Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

sections

Paediatrics

Local anaesthetics can affect tooth development in children

Local anaesthetics routinely given to children undergoing dental treatment may affect tooth cell growth and development, according to research. In the image, a young child has a dental appointment

Source: Shutterstock.com

Local anasthetics may affect tooth cell growth and development in children, study finds

Local anaesthetics routinely given to children undergoing dental treatment may affect tooth cell growth and development, according to research published in Cell Death Discovery[1] on 7 September 2015. 

It is the first time that researchers have identified a possible link between child tooth development and the use of a local anaesthetic. But researchers warn further studies are needed before clinical guidelines are revised. 

The researchers used a five-month old pig that had deciduous teeth, young permanent teeth, and a developing third permanent molar tooth, similar to adolescent children. They also used in vitro human cell culture and systematically tested the local concentrations of the agents and the cellular effects and molecular interactions of five commercial local anaesthetics routinely used in clinics at four dental schools. 

Fluorescein-labelled local anaesthetics were injected either around mandibular foramen for nerve block or under the mucosa of the mesial buccal and lingual periapical regions of the first molar for infiltration, exactly simulating clinical situations. 

The researchers found that longer duration of exposure to high concentrations of local anaesthetic was most harmful because it interferes with the function of mitochondria – the “batteries of the cell” and induces a cell death mechanism called “autophagy”. 

“Our findings that local anaesthetics can induce autophagy in tooth pulp cells have clinical implications, due to their potential impacts on tooth development as well as root formation and apical foramen closure,” the researchers write. 

“Future in vivo validation of our findings will be plausible to further enhance our knowledge about the clinical impacts of these local anaesthetic drugs.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20069306

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Local anaesthetics routinely given to children undergoing dental treatment may affect tooth cell growth and development, according to research. In the image, a young child has a dental appointment

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.