NATIONWIDE -- Federal officials say some popular over-the-counter teething gels pose a "serious risk" to young children and threatened to remove them from the market if companies don't stop selling it to treat infant teething pain.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said teething gels, ointments and creams that contain benzocaine can increase the risk of methemoglobinemia, a condition in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood is greatly reduced.

Because of the "significant safety risk," The FDA is urging manufacturers to stop marketing the over-the-counter drugs to treat teething pain in children younger than 2.

Brand names that contain benzocaine marketed for teething pain include Anbesol, Baby Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricaine, Orabase, Orajel and Topex, as well as store brands and generics. 

"Because of the lack of efficacy for teething and the serious safety concerns we've seen with over-the-counter benzocaine oral health products, the FDA is taking steps to stop use of these products in young children and raise awareness of the risks associated with other uses of benzocaine oral health products," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

One major manufacturer, Church and Dwight Co. Inc., said Wednesday it would discontinue its four Orajel teething brands, including Baby Orajel and Orajel Medicated Teething Swabs, the Associated Press reported.

The FDA threatened to take legal action against companies that don't comply.