Purpose: Nowadays, gloves are worn routinely by most general dental practitioners while treating patients, with latex being the most commonly used glove material worldwide. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of allergy to latex gloves among dental professionals of Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 163 dental professionals (73% males and 27% females) were surveyed using a pre-tested self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire was comprised of a total of 12 items and gave information about the participants and their glove use, namely demographic profile, working habits and glove use, signs and symptoms related to glove use, any other type of allergy, as well as precautions taken to minimise it. The statistical analysis was performed using chi-square and Fishers exact tests to compare frequency and percentage. The level of significance was set at P u 0.05. Results: A total of 26 (16%) dental professionals reported allergy to latex gloves, of which females (27.3%) reported significantly greater allergy than males (11.8%) (P = 0.016). The number of years of glove use was significantly associated with allergy to latex gloves (P = 0.000). The prevalence of allergy to latex gloves was significantly greater for those who had allergy to pollen grains, foodstuffs and rubber dam, those who had asthma or history of eczema and those with family history of allergy. However, allergy to latex gloves was independent of age, type of gloves used, hours of use per day as well as number of patients seen per day. Conclusions: The present study showed a high rate of allergy to latex gloves among dental professionals in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.
Keywords: dental professionals, glove use, allergy to latex gloves