December 2014 articles

When Mistletoe Kisses Go Wrong

Kissing under the mistletoe may seem like a charming tradition, but for people with peanut allergies, smooching under the berries can be anything but. Even hours after consuming food, saliva can contain traces of peanut allergen. If you know that a loved one has a nut allergy, it is best to avoid any holiday dishes or desserts containing peanuts. According to research reported by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology,1 the allergen can linger in saliva for up to four hours after a meal. Though brushing teeth after eating does get rid of some of the allergen, it does not remove all of it. Be sure to double-check labels before eating, and alert others if you have a peanut allergy. Symptoms of a nut allergy usually include itching, tingling, swelling, and coughing, but can even be as serious as anaphylaxis, which is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that can cause the narrowing of airways in the lungs. If these symptoms occur, even on a small scale, a visit to the doctor is necessary and may even be lifesaving.2 You dont have to avoid the mistletoe this holiday season but be mindful of what youve eaten and who youre smooching!

1http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,Delta26 2http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/peanut-allergy/basics/symptoms/con-20027898


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