People who frequently come into contact with products containing natural rubber latex may develop an allergy to this common ingredient. While typically found in household products like balloons, pacifiers, tires, and shoes, latex is also found in many medical items like masks, gloves, and bandages. Because of this, it is important to identify any sensitivity you may have toward latex and inform your health care professional. According to the American Dental Association, people at increased risk of developing latex allergies include health care workers, those who have undergone numerous surgeries, and rubber industry workers.
Someone with a sensitivity to latex products may exhibit symptoms ranging from minor irritations like nasal congestion to severe anaphylaxis that could be life-threatening if not treated. If you know or suspect you are allergic to natural rubber latex, be sure to tell your dental plan dentist prior to your next appointment. He or she will then make a note to use latex-free alternatives at all subsequent visits to protect you from a reaction. For more information, talk to your doctor or dentist about your symptoms and their possible causes. Together, you can work to create the optimal environment for your health.