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Question for those of you with metal allergies…



 
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RP
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:19 pm    Post subject: Question for those of you with metal allergies… Reply with quote

Do you find that a non-metal rim is sufficient to avoid an allergic reaction or do you need the whole top of your mouthpiece to be plastic?
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RP
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some additional background/information…

I’ve played on silver plated mouthpieces my entire life without any problems but have recently developed a metal allergy. I am trying to decide whether I should have Lexan rims put on the Curry pieces I’ve been playing or switch to a two-piece set-up with an entirely plastic top (specifically, I was looking at the Austin Custom Brass acrylic tops). I was really happy with my Curry mouthpieces, but I tend to put a lot of lip into the cup and I’m worried that just the Lexan rim alone won’t be enough to prevent an allergic reaction. This is completely uncharted territory for me, so I just don't know (?) and would really appreciate hearing from anyone who has experience with this sort of thing.

Thanks!

-RP
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm curious. I have a metal allergy. But I've never had a problem with mouthpieces. What happens and what are your reactions?
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bagmangood
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Link


Might be worth asking ACB
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RP
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard III wrote:
I'm curious. I have a metal allergy. But I've never had a problem with mouthpieces. What happens and what are your reactions?


The first thing I noticed was a burning sensation when I played, which I have never experienced before. Then my lips started swelling much more than usual. At first, these symptoms would subside fairly soon after I was done playing, but over time they lasted longer and longer (until eventually they wouldn’t resolve by the time I sat down the next day to play). Next, what felt like a sore started to develop on my lower lip. Finally, my teeth started hurting, despite a clean bill of health from the dentist less than two months prior. Overall, my mouth just felt strange and uncomfortable. In terms of playing, I seemed to be losing both my range and endurance. I have been playing more lately, so I initially attributed everything to that (and to not taking any time off). The possibility that I was having some sort of allergic reaction hadn’t even occurred to me. It finally reached a point where I decided that I needed a rest. A smarter man would have taken the very next day off, but my wife was at work, the kids were in school, and I had the house to myself, so I decided to go ahead and play, but to take it easy. I pulled out one of my Kelly mouthpieces that I use for outdoor playing (I figured Lexan might be a little gentler on my chops) and started playing some long tone exercises very softly. Long story short, I ended up playing for two hours and felt great the whole time. The next day, I went back to the Curry and my lips started burning almost immediately. This brought me to the forum, where I found topics like these:

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1435187

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1304976

And to some Google searches, where I found this (among others):

http://hornmatters.com/2014/01/on-mouthpieces-and-metal-allergies/

All of which seemed to be describing exactly what I was experiencing. Since then, I’ve done some experimentation and found that I’m fine when I play a Lexan mouthpiece, but my lips start burning almost immediately now when I play anything silver plated (gold has always felt too slick to me, so I don’t own any gold plated mouthpieces to test). I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion that I’m probably at least mildly allergic to silver and/or nickel (with nickel actually being the more likely culprit). I’ve not seen a doctor to confirm this, but I’m pretty sure it’s something along those lines. Right now, I’m playing the Kelly, at least as a stopgap, while I try to figure out what sort of permanent solution I want to pursue.

-RP
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RP
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Might be worth asking ACB

It would seem so! I sent an e-mail to Mark Curry earlier today. I think I'll also have to give ACB a call tomorrow.
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blbaumgarn
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:32 pm    Post subject: questions for those of you with metal allergies Reply with quote

My thoughts are with you. When diagnosed and tested for allergies the specialist said I fell into the top 2-3% of all allergic people which was pretty scary. Now, at 69, I have some contact dermatitis occasionally and that is about it. I never had reaction to the metal in horns or mouth pieces but was at college when the trombone teacher developed nasty psoriasis symptoms from his horn and this in his middle age with nothing before. He didn't react to silver and had to wear cotton gloves going forward to play his horn. The various plastic mpcs that are available now might be your Godsend. In my personal case my breathing and skin allergies basically quit after I quit drinking at 34, and that was in excess, LOL. Good luck getting it all sorted out so you can play the way you want to.
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mm55
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A qualified medical opinion is something you should consider. It appears that you've self-diagnosed an allergy, and you're looking for opinions from others who may have done likewise. You should really be asking a dermatologist or an allergist, or at least your general practitioner. Curry mouthpieces are usually silver-plated, and true allergies to silver are quite rare.
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RP
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:34 am    Post subject: Re: questions for those of you with metal allergies Reply with quote

blbaumgarn wrote:
My thoughts are with you. When diagnosed and tested for allergies the specialist said I fell into the top 2-3% of all allergic people which was pretty scary. Now, at 69, I have some contact dermatitis occasionally and that is about it. I never had reaction to the metal in horns or mouth pieces but was at college when the trombone teacher developed nasty psoriasis symptoms from his horn and this in his middle age with nothing before. He didn't react to silver and had to wear cotton gloves going forward to play his horn. The various plastic mpcs that are available now might be your Godsend. In my personal case my breathing and skin allergies basically quit after I quit drinking at 34, and that was in excess, LOL. Good luck getting it all sorted out so you can play the way you want to.

Thank you for your very kind thoughts. In the grand scheme of things, I feel pretty lucky. As you point out, we live in a time where technology has provided us with alternatives. I am also fortunate enough to have the means to obtain at least some of those alternatives. The fact that I already owned a few Kelly mouthpieces has allowed me keep playing without interruption and has bought me some time to find a permanent solution without needing to rush into anything. I also actually like (maybe even prefer?) the grip and overall feel of plastic rims, so its just a matter of finding something where I’m happy with the rest of the mouthpiece and the sound I’m able to produce on it. Lastly, I don’t in earn my living with the trumpet, so this doesn’t rise to the same level of crisis that it might for some on the forum.
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RP
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mm55 wrote:
A qualified medical opinion is something you should consider. It appears that you've self-diagnosed an allergy, and you're looking for opinions from others who may have done likewise. You should really be asking a dermatologist or an allergist, or at least your general practitioner. Curry mouthpieces are usually silver-plated, and true allergies to silver are quite rare.

Right now I’m still on the fence about seeing a doctor specifically for this (not that I wouldn’t ask the next time I’m in for something else). If I played for a living, seeing a doctor certainly would be at the top of my list. But, in my situation, I’m not sure how important it is to get a formal diagnosis. I have decent health insurance by today’s standards, but the amount of my deductible would also buy quite a few mouthpieces! I do want to be clear that I’m not asking anyone on the forum for medical advice. What I’m wanting to know is whether anyone who has experienced similar problems with metal mouthpieces found that they were solved with a plastic rim alone…or if they still had problems and had to switch to an entirely plastic top. I already know that the latter will work for me. However, both for reasons having to do sound and because I really like my Curry mouthpieces, the former would be my preferred solution. I was just hoping to get some feedback from people with first-hand experience before I spend any money. While I have no doubt that that an allergist could confirm whether this is indeed an allergic reaction (and identify the precise cause), unless s/he is also a trumpet player, I doubt if they would be able answer this specific mouthpiece-related question. I also realize that I may just need to have a Lexan rim put on one of my Currys and test it for myself, but I was kind of hoping to hear from folks who’ve been down this road before and find out what worked for them. Thanks!
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are also stainless steel mouthpieces. It is surgical grade supposedly so there are no allergic issues.
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Ed Kennedy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warburton makes a hard rubber top (Warbonite). I use one on my pic.
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark makes great mouthpieces, I have several, but he silver plates pretty thinly, i.e., not as much as Anderson silver plates. It's possible that you are going through the silver in very small spots and getting brass poisoning.
Worth having a 'piece replated and seeing what happens.
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