What is Laughing Gas and What Are the Side Effects?

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What is Laughing Gas and What Are the Side Effects

What is laughing gas? Despite its name, laughing gas doesn’t actually make you laugh. But it does put you in a euphoric state that helps to make your next dentist appointment easier. If you have anxiety about going to the dentist, using laughing gas may be a great option for you.

How is Laughing Gas Used?

Laughing gas is used as an anesthetic for patients who have anxiety about going to the dentist. It doesn’t fully put you to sleep, but instead puts you in a dreamlike state that can help to relieve stress and pain during your procedure. The gas usually takes effect within a few minutes, and you’ll still be able to hear while you’re under the influence of the gas. While it doesn’t actually make you laugh, you may feel happy, giggly, light-headed, euphoric, and relaxed.

Laughing gas is administered through a mask that releases the gas as you breathe it in through your mouth and nose. Laughing gas is also a common choice for children at the dentist since it is a lesser anesthetic. However, when administered to children, the mask used to administer the gas only covers a child’s nose and not their mouth. The dentist administering the laughing gas will also often include a pleasant scent to make inhaling the gas more pleasant.

What Are the Side Effects?

While laughing gas is typically considered safe, you may have some side effects after your dental appointment. If your side effects last longer than 4 hours, you should call your dentist immediately.

You should recover from the effects of the gas in about 15 minutes after your procedure is finished. Once you are fully alert, you will be able to drive yourself home from your appointment. Make sure to only eat light meals before your process to reduce the chance of getting nauseous after your appointment. You will also have to avoid heavy metals for at minimum 3 hours after your appointment.

Short-Term Side Effects

There are a few common side effects that may happen if you inhale the gas too quickly or if you inhale too much of the gas during your appointment. Here are some of the common side effects you might feel:

  • Shivering
  • Nausea
  • Vomitting
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziniess

Long-Term Side Effects

Currently, there are no long-term side effects caused by using laughing gas. But while laughing gas is safe, it may not be safe for everyone to use. Some people with certain medical conditions, sensitivities, allergies, or who take certain medications may not be able to use nitrous oxide.

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Risks of Using Laughing Gas

Nitrous Oxide should always be administered by a licensed professional. If you use nitrous oxide outside of the care of your dentist, there are serious risks involved that you should be aware of. If you use nitrous oxide as a drug, the following risks are involved:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Fainting
  • Hypoxia (fatal oxygen loss)
  • Anemia
  • Nerve damage
  • Memory loss
  • Incontinence
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Psychological dependence
  • Weak immune system
  • Limb spasms
  • Tinnitus (ringing in your ears)

Can You Overdose on Laughing Gas?

While there are no long-term effects, it is possible to be given too much nitrous oxide, which may lead to serious health conditions. Nitrous oxide poisoning can lead to a lack in the vitamin B12. A B12 deficiency can cause nerve damage, which may include symptoms of tingling or numbness in your fingers, toes, or other body parts.

Dr. Mirzaeian’s Office Can Make Your Next Dental Appointment Easy and Comfortable

If you’re ready to move towards getting dental work for yourself, contact us to set up a consultation. Dr. Lovik Mirzaeian’s office is here to help answer any questions you have. We put your comfort and smile first, and we are dedicated to giving you top-notch dental care. Get ready to show off your perfect smile!