If you are preparing to have a root canal and you are allergic to latex, discussing your options for an alternative filling during the procedure is extremely important. The material used for fillings during a root canal procedure are made from a rubbery substance that has been found to cause allergic reactions in people with latex allergies. Learn more about gutta-percha and other latex dangers to watch for when you have a root canal.
What Is Gutta-Percha?
Gutta-percha is the substance used to fill the roots after infected tissue has been removed from them. The empty roots of a tooth are dried using paper cones, then filled up with gutta-percha. Gutta-percha is a purified substance made from a tree called the Mazer Wood. Gutta-percha is blended with zinc oxide and other chemicals that give it its rubbery texture. Gutta-percha is similar to latex in the ways it looks and feels. The compounds used to manufacture it do cause allergic reaction to people allergic to latex. Once the gutta-percha is placed in the emptied roots, it is sealed using eugenol and zinc oxide. Your dentist can recommend an alternative filling for your root canal.
Remember Other Latex Materials Used During Your Root Canal Procedure
Gutta-percha filling material is not the only latex material you should be concerned about before having your root canal done. The rubber dam used to protect your gums and other teeth from the heat used during a root canal is made out of latex as well. Your dentist can use dams made from other protective materials if you have an allergy to latex. Be sure to remind your dentist about using gloves that are latex-free.
The Symptoms Of Latex Allergic Reaction After A Root Canal
If you notice severe pain in your gums where your root canal was done, contacting your dentist right away is important. If you are experiencing an allergic reaction to gutta-percha filling, you may also have a runny nose and shortness of breath similar to those suffered during an asthma attack. If you have trouble breathing, you could be entering into anaphylaxis that causes dangerous swelling around the neck. Anaphylaxis can cause the trachea to constrict, blocking airflow. Visiting an emergency room if your face and neck begin to swell after a root canal is vital to avoid the sometimes deadly consequences of anaphylaxis brought about by an allergic reaction.
In most cases, a root canal procedure is simple and poses no serious risks to patients. However, if you are allergic to latex, you need to consider all your options for avoiding an allergic reaction from root canal filling.