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Electro galvanism is frequently the cause of lack of concentration and memory, insomnia, psychological problems, tinnitus, vertigo, epilepsy. To name a few.

~ Edward Arana, D.D.S.

Electro galvanism is a term that has been used in dentistry for around 100 years but there is very little awareness about it.

Electro galvanism is the generation and flow of electric currents in the mouth. It might occur after multiple dental procedures and restorations with the use of dissimilar metals. These metals might or might not be in contact with each other in order to produce the currents.

Dental restorations consist of a variety of metals including gold, mercury, silver, copper, cobalt, nickel, titanium and molybdenum. These metals are used to make crowns, partial dentures and implants and rarely as filling materials. When two different metals are placed in a mouth the saliva acts as an electrolyte creating a battery like situation with the generation of electric currents of the order of 900 millivolts in the mouth.

The current can be generated when

1.      The dissimilar metals are placed adjacent to each other

2.      The different metals are placed in the same jaw i.e. upper or lower jaw but at a distance from each other

3.      They are placed in the opposing jaws in the teeth that contact each other during chewing

The body normally has currents of around 450 mV for the proper function of the brain and nerves. The 900mV generated due to electro galvanism overpowers this current, causing not only symptoms in and around the mouth but also neurological problems as well as issues that can show symptoms in the rest of the body.   

 Symptoms of electro galvanism:

 The symptoms could be present in the mouth or anywhere else in the body

Symptoms of electro galvanism in the mouth

1.      Metallic taste in the mouth that is felt soon after some dental work is done.

2.      Tooth sensitivity in the absence of any wearing off of the teeth.

3.      Feeling of a short sharp current to flow between the teeth when two opposing teeth with dental work done on them contact

4.      Burning sensation in the cheeks and tongue

5.   White patches seen in the mouth: there are multiple reasons for a white patch in the mouth which could include cancerous conditions as well.If you have any such patch it is best to get professional advice at the earliest  

6.      Tingling sensation in the tongue

7.      Constant salty taste in the mouth

8.      Increased ulceration

Symptoms of electro galvanism in the rest of the body

1.      Lack of concentration and memory

2.      Lack of sleep

3.      Headache

4.      Chronic fatigue

5.      Irritability

6.      Pain in the ear

7.      Vertigo

8.      Allergic reactions in the skin of the face

9.      Sleep disturbances

Since the upper teeth are placed just at a distance of 2mm from the brain an increased electrical activity so close to the brain can cause major neurological disturbances

 Could you be more prone to electro galvanism?

Like every other condition, some people might be more prone to the effects of electro galvanism than others. The factors that could make your body more susceptible to the currents generated due to dissimilar metals include

1.      If you are allergic to any of the metals that has been used in the dental work: Nickel, cobalt has been shown to cause allergy in a considerable amount of the population. Dental crowns generally consists of these metals. Although they might not cause allergy by itself but when placed with another metal in the mouth, the currents produced cause an increased corrosion of these metals leading to release of the metal ion in the saliva causing an allergic reaction in the mouth or on the skin.  It is important to get a proper consultation to check for any metal allergies.

2.   If you have some underlying autoimmune condition: Autoimmune conditions are when the individuals own immunity attacks the normal cells of the body. People with any such condition have an increase chance of electro galvanism and its effect when dissimilar metals are placed in the mouth.

Although, people with the above mentioned condition might be more prone to electro galvanism it can essentially occur in any normal individual that has two dissimilar metals in the mouth

How do I know if I have different metal fillings in my mouth?

 The best way is to ask a dentist. Every restoration has a fixed composition and just by a few simple questions we can let you know for sure if you have this condition or the symptoms are due to any other reason.


 How to treat electro galvanism?

Electro galvanism is a serious condition and should not be ignored. With long standing cases of electro galvanism have been reported to cause pre-cancerous conditions in the mouth that in few cases also converted to oral cancer. Electro galvanism can also at times cause paralysis of the face due to generation of strong electric currents that interfere with the electrical activity of the nerves.

The first step is to find out if your symptoms are caused due to electro galvanism.

Once it is confirmed that it is due to dissimilar metals you might require testing for allergies and autoimmune conditions as well as removal of one or both of the restorations with the dissimilar metals.

The most important factor in consideration of electro galvanism as the cuase of oral or systemic issues is the CORRECT DIAGNOSIS.

Image Credits Dr J R Mohanty 

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