Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, is a naturally occurring hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. The body organically produces epinephrine when someone is fearful or angry. The rush of adrenaline into the bloodstream causes an increase in heart rate, muscle strength, blood pressure and sugar metabolism. It is also a vasoconstrictor – constricts blood vessels to an area. It is one reason why patients report a fast heartbeat when they first receive an anesthetic injection. It is also good for the surgeon during a surgery because there is less blood so they have a cleaner, less bloody field to work with. But restricting the natural blood flow during surgery can also mean poor healing after surgery since blood isn’t oxygenating the wound. Blood-borne oxygen is essential for good wound healing. So restricting the amount of blood going into the site after a tooth is removed impedes the amount of oxygen-rich blood going to the wound and promoting healing. This can cause a dry socket, which is a blood clot that doesn’t form or gets dislodged prematurely and delays healing, causing pain to the patient. It can also cause a cavitation, which is a lesion in the jawbone caused by bone that is not healed properly, creating an area of dead bone. For these reasons, our office likes to use anesthetic that does not have a vasoconstrictor. It is a more organic and holistic way for the body to heal.