Allergies are a common problem among dental staff, with the most frequent reactions being to latex, acrylates, and formaldehyde. Polymethylmethacrylates and latex can cause delayed reactions that range from mild to severe. It's important to be aware of the potential risks associated with exposure to certain dental materials. Professor William Wiltshire and Dr.
James Noble have studied the effects of allergies in children and how they can affect their quality of life into adulthood. Allergies are closely linked to diet and the health of the digestive and immune systems. In some cases, allergies can block the sinuses, making it difficult for children to breathe through their nose. This can lead to changes in the shape of the mouth and face, as well as tooth pain and damage due to dry mouth.
Approximately 5% of people are also allergic to metals such as nickel, cobalt, chromium, and gold. Allergic reactions can occur when coming into contact with items such as jewelry, clothing, or even mobile phones. There is also a risk of an allergic reaction due to certain types of dental treatments.
Methacrylatescan cause a type IV (delayed) allergic hypersensitivity reaction.
In addition to allergies to metals and dental fillings, a smaller percentage of patients report an allergic reaction to toothpaste. Healthcare workers and dental patients are at greater risk of exposure and developing allergies due to the widespread use of these products. If you suspect you have an allergy related to dental treatments, it's important to get tested by a dermatologist or allergist. This is because there is a risk of a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction or the development of a long-term occupational disability.
Metal is used for other dental treatments besides fillings, including dental implants. To learn more about metal allergies and dental implants, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Metal Allergies to Dental Implants”. When I first see a child for their first dental checkup, one of the first things I look for are allergies.