Oral Galvanism – Metals in Dentistry a Silent Killer

Macro image of an amalgam filling.

What is Oral Galvanism?

There are two or more different metals present in metal fillings, metallic crowns, or metal implants. This can lead to a phenomenon called “Oral Galvanism” or commonly called Battery mouth. It simply means different metals [from your fillings or crowns] when continuously bathed in salt solution [saliva, or blood] can lead to flow of charged particles or current in your mouth!

Can this current be measured?

Yes. Teeth emit electricity below 100mV or 3µA. In patients with metallic filling, metallic crowns, metallic implants it can go up to 1000 mV. We can measure this current in your mouth with the help of a device called Oral Potential meter by Pertec ®.

So why should I be concerned about it?

Human Body is Electrical in nature. Every cell in the body is in electrical balance at health. Super charged currents from your metallic restorations can hamper cellular functions and activity leading to a myriad of Disease symptoms.

Also, Oral galvanism increases the process of corrosion and breakdown of amalgam fillings. These electrical currents increase the amount of mercury vapor and abraded particles released into the mouth1. Oral galvanism also causes the release of free-mercury droplets from the filling. Furthermore, this electrolytic process is exacerbated when gold crowns are in contact with mercury fillings1

The electric currents from various dental alloys have been shown to cause irritation in the trigeminal nerve which is the main cranial nerve system; blocking the flow of major acupuncture meridians, which can in turn lead to greater dysfunction throughout the body. The electrical activity commonly affects brain cell activity.

Electro galvanism can cause or contribute to physical ailments such as:

  • Epilepsy
  • Hearing loss
  • Eye problems
  • Insomnia
  • Psychological problems
  • Tinnitus
  • Lack of concentration and memory
  • Vertigo
  • Mouth pain / ulcers
  • Potential source of unexplained orofacial pain2
  • Inflammation in susceptible individuals through it’s role on immune system3
  • Metallic taste / Salty taste
  • Increased salivation
  • Burning sensation along the tongue
  • Pathological changes in blood, kidney, or organ due to absorption of ionized metal4
  • Reflex neurological pain along branches of fifth trigeminal nerve

How do we treat it?

A measurement of the galvanism and a subsequent removal of electro-active restorations [metal crowns, fillings] is a common therapeutic procedure. Also when your symptoms clear up almost instantaneously after removal of metal [fillings or crowns] it denotes that the problem was electrical in nature. A significant number of the improvements reported by patient fall in this category4.


  1. Phillips, R.W. Skinner’s Science of Dental Materials. (7th ed.) W.B. Saunders Co. Philadelphia, 1973.
  2. Certosimo AJ, O’Connor RP. Oral electricity. Gen Dent. 1996
  3. Hyams, B.L. and Ballon, H.C. Dissimilar metals in the mouth as a possible cause of otherwise unexplainable symptoms. Can Med Assoc J. Vol. XXIXX:488-491, 1933.
  4. Mark Breiner, Whole Body Dentistry 2011.