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Allergies

Latex allergy test

08/31/2000

Question:

I wear a Latex mouth guard at night for TMJ. Several week ago I developed a tonsillar abcess and was not able to wear it. After completing treatment I began to wear the guard. I wore it for three days and developed a swollen, sore tongue, swollen and numb lips and sore roof of mouth. The doctors said it was a reaction to all the medications including steroid and antibiotic. After symptoms went away, I again tried the mouth guard. I awoke this morning with swollen, numb lips and a numb tongue. Me dentist says it is a latex allergy (even though I have wore the mouth guard for four years with no symptoms) and my doctor says he agrees, but that no test can be done make sure. He say try latex gloves to see if the reaction happens and we will then know. Is this a good way to test for latex allergy? If not how should I test?

Answer:

Testing can be done for latex allergy in many parts of the country. You could be allergic to latex protein or possibly chemicals used to make rubber. Consultation with a board certified allergist who is able to do latex skin testing is recommended.

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Response by:

David I Bernstein, MD David I Bernstein, MD
Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati