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Is nitrous oxide (laughing gas) ever dangerous?

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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:44 PM
Original message
Is nitrous oxide (laughing gas) ever dangerous?
I get it for my periodontal cleanings twice a year. I think it is the greatest thing ever for any dental work (along with necessary numbing for extractions and other extensive dental work). My periodontist kids me about it. My regular dentist doesn't use it. I think anything that relaxes you and keeps you from being afraid and nervous is a good thing! Now I am a bit worried that it might have some harmful side effects.

Does anyone know if it can ever be bad for you?
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Tyrone Slothrop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. I destroyed a goodly number of brain cells doing nitrous in college
Under a doctor's supervision (where the nitrous is cut with oxide), it's probably not that bad for you. Unsupervised, it does one hell of a number on your brain and nervous system. Those "nitrous hangovers" were really unpleasant.

:scared:
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tk2kewl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
21. we used to do the cartridges using a whipped cream maker...
single = one cartridge loaded into the cannister before inhaling
double = two cartridges loaded into the cannister before inhaling
triple = three cartridges loaded into the cannister before inhaling
home-run = four cartridges loaded into the cannister before inhaling

One home-run once had me on the floor unconscious for about half a minute. I had no peripheral vision for the rest of the night. :scared:
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. In excess amounts it can suffocate you
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mark414 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. if you only take it in doses that a dentist gives you
you have nothing to worry about

even if you use it recreationally and go on a binge for a day it's mostly no worse than a night of heavy drinking...although you will be completely dumb and unable to think straight and form sentences for a day or two afterwards
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. No, I don't want to use it recreationally. I don't take anything stronger
than white wine.

But if it is so OK why don't more dentists offer it? I do pay extra for it since my insurance won't cover it. But it really keeps me calm. Ever since I had a dentist bungle an attempt at a root canal on me and hit a nerve he thought he had removed I've been scared in the dentist's chair, expecting a searing pain at any minute. The nitrous doesn't make me particularly happy, just relaxed and zoned out.

Just wondering as I get older if maybe it's gonna give me Altzheimer's.
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mark414 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. this is a helpful website
for any drug questions...legal or not, herbal or synthetic, etc. etc. etc.

here is a link to their section on nitrous:
http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/nitrous/nitrous.shtml
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #4
12. the dentists inhale it when they work on you
and daily that would make them sick. My dentist refuses to use it and other dentists I have had walk out of the room every few minutes to breathe fresh air
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RedCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
5. If someone tells you "Laugh and I'll kill you!" it is!
But what a way to go.
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Dangerously Amused Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. Prolonged (recreational) use can mess up your liver.




Just like alcohol.

I get nitrous from my dentist and I asked him the same question. That's what he told me.



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Gidney N Cloyd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
8. I seem to recall an old St Elsewhere episode where a
doctor had been using laughing gas on himself for a while and he was getting blackouts from the long term abuse.
Personally, I like to keep a couple cans of whipped cream in the fridge for the rare but acute panic attack. And my dentist gives me gas for any work besides cleaning. He's pretty cautious about everything so I think we're OK.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I would think that more dentists would use it because
patients are less likely to spazz out if things get rough with the dental work, perhaps causing them to grab the dentist's hands. When that awful dentist hit that nerve in my tooth I was in such a state that I burst into tears. It was ugly. Of course, nitrous probably wouldn't have blocked the pain entirely but at least I wouldn't have had such a bad reaction. And now, of course, I am on edge (even with a new dentist that I like)always wondering if just maybe he might hit a nerve...

How does the whipped cream thing work? You just squirt it into your mouth and get the nitrous in your nose? When I had anxiety attacks while I was caring for my frail, elderly mother and holding down a horribly stressful job, I took xanax. It was enormously helpful, but I only took it at night (but of course nights can be the worst; they were for me).
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Gidney N Cloyd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I'm going with a little xanax now, too, for the first time in my life.
As for the whipped cream, I thought about it a bit and maybe it's best not to go into detail. It might encourage misuse and I sort of wish now I hadn't mentioned anything.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
11. no but you surely are a wimp
:D
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 07:15 AM
Response to Reply #11
19. Yup, that's me!
I always tell docs that "I don't do pain, so how are we going to handle this?" That usually puts them on notice.

I truly don't understand why anyone would put up with pain if they didn't have to. Guess some people have to prove something that I sure don't have to prove...
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Omphaloskepsis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 01:02 AM
Response to Original message
13. My dentist uses it for cleanings...
I have seen some bad side affects from doing whip-its. Like turning blue.. Drunk kids with a balloon or whip cream maker can thing.

I assume my dentist is trained in the proper use. I don't worry about it. I refuse to see a dentist that doesn't provide it. I hate needles.
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pokerfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
14. According to the wikipedia entry
While the pure gas is not toxic, long-term use in very large quantities has been associated with dangerous symptoms similar to vitamin B12 deficiency: anemia due to reduced hemopoiesis, neuropathy, tinnitus, and numbness in extremities. Pregnant women should not use nitrous oxide, because chronic use is also teratogenic and foetotoxic.

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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 02:16 AM
Response to Original message
15. Yeah, it's great.
I atomize bonghits with whippet blasts.
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mark414 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 02:19 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. dude...
an entry me and a couple friends put together...

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=nitrous+...



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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 02:23 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. Nicely done.
My method is cruder: get a lungload and mouthful of el bongo, then hyperinject a whippet hit into the mouth.

That's a great pic.
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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 02:23 AM
Response to Original message
17. Me too, I like having nitrous for intense dental work
Here's how I describe it: you can feel the pain but you don't care (that is, if the local anesthetic wasn't enough).

Yes, it is actually neurotoxic in high or sustained doses, but so is alcohol.

It's a worthwhile tradeoff imho, for those once every few years sorts of things.
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-10-06 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
20. Too much can blow your motor
Injecting too much Nitrous into a motor this was not built for it will cause damage. You need to be running forged pistons and stock wrist pins may be too weak.

But unless your drag racing friends can't get any because it's all being used by your dentist. Your health is probably OK.
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