Nitrous oxide is not used extensively in dentistry. Firstly lets talk about how nitrous oxide is used in the field of oral hygiene. It is basically a colorless as well as an odorless gas. People also refer it to as the laughing gas.

When we inhale this gas slowly, what happens is that it leaves an impact on the mind in some way. It actually has an impact on how the body’s reaction time. This will actually slow down the time it takes for the body to react,

The kind of effect your body goes through is known as a calming and euphoric feeling. This gas is also used in helping you to treat pain in a proper way. It is also one way in which you can get a calm state. It is like a sedative as well. This laughing gas will promote relaxation in the body. It also works great when it actually reduces anxiety in the body as well.

This works great but the thing about nitrous oxide, is that the effects are not long-term. They will wear off quickly. Also while some studies suggest that it is safe to use. But that does not mean it does not come with certain side effects.

In this article, I want to talk about all the side effects and what you need to know regarding the usage of nitrous oxide.

Let’s get into it:

Potential Side Effects of Nitrous Oxide

side effects of nitrous oxide

So while there may be certain side effects of this gas, these are not as adverse or there are not as many complications with it. With time, the use of this gas has been increasing. Dentists use it  often as it helps bring ease to the whole process. You will not be facing any major issues with its usage.

When you do face certain side effects, they happen on the body because of two reasons. Either you have inhaled the gas too fast or because you inhaled a lot. The condition cannot get impacted due to some other reason beside this.

So here are the major side effects you should look into:

  • feeling too much shivering which becomes uncontrollable
  • excessive sweating happens which continues to escalate
  • getting the feeling of nausea is also common; this also gets better with time
  • dizziness can come and go which is not in your control
  • fatigue can also onset which makes it hard to you to go about and do your daily chores

In some rare cases, you may also suffer from episodes of hallucination and get sound distortion which you get when you inhale nitrous oxide.

Is Oxygen Also Inhaled?

In some cases oxygen is also made use of. It is administered and taken with nitrous oxide. In some cases, you just receive the oxygen for five minutes after taking the nitrous oxide.

Why oxygen is important to administer is because it helps to clear any of the remaining gas from your body. It is essential to clear the gas from the lungs. And focuses on bringing back the alertness in the body.

In some cases, you will need to give oxygen to the body so that there is no onset of headaches when you are getting this gas. But again this is not a cause to worry. The effects of laughing gas are able to wear off as soon as the procedure is complete.

Once the process is done, you can easily drive back home from your dental appointment. However you need to be on the alert mode and this means, you should stay in for about 15 minutes before heading out to ensure that there are no major mishaps.

How to Prepare the Body

eat light meals before procedure

When it comes to preparing your body for this procedure, there is not much in detail that you need to do. All you have to know is to keep your body relaxed for the effects to show properly.

You can prepare your body for the process by eating very light meals right before you receive the gas. This is important so that you don’t feel nausea or vomiting sensation.

Also doctors advise that you should not be having any kind of heavy meals as well for a few hours after receiving the gas. Some kind of allergic reactions you should be clear of when taking on this gas is:

  • feeling chills that come and go
  • having fever which continues to increase with time
  • getting the hives
  • wheezing effect which won’t go away on its own
  • feeling difficulty in breathing

When there is an onset of these kinds of effects, it is best that you get some clinical attention. Since in the majority of cases, you will not be suffering from these symptoms, in case you do, it is best that you look into ways to get medical and professional help.

So these were the basic and simple side effects, I want to now talk about some of the long-term issues which you may be subjected to. Let’s see what these are:

Long-term Side Effects of Nitrous Oxide

When talking about side effects, know this that many of the simple, basic side effects will be reversing themselves quickly. As in majority of the cases, the gas does not impact you in long-term side effects.

However in cases where you are actually developing a condition in which where you are experiencing unusual symptoms, it is best to consult your doctor to get a complete overview of the condition.

Know this- while nitrous oxide is considered to be very safe, it is not so when it comes to everyone. Your case is looked into by your doctor. And the medical expert will decide the kind of help you need.

The appropriate sedation method is a decision which the doctors will take on when they look into your medical history. As maybe nitrous oxide isn’t right for you.

Here’s a checklist on when laughing gas is not the right choice for you:

  • In the first trimester of pregnancy
  • Having a history of respiratory illness
  • When there is high Vitamin-D deficiency
  • In situations where you have been suffering from many mental health conditions
  • You can not be administered due to substance use disorders

It is also important to note that if you are not using this gas properly, you will be suffering from many environmental issues and concerns which can also lead to long-term complications and issues within the body.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is something you may suffer from if you are not using this gas in the right and appropriate manner.

Using Nitrous Oxide in Children

how children use nitrous oxide

Now let’s talk about the usage of this gas in children. The first thing is that this gas is also safe to use not just on children but also on toddlers.

However again there may be certain side effects that children will have to go through. These are not long-lasting but they can have horrible impacts and can bring discomfort to the children.

Some of the most common kind of short-term side effects include:

  • having headaches which come and go at different frequency
  • getting the sensation of vomiting which makes you feel ill often
  • nausea can also happen which is not in your control
  • shivering uncontrollably
  • getting the sensation of fatigue which can linger on for a few days

Again, similar to adults, most of these side effects are not long-term and will finish off as soon as the complete effects of the nitrous oxide are out of your system.

In some cases, your child may also feel certain disorientation and irritability. But these are not long-term concerns and you do not need to worry about them as such.

The Impact of Nitrous Oxide Overdose

using nitrous oxide safely

Now let’s talk about the condition in which there may be a case where you get an overdose of nitrous oxide. If this happens, then there are some possible risks and complications that you may have to go through.

So how will you identify that there was an overdose:

  • feeling irritation in the eyes and nose which won’t go away
  • having constant wheezing and coughing
  • getting the feeling of a tight chest
  • having uncontrollable seizures in the body
  • you will feel that there is a rapid heart rate
  • getting mouth sores can also happen
  • being subjected to hallucinations

In some cases there is also an increase in blood pressure. If this happens, you can likely suffer from even a stroke or even a heart attack. This can lead to brain damage too.

Hence it is important to know if you are getting the right amount or no. Get your treatment done from a reputable location with plenty of experience using nitrous oxide or laughing gas. This will ensure you are getting the proper care. Remember while this gas is not something which is harmful, it is still very important that you get it administered in a proper and controlled environment.

Your health matters and when knowing in detail the possible side effects and symptoms, you can identify if something is wrong before the onset of complications and problems for which there is no solution.