Allergic to the Materials in Your Mouth?
While much of the country is still freezing, here in the Valley the citrus trees are starting to bloom. Most home gardeners have already planted their gardens: Jasmine, gardenia and roses are blooming, along with mulberry, cottonwood and ragweed. It’s allergy season in the Valley.
What many people may not realize is that their dentist may use materials that can trigger an allergic reaction. One study, published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, which reviewed 71 relevant articles, 60 case reports, eight prospective studies and three retrospective studies, determined that amalgam fillings caused the most adverse reactions in patients, although there were reactions to numerous other materials as well, including nickel, titanium and latex gloves. Reactions range from mild irritations to extreme reactions, such as long-term illness, dysfunction or damage. Allergic reactions or a sensitivity to the materials don’t always manifest immediately—sometimes not showing a reaction for a day or two until the allergens get into the circulatory system.
One example is that of a young girl of about 12 who had an amalgam filling (with mercury and other metals) placed in her mouth. About two weeks later, out of nowhere, her left eye started twitching. Her parents took her to numerous doctors, but none could diagnose the problem. One astute physician asked the parents to try to pinpoint when the twitching had begun. The only change—the trigger—was that her tooth was filled with amalgam. The parents took the child back to the dentist and had the silver filling removed. Almost immediately, the twitching stopped.
People with allergies to pollens and medications are more predisposed to many products and materials used in dentistry; however, even those who have never had any allergies or allergic reactions before can experience a reaction to any drug, product or material. Anyone can have an allergic reaction at any time. Just like other allergies and sensitivities, what may be safe for one patient may cause a serious reaction or disease in another.
The good news is that patients do not have to wait until an allergic reaction occurs after they have already had dental work. A simple blood test can reveal possible allergies or sensitivities to dental materials before patients undergo dental work. The results list the patient’s potential positive or negative reactions to the materials listed in the database. With the results of the blood test in hand, the dentist can tell which materials meet the needs of each patient—and minimize or even prevent allergic reactions. Patients concerned about possible allergic reactions should request that their dentist test for sensitivities prior to dental work.
Dr. Michael Margolis graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio Dental School in 1983. He received a doctorate in integrative medicine from the Capital University of Integrative Medicine, in Washington, D.C., in 2002, where he also received the President’s Research Award for his research into the use of ultrasound technology to detect cavitational lesions within the jawbone. He has also served as past president of the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine and as assistant professor emeritus of Capital University. He is an accredited member of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, a member of the Holistic Dental Association, a professional member of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, a pioneer in the cause to ban mercury in dentistry with Consumers for Dental Choice, and a founding member of the Institute of Natural Dentistry. Margolis is the founder of My Dentist, a clinic that offers holistic and biological dentistry. For more information, visit MyDentistAZ.com.