Latex & Food Allergies Ann Arbor
We at Embree Dentistry in Ann Arbor, MI are sensitive to our patients with allergies. If you or someone in your family lives with a severe allergy to latex or certain foods, we know you may have misgivings about coming to the dentist. We want you to know that we are prepared for you. With a little notice and planning, we can make sure your appointment with us is safe and comfortable.
What is a Latex Allergy?Latex is a major ingredient in most rubber products, most commonly found in items related to the healthcare industry like our latex exam gloves or dental dams. The exact cause of latex allergies is unknown but seems to be related to repeated exposure to latex and rubber products. Someone who is allergic to latex will experience adverse reactions like itching at the site of contact or all over their body, a full-body rash, swelling, wheezing or shortness of breath.
Latex allergies seem to affect mostly health industry professionals but can occur in almost anyone. People with certain food allergies, like those to bananas, avocados, tomatoes, and chestnuts, are also more likely to experience latex allergies. If you think you may be allergic to latex, we encourage you to seek out an allergy specialist who can safely diagnose you.
It’s possible that you could also develop a sensitivity to latex gloves, which is not the same thing as an allergy. A sensitivity would result in more mild symptoms such as swelling or rash in the area where the glove touches you. Though uncomfortable, these symptoms are not life-threatening. If you have a latex sensitivity, make sure to inform us before your next appointment so we can ensure your comfort.
Patients with Latex AllergiesIf you have a known latex allergy, please be sure to call us at least 24 hours before your appointment so we can set up our latex-free protocol. We’ll also be sure to make a note of it in your medical record, so you don’t need to call us before every appointment. Every one of our staff members will be informed and make sure you do not encounter a latex product. As always with a severe allergy, it’s important that you wear a medical alert bracelet and carry an epinephrine pen with you.
Patients with Food AllergiesAs with latex allergies, please give us a call at least 24 hours before your next appointment if you know you have a food allergy. There are some common dental products that contain ingredients that may trigger food allergies in patients, though this may not be obvious. For example, some toothpaste may have gluten or milk protein, or a topical anesthetic we use may have fruit flavoring, or a polishing paste may contain nut oil. Always check with us first if you have a food allergy so we can help protect you during your dental visit.
Call us at (734) 973-0000 today to inform us of your allergies and schedule your next cleaning and exam today!