Don’t get me wrong—redheads are awesome. But they also feel more pain than the rest of the population, are more sensitive to heat, and need 20% more anesthesia to knock them out. And a new study shows another odd side effect of being a redhead—they’re less likely to get proper dental care. It’s not their fault—scientists have found that annual teeth cleanings and occasional fillings just hurt more for them. If dentists don’t up the anesthetic ante for the flame-haired, redheaded patients are twice as likely to skip dental appointments and let problems go untreated. [CNN] While brunettes and blondes have a receptor gene that produces melanin, giving certain color to eyes, skin and hair, redheads have a mutation of the gene that produces pheomelanin, giving them their fiery hue. The mutated gene appears to influence pain sensitivity. So doctors are urging dentists to give larger doses of anesthesia to redheads and make sure everything’s really numb before going in. Otherwise, dental appointments will hurt more than all the do-the-curtains-match-the-drapes inquiries that redheads get.
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