Updated date:

Do You Have a Battery in Your Mouth?

Author:

I'm a dental hygienist, pyrography artist, avid gardener, writer, vegetarian, world traveler, and many other things!

Many of the ailments we see today stem from a disruption of energy flow in the body.

Many of the ailments we see today stem from a disruption of energy flow in the body.

Many of the ailments we see today stem from a disruption of natural energy flow in the body. A subluxated spinal vertebrae can pinch a nerve, for example, cutting off energy flow to that area. Over time this can lead to the debilitation of the area until energy flow is restored (often through chiropractic manipulation.) Similarly, a chronic disruption of energy flow in the mouth can play havoc in the surrounding tissues and systems.

Ayurvedic and other ancient medicines knew the importance of this energy flow millennia ago. Chi, ki, prana—no matter what you call it, the flow of energy in the body has been studied for thousands of years. The basic tenet is that disruptions in the natural energy balance in the body lead to disruptions in optimal health.

The flow of negatively charged electrons from atom to atom creates electricity.

The flow of negatively charged electrons from atom to atom creates electricity.

How Electricity is Generated in the Body

We are made up of trillions of atoms. In turn, atoms are made up of much smaller particles called protons (positive charge), neutrons (neutral charge), and electrons (negative charge.) When the charges are not in balance, the atom picks up either a positive or negative charge, called an ion.

The switch between one type of charge and the other allows for the flow of electrons between atoms. This flow of negatively charged electrons from atom to atom creates the electricity that energizes every cell and process in your body.

Everyone reading this is producing electricity right now. Our cells conduct electrical currents, and elements in the body like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium allow for the generation of those currents.

When two different types of metal come together in a solution, the metals effectively become a battery. In the mouth, this is called oral galvanism.

When two different types of metal come together in a solution, the metals effectively become a battery. In the mouth, this is called oral galvanism.

Oral Galvanism / Electrogalvanism: A Battery in Your Mouth

When two different types of metal come together in a solution, an electrical current is generated. The metals effectively become a battery, called electrogalvanism. When this happens specifically in the mouth, it's called oral galvanism. This is the conduction of electrical current in the mouth caused by two or more dissimilar types of metal coming together in solution (the saliva.) The more types of dissimilar metals in the mouth, the greater the effect of oral galvanism. Some people experience literal arcs of electricity between their metal restorations, which is termed a galvanic shock. The constant electric shocks cause damage to the oral tissues and teeth over time, and are said to be painful. While these are more extreme cases, it's a great example of why metals should not be used in the mouth.

Mercury amalgam ("silver") fillings are often mentioned in context with oral galvanism. Amalgam fillings contain 4 different types of metal (mercury, silver, tin, and copper.) They're still the most common restoration, and thus much of the population has them.

The intensity of electrogalvanism in a mouth full of different metals is extremely high.

  • The body’s normal electrical reading is around 450 millivolts. When saliva mixes with metal fillings in the mouth, a measurable electric current up to 1,000 millivolts can be detected.

Electrochemical Corrosion is Greatly Increased

The addition of each new metal (crowns, implants, braces, etc.) vastly increases the electrochemical corrosion of restorations in the mouth. This appears to be especially true when different-metal restorations are touching, such as a gold crown and mercury amalgam filling.

While on the surface oral galvanism may seem harmless, the effects can be devastating. This energy disruption occurs right next door to the brain and major muscles and nerves of the head, neck, and spine. In addition, the vastly increased electrochemical corrosion of dental materials can lead to metal toxicity and the deposition of metal fragments in various organs and tissues, including the brain. Long term this can cause chronic inflammation wherever the metal fragments have settled, which in turn leads to the onset of autoimmune and other preventable systemic diseases.

Electrochemical corrosion can result from the interaction of different metals placed next to each other in the mouth. This can lead to metal toxicity and the deposition of metal fragments in various organs and tissues, including the brain.

Electrochemical corrosion can result from the interaction of different metals placed next to each other in the mouth. This can lead to metal toxicity and the deposition of metal fragments in various organs and tissues, including the brain.

Types of Dental Fixtures that Can Create a Battery in Your Mouth

Dental FixtureWhat It's Made Of

Mercury Amalgam "Silver" Filling

Mercury, silver, tin, copper

Stainless Steel Crown

Chromium, nickel, iron

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crown

Base metal: nickel, chromium, beryllium. Noble metal: gold, platinum, palladium

Gold Crown

Base metal: nickel, chromium, beryllium. Noble metal: gold, platinum, palladium

Titanium Implants

Base metal: titanium. Alloy metal: aluminum, vanadium, iron

Stainless Steel Dental Braces and Retainer Wires

Chromium, nickel, iron

A few symptoms of oral galvanism: Abnormal muscle contractions of the jaw, metallic taste, inability to focus, memory problems, migraines, and tooth pain.

A few symptoms of oral galvanism: Abnormal muscle contractions of the jaw, metallic taste, inability to focus, memory problems, migraines, and tooth pain.

Symptoms of Oral Galvanism

Crack open any basic chemistry or biology 101 textbook and you'll notice one of the first chapters is about ions, electron flow, and the natural system of energy flow throughout the body.

Unfortunately the interaction of different metals in the mouth is widely overlooked in traditional dentistry. It's taught in dental school, and the concepts are well documented, but this key knowledge seems to evaporate when many dentists go out into practice. Perhaps it's time to remind them!

Common Symptoms of Oral Galvanism

  • Insomnia
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Inability to focus (ADHD)
  • Memory dysfunction
  • Psychological issues
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Vastly increased rate of corrosion of restorations in the mouth (fillings, crowns)
  • Tooth and oral tissue sensitivity
  • Amalgam tattoos embedded into the oral tissues
  • Parafunctional (abnormal) muscle contractions in the mouth
  • Parafunctional clenching of the teeth
  • Parafunctional tongue pressing
  • Masseter, temporal, and lateral pterygoid muscle tenderness
  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction
  • Increased occurrence of cancerous and non-cancerous oral leukoplakia
  • Tinnitus
  • Vertigo

What You Can Do to Minimize Oral Galvanism

If you feel you have more than one type of metal in your mouth, let your dentist know that you're concerned with oral galvanism and electrochemical corrosion of your oral fixtures. Make a plan with your dentist to minimize the battery effect in your mouth, if not fully eradicate it. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Opt for ceramic / zirconia dental implants rather than titanium
  • Opt for composite fillings instead of mercury amalgam
  • Opt for non-metal braces like Invisalign instead of stainless steel
  • Opt for all-ceramic crowns when possible and medically practical

If you really feel as if the charge in your head is leading to chronic disease, consider removing the metal from your mouth and replacing it with non-metal components. Note: extreme caution should be taken when removing mercury amalgam fillings. Drilling without proper procedures causes mercury to flood your system. Ensure the dentist is well-versed in the Safe Amalgam Removal Protocol. Ignoring this step can result in toxic mercury poisoning and should not be taken lightly.

Sources and Further Reading

Agerberg, G. (1987, February). Signs and Symptoms of Mandibular Dysfunction in Patients with Suspected Oral Galvanism. Retrieved 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3471033

Bhola, R., Bhola, S. M., Mishra, B., & Olson, D. L. (2011, March 1). Corrosion in Titanium Dental Implants/Prostheses - A Review. Retrieved October 7, 2018, from http://medind.nic.in/taa/t11/i1sji/taat11i1sjip34.pdf

Davis, E., DDS. (2018). Galvanism: Electrical Current With The Power To Destroy. Retrieved October 7, 2018, from https://www.ericdavisdental.com/biological-dentistry/symptoms-of-toxicity/galvanism/

Fan, H., Yoon, K., Kim, S., Myoung, H., Lee, J., & Kim, M. (2015, February 5). Relationship Between Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Tongue and the Position of Dental Prosthesis. Retrieved October 7, 2018, from https://jap.or.kr/DOIx.php?id=10.4047/jap.2015.7.2.129

Hodjaee, F., DDS. (2004). Oral Galvanism and Electromagnetic Fields (EMF): Factors Along with Mercury's High Volatility and Extreme Toxicity in Significant Exposure Levels and Oral Effects from Amalgam Fillings. Retrieved October 7, 2018, from https://www.drfarid.com/Oral Galvanism.html

Hampf, G., Ekholm, A., Salo, T., Ylipaavalniem, P., Aalberg, V., Tuominen, S., & Alfthan, G. (2003, March 24). Pain in Oral Galvanism. Retrieved October 7, 2018, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0304395987900455

Koral, S., DDS. (2018, January 22). A Practical Guide to Compatibility Testing for Dental Materials. Retrieved October 7, 2018, from https://iaomt.org/practical-guide-compatibility-testing-dental-materials/

Mercury from Amalgam Fillings: A Major Factor in Periodontal Disease and Oral Health Problems. (2018). Retrieved October 7, 2018, from http://amalgam.org/education/scientific-evidenceresearch/mercury-amalgam-fillings-major-factor-periodontal-disease-oral-health-problems/

Noumbissi, S., DDS. (2012, October 30). Titanium Dental Implants Increase Electrical Activity in the Mouth. Retrieved October 7, 2018, from https://www.milesofsmilesdental.net/1861/can-metal-dental-implants-conduct-electricity/

Oral Galvanism. (2018, July 12). Retrieved October 7, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_galvanism

Stein, S., DDS, Waksman, T., DDS, & Wolch, K., DDS. (2015, March 05). Electro Oral Galvanism | Mercury Fillings Toxicity. Retrieved October 7, 2018, from http://www.centenarydental.com/biocompatibility/electrical-problems-oral-galvinism/

The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. (2016). A Comprehensive Review of the Toxic Effects of Mercury in Dental Amalgam Fillings on the Environment and Human Health. Retrieved October 7, 2018, from https://iaomt.org/wp-content/uploads/Comprehensive-Review-Dental-Mercury.pdf

© 2018 Kate P

Comments

Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on September 14, 2018:

@Tarrin Lupo, Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. It's a topic most people don't think about--that's for sure!

Tarrin Lupo from New Hampshire on September 14, 2018:

Good article, lots of good info.

Kate P (author) from The North Woods, USA on September 14, 2018:

@AlexK2009, Yup! That goes for all symptoms though. Thanks for your input.

AlexK2009 from Edinburgh, Scotland on September 14, 2018:

Interesting theory but the symptoms you mention could be caused by a lot of things.