Effect of alcohol during dental treatment

The most common symptom of any dental problem is “ pain”. It could be range from mild to severe, sharp and  throbbing to diffuse and dull kind of sensation. As the dental tissue possess only the pain receptors, it is the only way of expressing the insult. Unfortunately it is tougher to handle though.

In my practice i have seen a few patients who have the habit of consuming alcohol just to mask the pain. I have a question !!! Will you do the same if consuming alcohol may cause death during the procedure ??? Yes, to your surprise, there is a strong correlation between alcohol, local anesthesia and death. Here we go in detail.

It is a known fact that Alcohol in general has a major effect on the central nervous system (CNS). Apart from the other consequences, the major one includes CNS toxicity and CNS depression. This effect inturn reduces the smooth muscle activity, causing respiratory depression and to a little extend on cardiovascular depression.

Anaesthesia on the other hand, also exhibit the similar effect on the nervous system. Thereby it relax the respiratory tract and dilates the blood vessels. For a healthy normal person, the effects produce from the local anaesthesia are minimally invasive and much under control.

But when a person goes for a dental procedure after consuming alcohol ( even if it was taken to tolerate the pain), whose respiratory tract and other smooth muscles are already in the relaxed/ depressed / reduced tone , by giving anaesthesia will further decreases the tonicity of smooth muscle. Thus causing shallow breath and respiratory arrest. On such condition, there are more chance for the person to die on spot on the chair without being aware of what had happened.

Pain can be controlled by other means, but death is an irreversible process.Always better to make a wiser decision and stay healthy 🙂




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