Oral galvanism

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Oral galvanism
dental electro-galvanism,
amalgam disease
Pseudomedical diagnosis
Risks Nocebo

Oral galvanism is a phenomenon that can occur when two or more dissimilar metals in dental restorations which are bathed in saliva, or a single metal in contact with two electrolytes such as saliva and pulp fluid tissue, produce an electric current.[1][2] When associated with pain, the term galvanic pain has been used.

While there seems to be little dispute that the presence of dissimilar metals can cause an electric current and can, in some cases, cause a metallic taste in the mouth, some discomfort, and also possibly lead to premature corrosion of the metallic restorations, there is controversy over other claimed effects. Those other claimed effects include oral discomfort, skin irritation, and headaches .[3] Many scientific studies dispute these claims.

This galvanism is said by some to be able to affect immune levels[4] and the trigeminal nerve, causing a variety of other symptoms, such as insomnia, vertigo, and memory loss.[5] The condition is claimed to be idiopathic, depending on the individual’s state of health,[6] and to have varying effects on oral microbial communities.[7] It was first proposed in 1878.[8]

Oral galvanism is sometimes treated by replacing metallic amalgam restorations with ceramic or polymer restorations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Regeringskansliet, Regeringen och (2003-05-01). "Dentala material och hälsa". Regeringskansliet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  2. ^ "Amalgam Myths and Facts". www.dentalwatch.org. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  3. ^ Kucerová H, Dostálová T, Procházková J, Bártová J, Himmlová L (2002) “Influence of galvanic phenomena on the occurrence of algic symptoms in the mouth” Gen Dent. 50(1): 62-65; PMID 12029800.
  4. ^ Podzimek S, Tomka M, Sommerova P, Lyuya-Mi Y, Bartova J, Prochazkova J (2013) “Immune markers in oral discomfort patients before and after elimination of oral galvanism” Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 34(8): 802-808; PMID 24522020.
  5. ^ Cheshire WP Jr (2000) “The shocking tooth about trigeminal neuralgia” N Engl J Med. 342(26): 2003; PMID 10877664.
  6. ^ Nilner K, Nilsson B (1982) “Intraoral currents and taste thresholds” Swed Dent J. 6(3): 105-113; PMID 6955987.
  7. ^ Zituni D, Schütt-Gerowitt H, Kopp M, Krönke M, Addicks K, Hoffmann C, Hellmich M, Faber F, Niedermeier W (2014) “The growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in low-direct current electric fields” Int J Oral Sci. 6(1): 7-14; PMID 24008271.
  8. ^ Schriever W, Diamond LE (1952) “Electromotive forces and electric currents caused by metallic dental fillings” J Dent Res. 31(2): 205-229; PMID 14917837.