Dentistry and Allergies: Part One-Latex Allergy

Posted on by Dr. Robert Axelrad (Brampton Dentist)

Latex Allergies

Latex Allergies

AHH CHOO…If it were as simple as just a sneeze, then there would be no reason for concern. You may want to review the last blog.

Before we even meet with a patient, a thorough medical history needs to be completed. An important matter that we address is whether you have any allergies. Let’s look at some of the more common allergies that we see which may affect a patient’s treatment.

Latex: This is a big concern in dentistry.
The first thing we do when we examine a patient is put on a pair of gloves. If the patient has a latex allergy, then we have to use non-latex gloves.

However, it is not as simple as wearing non-latex gloves…Here’s why: The problem relates to the powder that is found in the rubber gloves in the office. The powder is used because it makes it easier to put on and take off the gloves

Components of the Powder
The powder in the gloves contains corn starch. There is also a substance called ‘Latex Protein’ that adheres to the corn starch.

It is possible to be allergic to the latex protein as well. Picture this: when the gloves are taken off, the powder causes an aerosol which can stay airborne for up to 12 hours. So if you can imagine, there is a cloud of dust containing latex protein all around the room…who’d have thought?

The way to address a latex allergy at the dental office is to be the first patient that is seen in the morning. This ensures that 12 hours have passed and that all the dust has settled.

In the next blog, we will look at allergies to local anaesthetics…until then!

Dr. Robert Axelrad, your local Brampton Dentist

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