Did you know that seeing your family dentist in Waco can inadvertently put you at risk for exposure to common allergens like gluten? Although you’d probably never expect it, most polishing agents used during professional cleanings actually contain this substance that can be extremely risky for patients with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. And, in addition to gluten, there are other common allergens that patients can be exposed to during routine dental care. That’s why the team at Heart of Texas Smiles, your premier dentist in Waco, wants to share the details on how you can stay safe in the dental chair. Learn more about preventing allergic reactions since May is Food Allergy Awareness month.
What Common Dental Allergens Are There?
Dr. Nick Cobb, Dr. Ron Evans, and Dr. Theresa Lassetter explain that there are many other dental allergens that patients can be exposed to, including:
- Latex – By far, this is the most common dental allergy. If latex is a problem for you, let us know and we’ll use latex-free gloves and polishing agents.
- Acrylic – Acrylic is used to make temporary crowns, implants and veneers. If you know you’re allergic to acrylic, talk with us about substituting this with composite material that’s acrylic free.
- Epinephrine – The majority of dental anesthetics contain epinephrine, which prolongs the effect of the numbing medication. In sensitive patients, epinephrine produces increased anxiety and elevated heart rate. Ask for an epinephrine-free anesthetic instead – we’re happy to help.
- Eugenol – Many dental cements used to place dental work contain eugenol, a sedative agent that is made from refined clove oil, that calms tooth nerves. If you have an allergic reaction, is can cause localized inflammation, tissue damage and other anaphylactic symptoms. At our practice, you can always request a eugenol-free cement.
- Metals – Dental crowns and fillings can be made with metals like gold and silver alloys that can cause allergic reactions. Let us know if you’re allergic to any type of metal and we’ll provide an all-porcelain restoration to keep you safe.
- Flavorings – Some people have food allergies to fruits like berries or watermelon, which are often used to make polishing agents and mouthrinses more flavorful, so be sure to tell us if you have any sort of food allergy so we can protect your overall health while care for your teeth.
How Can I Prevent Dental Allergic Reactions?
The most critical thing you can do to prevent an allergic reaction and exposure to be honest. Follow the steps below to get the most out of your oral healthcare:
- Be Honest – Unless you’re honest with us, we’ll have no way of knowing you’re allergic to any of these substances. We’re always happy to substitute products to keep our patients safe – and we need your help in doing so.
- Be Thorough – Tell us if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction – to any substance whatsoever – including foods, medications, medical supplies, dental hygiene products, etc. And, let us know about any and all medical conditions you have, any surgeries you’ve ever had, and any medications you’re taking.
To help us keep you safe, always provide a complete medical history and talk with your dentist – there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and it’s critical that we know about these to keep you safe. If you have questions about dental or food allergens and how they impact your oral healthcare, give Heart of Texas Smiles a call today!