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The Impact Of Oral Galvanism

Written by

Deborah Freudenmann BHSc

Oral galvanism can result in some serious long-term complications. The impact of oral galvanism on our health may span from recurring headaches to widespread inflammation and cancers. Most people are not aware of these effects of oral galvanism until they develop serious health issues. Therefore, there is a need to understand what oral galvanism means, why it occurs, and what the best ways to avoid it are.

What is oral galvanism?

Oral galvanism refers to the electrical currents that pass between 2 or more dissimilar metals in the oral cavity. Galvanism can occur between the metallic materials that are used during dental treatments such as dental restorations and the electrolytes or enzymes present in our saliva.

The metallic materials used during dental procedures include metal fillings, bridges, implants, crowns, and partial dentures.

These materials are commonly used in dental practice for the treatment of a wide range of oro-dental conditions such as cavities, caries, tooth decay, and tooth fractures. These materials are implanted into the tissues of the oral cavity, especially the gums or a part of the tooth. Once implanted, these metals continue to be a part of the oral cavity and interact with the electrolytes and enzymes in our saliva thereby triggering the symptoms of metal toxicity.

How does oral galvanism work?

Galvanic corrosion can occur in the oral cavity when dissimilar alloys come in direct contact with each other. When the saliva penetrates the metallic components of the dental implants, the resulting dissolution of the metal results in the generation of electric current. The electric current is generated due to the creation of the potential difference as a result of the formation of a galvanic cell.

In the patients who have had a metallic dental implant, complicated electrochemical processes occur between the implant and the tissues of the oral cavity including the electrolytes present in the saliva resulting in galvanic corrosion. This could lead to the dissolution of the alloy components of the metal as well as the destruction of the bones and other delicate tissues of the oral cavity due to the exposure to the current resulting from the galvanic coupling. 

For example; a dental amalgam filling may interact with the environment of the oral cavity causing erosion and destruction of the gums and bones. This indicates the need to create awareness about the risks involved in oral galvanism and the right ways to avoid it.

How are we electrical beings?

Human beings are considered electrical beings as a number of electrical changes tend to occur in different tissues of our body on a regular basis. Our body needs a number of electrolytes like sodium, calcium, magnesium, chlorine, and fluorine to perform various physiological, metabolic, and biochemical functions.

These electrolytes are basic elements that possess metallic, semi-metallic, and non-metallic characteristics. Interactions between these electrolytes in our body can influence the functions of the vital organs. This is why; we are called electrical beings.

The normal interactions between these electrolytes are usually governed by the regulatory centers of the body. However, the interactions between the body’s electrolytes and the artificially introduced elements like dental implants can not be efficiently regulated resulting in serious consequences.

How does oral galvanism affect the body?

The tissues of the oral cavity subjected to the impact of galvanism tend to undergo chemical, mechanical, and biological changes.

Metal ions released during the electrochemical reactions occurring between the dental implants and the oral liquids are transported to the other parts of the body where they cause inflammation and toxicity.

Amalgam fillings containing mercury are most commonly associated with oral galvanism and long-term mercury poisoning. Mercury can get accumulated in different organs of the body including the brain, thus generating a cascade of inflammatory and degenerative reactions.

Mercury from amalgam fillings may accumulate in the white and red blood cells. It may reduce the oxygen-carrying capacity of the red cells and reduce the infection-fighting capacity of the white cells.

One research study has revealed that amalgam fillings could be associated with chronic mercury poisoning suggesting the long-term and widespread impact of oral galvanism on the patient’s health.

The products of corrosion released during oral galvanism may get distributed throughout the body, resulting in an allergic or a hypersensitivity reaction by triggering the release of pro-inflammatory mediators like cytokines.

Several factors including the presence of fluoride ions, the difference in the oxygen concentration, dental plaques, mechanical stress, and microorganisms could increase the corrosion rate thus worsening the risk of chronic inflammatory diseases.

Oral galvanism may also occur due to other metals used in dental implants such as titanium, nickel, cobalt, beryllium, gold, and palladium.

The health of our oral cavity influences the functions of the vital organs in various ways. It can contribute to the healthy gut flora and improve digestive functions. It can also support the normal functions of the heart, liver, and kidneys by promoting hormonal balance and immunological functions.

The functional medicine approach can play a key role in the prevention of oral galvanism. It can help to maintain the health of the oral cavity and protect you against the consequences of metal toxicity.

Functional medicine approach for the prevention of the impact of oral galvanism

Finding a biological dentist

Finding a biological dentist for the management of oro-dental issues can be a great way to avoid the impact of oral galvanism caused due to amalgam fillings. Patients can also ask their dentist about the effect of the materials used during dental procedures in order to make informed choices.

Supporting detoxification of heavy metals

Heavy metals like mercury tend to accumulate in the fatty tissues of the liver and brain due to which patients may become vulnerable to developing inflammatory and degenerative disorders like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.

Regular detoxification of the body with the help of detox supplements containing glutathione, selenium, alpha-lipoic acid, phospholipids, and B vitamins can promote the elimination of harmful metals from the body and protect you against the consequences of oral galvanism.

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PEMF therapy

PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy) therapy offers a powerful adjunct for reducing the risk of complications of oral galvanism.

PEMF therapy creates a magnetic field, which acts on the electrically charged ions or particles in our body thus supporting the removal and elimination of toxic metals trapped in the cells. This could cleanse the body at the cellular level and restore the functions of the vital organs.

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Conclusion

It is possible to avoid the effect of oral galvanism by using supplements that promote detoxification and advanced therapies like PEMF. Seeking the right approach to prevent metal toxicity linked to oral galvanism would protect you against several chronic diseases.

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  • 2 Responses

    1. How does one treat the oral cavity with PEMF. What applicator and what dosage?
      I find that PEMF near any of my teeth distinctly uncomfortable.

    2. Hello, I have this very problem in my mouth. I’ve had gold caps & mercury fillings since I was 24. I’m 69 now have chronic conditions. I’m trying to find the best dentist to first – remove the mercury & then to address 2 root canals I have. And someone who will address trying to save my teeth rather than extract them all. do you have a resource for finding dentists who understand & practice with my whole health in mind?

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