Swelling of lips and tongue...brass allergy?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by austexcal, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. austexcal

    austexcal New Friend

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    Oct 3, 2009
    My 16-year-old plays jazz and wind ensemble and is experiencing -- for the second time this year -- swelling of the lips and tongue. Previously after laying off for a while, the swelling went down and he resumed playing, losing his chops. It is a painful condition. Benadryl seems to have lessened the swelling. He uses a plated mouthpiece, but it's possible there are tiny nicks on it that may expose him to brass.

    There seem to be non-brass mouthpieces but they seem to affect the sound negatively.

    If you have suggestions, advice on either the cause of the swollen lips/tongue and/or information on non-allergenic mouthpieces, that would be immensely appreciated.
     
  2. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

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    I have a Kelly mouthpiece and it doesn't seem to affect my playing.

    By the way welcome to the forum!!

    Good luck!
     
  3. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    I think Trent had a similar problem and now plays stainless steel mouthpieces.

    I may be wrong though.

    Maybe an allergy to the silver or gold plating of the MP.
     
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to TM, austexcal!

    Players can experience allergies to brass, silver and gold mouthpieces (in this order). A Lexan (plastic) rim can fix those. Sometimes, the use of, uggh, pop or energy drinks, with aluminium (and whatever preservatives are there) tops can cause a nasty swelling when playing as well.

    I'd look at the energy drink issue first, then check the mouthpiece.

    Good luck!
     
  5. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

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    How is he oiling the valves? If he's pouring oil into the leadpipe to try to get it around to the valves, he may be inhaling little bits of it, which might cause a reaction. This is not the best way to oil the valves, if that's how he's doing it -- he should take each valve out and apply the oil directly to the piston.

    As to the allergy -- some people are very allergic to metals in general. My advice would be to discuss it with a dermatologist before spending tons of money on different equipment, none of which might actually help him.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Tape the mouthpiece to his arm overnight and see if that swells too.
     
  7. austexcal

    austexcal New Friend

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    Oct 3, 2009
    Thanks for the advice, everybody. Just to update you. The doc says it's a nickel allergy. I think we're going to look at stainless steel. so if you know who makes great stainless mouthpieces, the advice would be appreciated!
     
  8. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

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    If it's a nickel allergy, a silver-plated mouthpiece should be just fine, since the underlying metal is brass, not nickel.
     
  9. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 25, 2009
    ..but, is there nickel in the silver alloy plating on the mouthpiece....?

    Is there a chance of a nickel silver plating on mouthpieces to make the plating harder and tarnish resistant?
    Old coins were even 10% nickel, 90% silver, to harden them.
     
  10. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

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