MTHFR and the Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) – What’s the Connection?

Dentist and her hygienist working with a sedated patient.

Dr. Ben Lynch has done extensive work and mentions about the MTHFR and laughing gas connection is his book – Dirty Genes.

First off what is MTHFR?
MTHFR stands for the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (methyl-ene-tetra-hydro-folate-reductase). The function of the MTHFR gene is simply to produce the MTHFR enzyme. However, if the MTHFR gene is mutated, the enzyme produced is not entirely correct. MTHFR enzyme is associated with proper Vitamin B12 regulation and other mitochondria processes just to name a few.

Have been diagnosed with one of the variant of MTHFR genes?
With our current lifestyles, food habits, soil depletion a large section of the population has some or the other variant of the MTHFR genes and working with a functional medicine doctor will help you find out through proper testing.

Researchers present MTHFR mutations most commonly like this*:

  • MTHFR 677CC = a normal MTHFR gene
  • MTHFR 677CT = a heterozygous mutation which is one mutation
  • MTHFR 677TT = a homozygous mutation which is two mutations
  • MTHFR 1298AA = a normal MTHFR gene
  • MTHFR 1298AC = a heterozygous mutation which is one mutation
  • MTHFR 1298CC = a homozgyous mutation which is two mutations
  • MTHFR 677CT + MTHFR 1298AC = a compound heterozygous mutation which is one mutation from two different parts of the gene

Why do I need this information before going to the dentist?
Most dentists use nitrous oxide gas as an antianxiety agent. Some of the benefits are ease of use and reversible nature. However nitrous oxide gas also is known to further deplete your vitamin b12 levels. If you already know which MTHFR variant you carry it is better to try and avoid using laughing gas at the dentist office.

What if I cannot avoid nitrous oxide inhalation sedation?
If you are one of those who absolutely need laughing gas for your dental visits then at least load up on your vitamin b12 and liposomal glutathione before your dental appointment.

DETOX. Use epsom salt baths, drink greens(fresh cold pressed, organic drinks that include sea greens) and drink a lot of water.

Support the liver and help the body recover from the stress on the nervous system caused by anesthetics. Milk Thistle and Dandelion are both good for this. Milk Thistle regenerates liver cells, protects against toxins, and guards against free radicals. It also “promotes the body’s detoxification process by preventing the depletion of glutathione, a natural antioxidant found in the liver. The concentration of this antioxidant is reduced when you are exposed to chemicals, including anesthetics. When glutathione levels decline, liver cells become more susceptible to damage. Milk thistle not only prevents the depletion of glutathione but also has been shown in laboratory studies to increase the level of this potent antioxidant by up to

What may be the possible side effects if I do use Nitrous oxide knowing my MTHFR mutation?
Side effects may vary depending on the body’s ability to detox.

Neurological symptoms are the some common ones**

What else can I do to prevent using nitrous oxide if I have MTHFR mutation?

At Prime integrative Dentistry we have a number of ways to combat dental office/procedure related anxiety.

  • Active ingredient-NuCalm
  • CBD oil
  • Other Lipo-calming agents
  • Spa like relaxing music with headphones
  • Meditation videos in the waiting lounge
  • Offer to pray together before starting your treatment
  • Calaject injection system- computer assisted injection system which is entirely painless
  • Tapping for relieving anxiety

All these agents bring about calming without loss of cognition and is a great substitute for nitrous oxide especially if you have any of MTHFR mutation(which is a huge chunk of us).

*From Ben Lynch