That’s why we want you to need to know one of the most important things to consider before using any product at all:
Food allergies and intolerances are a group of health disorders, which are mainly studied together since their manifestation is always similar and their treatment is the same – avoiding certain foods or their ingredients. The difference between food allergies and intolerances is in the mechanism of emergence: the basics of the food (nutritive) allergies are in the uncontrolled reaction of the immune system, or we can say overreaction, on the food or a substance in the food, identifying it as a danger and triggering a protective response. On the other hand, intolerance is an adverse reaction to a food that is not caused by an immune reaction. Mechanisms for food intolerance can be various: toxic, metabolic or idiosyncratic reaction to the food or a chemical compound in the food or, for example, a lack of the necessary enzymes for digestion and metabolism of the food, but it has never been the consequence of the immune system activation.
Food allergy represents a highly up-to-date and continually increasing problem of modern man. Although being present in all ages, it most often occurs in children aged up to three years. Sensitization most often occurs in a direct way, but it is also possible to be caused by the mother’s milk, and even transplacentally. The predisposition of the inadequate immune response to antigen stimulation, reaginic or nonreaginic, is of nonselective character so that food allergy is often multiple and to a high rate associated with inhalation and/ or contact hypersensitivity. Also, due to antigen closeness of some kinds of food, a cross-reactive allergic reaction is also frequent, as is the case with peanuts, legumes and tree nuts or cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s milk. Most frequent nutritive allergens responsible for over 90% of adverse reactions of this type are proteins of cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, and cephalopods. Allergy intolerance of food antigens is characterized by a very wide spectrum of clinical manifestations. Highly severe systemic reactions, sometimes fatal, are also possible. The diagnosis of food allergy is based on a detailed personal and family medical history, complete clinical examination, and corresponding laboratory and other examinations adapted to the type of hypersensitivity and the character of patient’s complaints, and therapy on the elimination diet. A positive effect of elimination diet also significantly contributes to the diagnosis. Although most children “outgrow” their allergies, allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, and cephalopods are generally life-long allergies. Source
If the allergy is mediated by immunoglobulin E (IgE), a type of antibody, the reaction of an organism that comes into contact with an allergen is very turbulent and it can lead to anaphylactic shock. In the case of anaphylaxis, the severe reactions can lead to the blood vessels and airways constricting, sometimes with fatal effects. While peanuts account for half of all food-related episodes of anaphylaxis, other nuts, seafood, eggs, fish and milk can also cause the reaction. Fortunately, a more common case is that allergy develops with delayed, mediated by cells, immune response. Symptoms are milder, from the itchy rash of the skin to the gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and weight loss. An example of this kind of food allergy is gluten enteropathy or celiac disease. If you have celiac disease, eating gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, triticale (a hybrid of rye and wheat) and oats – causes damage to the lining of your small intestine. It also causes inflammation in other parts of your body.
Over the last few years, due to the rise in a number of patients with allergies from different materials, the practicing dentists should have knowledge about documented allergies to known materials and thus avoid such allergic manifestations in the dental clinic. The dentist will ask the patient questions regarding symptoms when they occur, how often, and what seems to cause them. They will also ask the person with symptoms whether there is a family history of allergies and if other household members have allergies and will recommend some tests to find out which allergen is causing symptoms or refer the patient to a specialist. It is common to add artificial colors and flavors to dental products to improve their appearance and taste. Most products contain these chemical additives, even foods. What about polishing pastes?
We know that their developments have come in two areas: flavorings and therapeutic additives. It is very important to know that polishing pastes may contain the food allergens such as milk, eggs, soy, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts (walnut, pecans, almonds, cashews, and pistachios), shellfish, and fish (the top eight major allergens).
The general rule for managing food allergies is to read ingredient labels on dental products carefully. Artificial colors, as we said, are typically found in prophylaxis pastes. Red and yellow dyes are the main types of dyes that cause allergic reactions. Red #40, Yellow #5 and Yellow #6 are types of artificial dyes. Skin irritations, such as eczema or hives, are common symptoms that develop after the ingestion of a particular dye. In rare cases, certain dies can cause anaphylactic shock. The effects of color dyes on behavioral issues, especially in children, are currently being researched.
Flavoring agents have great importance in the industry of drugs, especially in camouflaging with the medicines by their indispensable flavors. Thus, they are also called as “masking agents” or “bitter blockers”. However, the professional has to be very cautious while choosing the flavor because the allergic reactions can be precipitated, even if they are more dose size dependent than flavor type.
Therapeutic or therapeutic-like additives, however, are the most important innovations. These additives all have the same goal: to strengthen enamel, remineralize enamel, and decrease dentinal hypersensitivity and this often refers to fluoride addition in polishing pastes. Used for decades to prevent tooth decay, fluoride is found in many dental products, but if you have a fluoride allergy it could make you sick.
However, having a fluoride allergy is quite rare and for the people who do have it, it can be mild to the severe reaction and will need to be treated immediately. The main signs and symptoms of a fluoride allergy are various from nausea, upset stomach, joint and muscle pain, cuts and lesions in the mouth to feeling tired and mental weakness.
Once you have been diagnosed with a food allergy, talk to your doctor about how to treat your allergic reactions. Work with him or her to create an individualized written plan so you and others will know what to do in case of an emergency. The best way to avoid food allergens from dental products, in this particular case – prophy paste, is to choose the right one for you. There are many polishing pastes on the dental market that can fulfill all patient and dental hygienist needs. Using the fluoride free, dye free, gluten free and big eight allergens free paste should reduce the risk of allergic reaction.