Latex gloves are a common staple in a dental practice, as your dentist will use these gloves as a barrier between your mouth and his hands. However, if you have an allergy to latex, extra precautions need to be taken. If you believe that you might be allergic to latex, be sure to keep your dentist informed about this development.
Latex Allergy Causes
In some cases, we don’t know what causes an allergy to latex, as it is something that can just happen. However, if you contact latex repeatedly, you may develop an allergy. This is why people who have 10 or more surgeries are at the greatest risk of a latex allergy. If you allergic to foods like tomatoes, kiwi, bananas, or apples, you may be at a greater risk of developing a latex allergy. Some of the less common causes of a latex allergy include bone marrow cell defects, a deformed bladder, or exposure to catheters with rubber tips.
Symptoms of a Latex Allergy
If you suspect that you might be allergic to latex, there are several signs for which you should look. Typically, they will start with hives, but other mild side effects include an itchy or stuffy nose. If you have a severe allergy, you may experience symptoms similar to asthma, ranging from tightness in the chest to wheezing, and you might even notice difficulty breathing.
Dental Office Precautions
If you know that you have a latex allergy, it is recommended that you call your dentist’s office a minimum of 24 hours before your appointment. Your dentist will have latex-free protocol, and advanced notice will help him to prepare the exam room for your arrival. You should also be sure that your latex allergy is documented in your medical record so future providers who might not be as familiar with your health history will know about it and can avoid the use of latex products.