An allergic reaction occurs when our immune systems are overly sensitive to a specific substance (allergen). An allergic reaction occurs when you contact, inhale, swallow, or inject a substance into your body that causes your immune system to react and produce a response.
Many allergic reactions are relatively mild, such as hay fever, while others can cause breathing to stop and be life-threatening. Approximately 1 in 5 people in America are susceptible to some form of allergic reaction.
Some standard dental products used every day in dental offices across America can cause allergic reactions.
The typical dentist utilizes many types of compounds that could potentially be an allergen for their patients. Communication and knowledge are essential. Some patients are aware of their allergies, while others may develop new ones following exposure. The typical first response is itching, redness, and irritation of tissue. A rash may develop. In a severe allergic reaction, swelling of the face, tongue, lips, and throat may occur.
The main potential allergens in dentistry include:
Is a natural rubber harvested from trees. Latex is used in a wide range of medical and dental products. Dental products that contain latex may include masks, gloves, rubber dams, prophy cups, and some syringes. The latex gloves are typically the main culprit as they may have powder particles.
These particles will come into direct contact with the skin and mouth. Prolonged exposure to latex and the powder particles can trigger an immune response. This reaction can range from a minor one to one that is more severe. Fortunately, most dentists are aware of this being a possible issue and have non-latex gloves available for sensitive patients. Some have made the switch entirely for the safety of all their patients.
An infrequent reaction, but it does happen to a small portion of the population. The dentist’s use of local anesthetics is based on the need and situations of the patient. The primary anesthetic used in dentistry is lidocaine. A true allergy to local anesthetic is quite rare. If one is present, it is usually due to a sensitivity to para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA).
PABA is simply a by-product of the local anesthetic. There have also been cases of local anesthetic reactions to preservatives added to local anesthetics. Most patients who report an allergic response to local anesthetic are actually a reaction to the effects of epinephrine. This reaction usually shows as a rapid heartbeat or an increase in blood pressure.
Teeth Whitening Agents
Misuse and overuse of these products can cause adverse irritation reactions to gum and oral tissues and can also damage the teeth by causing enamel demineralization.
Various metals are used throughout dentistry and can be a concern for some patients. The most common form of metal allergy is an allergic reaction to nickel. Nickel alloys are used to create a lot of our everyday items, like buttons, zippers, and even kitchenware. Nickel can also be found in some 14K and 18K gold products. Stainless steel contains nickel as well, but it is usually bound so tightly that it will not affect even those with severe nickel allergies.
But those with severe nickel reactions can react to the nickel present in some food items, including nuts, chocolate, tea, coffee, beer, and apricots. Dentists can avoid nickel allergies by using dental crowns (porcelain or metal-free crowns) fabricated with no nickel content and using orthodontic brackets made of ceramic.
Allergic reactions due to medications can range from a rash to hives and can even result in a life-threatening response. This response can cause difficulty breathing, requiring emergency action and medical treatment. Erythromycin is usually prescribed for patients allergic to Penicillin. Fortunately, allergy to Erythromycin is rare.
Most fluoride varnishes, not pastes, contain natural pine to make them stick to the teeth. Many dental items are flavored with mint oil to add flavor. Many people are allergic to pine or mints such as spearmint, peppermint, and cinnamon.
Acrylic monomer is used in the fabrication of temporary crowns and removable dentures. The liquid is used to activate and cure acrylic. This can cause severe allergic reactions to those susceptible.
Allergies can develop anytime in our lives, so it is essential to communicate with your dentist if you notice any allergic-type reactions during or after your dental appointment. Also, if you are aware before treatment of any allergies you may have, you should tell your dentist to use the proper materials to avoid an allergic response.
The main goal of any dental treatment is to restore, enhance, and maintain your dental health and not compromise it. With a bit of knowledge and good open communication, dental allergy issues can be addressed and avoided altogether. An allergist can test you to help determine what you should avoid preventing an allergic response.
If you have dental health concerns that need to be addressed or are ready to restore and beautify your smile, contact us today at 702-458-2929 to book your no-cost full mouth reconstruction or smile makeover consultation with Marielaina Perrone DDS. We cannot wait to help you with your smile makeover or full mouth reconstruction to create the smile of your dreams in Summerlin, Henderson, and Las Vegas, NV.
Marielaina Perrone, DDS, is a highly experienced and dedicated dental professional passionate about delivering exceptional patient care. With over 20 years of experience in the dental industry, Dr. Perrone is widely regarded as a leading authority in her field, with a reputation for providing innovative solutions and personalized care to her patients.