Contact allergy in oral disease

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Aug;57(2):315-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2007.04.017. Epub 2007 May 25.


Background: The role of contact allergy in oral cavity disease processes is unknown.

Objective: We sought to determine the prevalence of contact allergy to flavorings, preservatives, dental acrylates, medications, and metals in patients with oral disease.

Methods: Patients were tested with an 85-item oral antigen screening series. Data were analyzed retrospectively.

Results: We evaluated 331 patients with burning mouth syndrome, lichenoid tissue reaction, cheilitis, stomatitis, gingivitis, orofacial granulomatosis, perioral dermatitis, and recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Positive patch test results were identified in 148 of the 331 patients; 90 patients had two or more positive reactions. Allergens with the highest positive reaction rates were potassium dicyanoaurate, nickel sulfate, and gold sodium thiosulfate. Of the 341 positive patch test reactions, 221 were clinically relevant.

Limitations: No follow-up data were available in this retrospective analysis.

Conclusion: The positive and relevant allergic reactions to metals, fragrances, and preservatives indicated that contact allergy may affect oral disease.

MeSH terms

  • Acrylates / adverse effects
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Dental Materials / adverse effects
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / epidemiology*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Female
  • Flavoring Agents / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metals / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Diseases / chemically induced
  • Mouth Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Mouth Diseases / etiology*
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical / adverse effects
  • Prevalence


  • Acrylates
  • Dental Materials
  • Flavoring Agents
  • Metals
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical