MC1R variations were related to people's aversion to seeing the dentist.

They found that among the 144 white adults they recruited, those with MC1R variations reported more anxiety about dental procedures and were twice as likely to say they avoided the dentist altogether.

Not surprisingly, nearly all of the natural redheads in the study carried at least one copy of an MC1R variation linked to red hair -- 65 of 67 participants. The same was true of roughly one-quarter of the 77 dark-haired study participants.

When the researchers took a closer look at the data, they found that the presence of these MC1R variations was more strongly linked to dental anxiety than was hair color itself.

From this study, the researches suggest that dentists should ask all patients, especially people with red hair, about their anxiety over any procedures they must have and then use appropriate approaches to help them manage the problem.

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