Here is your bizarre yet enlightening scientific knowledge of the day. According to research published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, a gene that occurs frequently in redheads (a/k/a, gingers) makes them experience “heightened anxiety” when they visit their dental professional. The study involved 144 people, 77 brunettes and 67 natural redheads; researchers asked them questions about dental anxiety and tested them for gene variants common in redheads.
People with one specific gene, MC1R, were more than twice as likely to report that they avoided dental appointments because of fear and anxiety than people without that gene. Of the 85 people in the study with MC1R, 65 were redheads.
Scientists think that redheads with the gene may be resistant to pain medications and therefore have had some painful experiences with dentists, leading to their fear. Hence, redheads have a good excuse for not wanting to go to the dentist, while the rest of us are just completely irrational. Maybe that sort of evens out the whole “no more redheaded sperm donors” thing.
Related: Does anyone have a redheaded dentist? What kind of genetic mutation is that?
Why redheads and dentists don’t get along [MSNBC/Prevention]
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