Oral galvanism or amalgam disease was a term for the association of oral or systemic symptoms to either: toxic effects of amalgam fillings; or electric currents between metal in dental restorations and electrolytes in saliva or dental pulp. Any existence of galvanic pain or association of either currents or mercury to presence of symptoms has been disproven. Beyond acute allergic reaction amalgam has not been found to be associated with any adverse effects.
Very weak currents have been measured in the mouth of those with multiple dental fillings consisting of different alloys, but there was no association between presence of current and symptoms, and any symptoms associated with currents between oral fillings are likely to be psychosomatic in nature. No association between presence of mercury and symptoms have been found, with symptoms likely to be psychosomatic in nature and do not improve with chelation therapy. Claims of causing a variety of symptoms such as oral discomfort, skin irritation, headaches and a metallic taste in the mouth have been discredited.
The condition was originally proposed in 1878, and became well known in Sweden during the 1970s and 80s, because of a campaign to educate about and replace oral amalgam fillings with mercury with other compounds such as ceramic or polymer restorations.
- Swedish Board of Health and Welfare for Statens offentliga utredningar (State Public Reports) (2003-05-01). "Dentala material och hälsa" [Dental materials and health]. Regeringskansliet (in Swedish). Government of Sweden. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
- "Amalgam Myths and Facts". www.dentalwatch.org. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
- Lundberg, Ante (1998). The Environment and Mental Health : a Guide for Clinicians. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. p. 119. ISBN 0805829075. OCLC 37947667.
A recent review by the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare concluded that there was no scientific support for the belief that amalgam fillings caused systemic diseases.
- "A National Clinical Guideline for the Use of Dental Filling Materials" (PDF). Directorate for Health and Social Affairs, Norway. December 2003. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
- "Composite Resin versus Amalgam for Dental Restorations: A Health Technology Assessment — Project Protocol | CADTH.ca". www.cadth.ca. p. 24. Retrieved 2018-07-09.
- Schriever W, Diamond LE (1952) “Electromotive forces and electric currents caused by metallic dental fillings” J Dent Res. 31(2): 205-229; PMID 14917837.
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