Natural rubber latex is found in numerous medical and dental products. Adverse latex reactions in dental patients and practitioners have significantly increased since the introduction of universal precautions for infection control. These reactions range from contact dermatitis to potentially life-threatening hypersensitivity. Patients with a history of spina bifida, urogenital anomalies, multiple surgical procedures, allergic reactions or atopy, health care personnel and latex production workers are at increased risk of latex allergy. Diagnosis is based on a combination of clinical history and laboratory tests. Identification of latex sources and the avoidance of latex exposure are critical for protecting both dental patients and dental personnel.
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