There’s something about root canals… Why is it that people with MCAS seem to have such problems with dentistry (more info on that here) and root canals in particular? I know so many Mastie’s who have had infections, facial nerve damage (like my Mom had), and MCAS flares set off by a root canal. It comes up all the time.
I don’t think there’s any research on this topic- although MCAS Research is fast and furious, they’re still figuring out what the questions are, let alone them delving into specific aspects like this. Could there be something specific about a root canals in particular that ticks off mast cells?
They use natural latex rubber to replace the dentine.
Yup. Seriously. It’s called ‘gutta-percha’, and while it is a different species, it is considered a natural latex product, and I still highly cross-reactive with latex.
The endodontist I saw was adamant that it was all sealed inside the porcelain, so I couldn’t possibly react to it. (Never heard that before… I react to all sorts of impossible things. Yeesh!).
I’m stupidly, ridiculously allergic to latex. I’m allergic to synthetic rubber as well (polyisoprene), which is pretty rare; my body has decided to classify them together. I can’t go into a store that sells balloons, even with my mask on. My skin reacts to it being in the air, let alone touching it or putting it my MOUTH! I don’t care if it’s technically sealed. How the hell is he going to get it in there without exposing me to it?
A year or so ago, my dentist set off an allergic reaction (oral swelling, hive, airway itchiness, BP changes, etc) from one of his tools. It touched my lip, and I knew instantly there was something on it. It took a while to sort out-I knew it was from that tool, it’s a stainless steel pick, so, whaaat on earth??? Turns out that the tool had a tiny elastic on it because it was slippery. The dentist was stunned, and he said “Now I get why you wanted to have your epinephrine in your hand! I was thinking you were a touch, well… we all know that reactions like that are possible, but until you see it……”. Yup. It’s unlikely as hell, but it does happen. And seeing is most definitely believing.
Could the rubber be the root of the root canal issues Mastie’s seem to have? ( horrid pun, sorry!) It makes logical sense. Even if it is ‘sealed’, a reaction to it as it’s being put in is going to cause inflammation, and interfere with healing, begging for an infection. Of course, not all people with MCAS are sensitive to latex, but many of us are. And if you’re anything like me, and not allergic to something, putting it in your mouth 24/7 means that you’ll develop a sensitivity to it! I suppose it’s another thing I’ll have to add to my ‘I could keep a medical research facility busy for a lifetime attempting to prove my theories’ list.
For now, though, I won’t be getting any root canals.
So, no, I’m not going to have a root canal. Fortunately it’s a bottom tooth (I have the oddest pain perception, only my top teeth are painful). So we’re going to try another filling or pull it out. I have 20 cavities, it’s almost tempting to pull them all and get dentures, but, no, I’ll pass. I get hives from pressure- can you imagine denture rubbing? And how much you wanna bet that I’m allergic to denture adhesive. Besides, I’m a touch vain about my teeth, so I see a lot of implants in my future. I’m very grateful that I have good supplemental dental coverage. In the meantime, I’ll have to start looking into amalgam fillings… does the antiseptic property of the silver outweight the risk of the mercury? Stay tuned!