Dental Pain? Maybe These Hot Peppers Will Help

When hot red peppers were discovered in the New World, it didn’t take long for them to make their way into savory dishes across the world. In recent years, researchers have discovered medical benefits to capsaicin, the chemical compound that gives hot peppers their heat. It’s led to topical pain relievers designed to treat conditions such as arthritis.

Well, now dentistry is getting in on the action! New research suggests dental patients may soon be able to skip both pain and numbness. Rats treated with capsaicin and a lidocaine derivative maintained sensation in their paws, but didn’t react to pain. Researchers hope to soon ease the pain, not just of dental patients, but of other patients too. (Pain-free childbirth, anyone?)

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