What are the Most Common Dental Allergies?

Dental allergies can range from mild itching to severe breathing difficulty; learn more about common allergens like latex & metal alloys & how they can affect your visit.

What are the Most Common Dental Allergies?

Among dental materials, the most common allergens are alloys, followed by rubber materials, polymers and acrylates. Allergic reactions to dental alloys containing nickel, cobalt and amalgam are especially common, as dentists use them for prosthetics and other restorations. The most common allergic reactions among dental staff are allergies to latex, acrylates, and formaldehyde. While polymethyl methacrylates and latex cause delayed hypersensitivity reactions, sodium metabisulfite and nickel cause immediate reactions.

In recent years, due to the increase in the number of patients with allergies to different materials, practicing dentists should be aware of documented allergies to known materials and, therefore, avoid such allergic manifestations in the dental clinic. Latex allergies can cause reactions that range from mild itching to severe breathing difficulty and even anaphylaxis. Because latex is often found in standard exam gloves, the gloves worn by a dentist or hygienist could set the stage for a dental latex allergy problem. Telling your dentist before your appointment gives you an opportunity to ensure that you have latex-free supplies on hand.

Going to the dentist for routine dental cleaning doesn't rank high on most people's priority lists. Many of us delay visiting the dentist for various reasons, including the need for a painful procedure. Some people may have a legitimate excuse not to go to the dentist, although they may experience an allergic reaction while they are there. From latex allergy to local anesthetic allergy to allergic reactions to bridges and fillings, some people may get more than they expected with a visit to the dentist.

Metal allergies are also frequently reported in dentistry. In particular, nickel allergy in women is reported to range from 9 to 20% and is among the three main causes of allergic dermatitis (symptoms may include dryness, redness, itching, peeling, scaling, cracking, or blistering). However, it ranks first in most industrialized countries. In orthodontic patients with pierced ears, 30% are allergic to nickel, copper and chromium.

However, only 1-3% of patients without piercings show similar allergic hypersensitivity. The recent popularity of oral piercings has placed susceptible patients at greater risk of developing metal allergies. Most likely, the low incidence of nickel allergy in men (1 to 2%) will increase, and possibly also in women, if the trend for oral piercings continues or increases. Although rare, allergy to other metal alloys such as mercury, gold, platinum, palladium, silver and cobalt is also possible.

If you experience sensitivity or an adverse reaction due to a crown or dental filling, you may be allergic to some of the base metals used in dentistry. Sensitivity may be immediate upon contact or develop later. Symptoms of a tooth-related allergy include swelling and inflammation of the gums. The metals that usually cause most reactions are mercury, nickel and amalgam.

Dentists use mercury in silver fillings which reduces the cost of dental fillings for both the dentist and the patient. Nickel is also used in many crowns and partial dentures for greater strength and stability while amalgam causes most adverse reactions. It is made of a combination of metals and is also used in fillings; most dentists use this metal because of its affordability, durability and ease of application. During dental treatment various materials are used that can have side effects on patients and dental staff; therefore it is necessary to use them with caution.

The clinical manifestations of allergy to different dental materials were reviewed based on different case reports. Although dental patients have symptoms mainly on the oral mucosa, dental staff often have dermatitis on their hands. The allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers know how uncomfortable and expensive tooth-related allergies can be; unknown dental allergies cause defective implants, multiple sessions to remove and install new fillings and discomfort. If you have questions about your dental allergy or other metal allergies call NY Allergy & Sinus Centers.

Because of this widespread use healthcare workers and dental patients are at greater risk of exposure and of developing allergies; these allergy tests are important because they decrease the chance that a dental procedure will fail. Although the incidence of allergies to dental resins is low most methacrylates can induce a type IV (delayed) allergic hypersensitivity reaction; however the dental team must remain vigilant and be keenly aware of the potential of numerous dental materials and products available to cause mild to severe allergic hypersensitivity both intraorally and in unrelated parts of the body.

Hazel Headings
Hazel Headings

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