Dental Allergies – Truth or Myth?

When an individual discovers they have a food allergy, the obvious thing to do is eliminate that food choice from their diet. Continual exposure to these sensitive foods could create symptoms like itching, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain. More severe cases can cause general weakness, immune suppression, lightheadedness, asthma and even anaphylaxis (extreme reaction that could lead to shock).

Common sense dictates that in order to remove the symptoms you must remove the source of the problem. Even in dentistry these same principles can apply. Is there such a thing as dental allergies? Can we actually be sensitive to dental materials or dental procedures that also cause systemic sensitivities?

I honestly believe the answer to this question is yes. Dental research indicates that it takes approximately two minutes for any substance, once exposed to the inner layer of the tooth (dental tubules), to reach the bloodstream. Therefore, when a tooth is prepped for a filling or even a crown, these tubules are uncovered and the dental materials used in the restoration process can and do penetrate directly into the bloodstream.

Recently, I completed a case with a patient who was still experiencing the same symptoms that were bothering him even after his mercury fillings were replaced with tooth-colored fillings. Another dentist had removed his mercury restorations and, upon my initial clinical evaluation, it seemed to be an excellent dental revision and everything seemed to be within normal limits.

He was hoping that the mercury removal would reduce or even eliminate some of the anxiety issues he was experiencing as well as the “foggy head” and neck pains. Disappointed with the initial results, he was looking for a second opinion to see if there was anything else that could be done.

As we discussed his case, the only suggestion I could offer this patient was to perform a blood compatibility test to check the dental materials used to replace his mercury fillings. This is useful information for a biological dentist because we recognize the fact that one’s body can be sensitive to certain materials used in the oral cavity. If we can identify the original material used, the compatibility test will assist in our decision making process for our patients.

The results of his test indicated that the materials used in his mouth were highly reactive. Yes, even tooth-colored, composite resins can be a problem. Not all composites are created equally. With our patient’s consent, the tooth-colored fillings were replaced with a new material that was found to be in his least reactive list.

Although I can never promise results to our patients, the blood compatibility test does offer a solution with many of our more difficult cases. It doesn’t surprise me anymore to witness these remarkable changes that can occur once the sensitive materials are removed. Substituting the original composite resin for a new, more compatible material was the key to Jeff’s improved health and wellness.

Here is a testimonial from Jeff: “I came to Dr. Rehme having problems with anxiety, pain in my jaw and a really foggy head. I had a blood compatibility test ordered and found the mercury fillings I had replaced with porcelain fillings two years ago with a different dentist were incompatible with my body. I allowed Dr. Rehme to remove and replace the white fillings with composite materials that my body liked and I feel so much better. I am not having the foggy sensation, no more anxiety and my face and neck pain is so much better that it’s almost totally gone. I am so glad my friend recommended I come see Dr. Rehme, he has allowed me to get my life back.”

The biological concerns must go hand in hand with the methods we use for the mechanical procedures we perform on our patients as we continue to strive for excellence and provide the best dental care available today. If you have any questions regarding blood compatibility testing for dental materials, feel free to contact our office. Our staff will be happy to assist you.

About Dr. Michael Rehme, DDS, CCN

Dr. Michael Rehme, DDS, CCN is one of the few Biological (Holistic) Dentists in St. Louis, MO and the U.S. that are Certified Clinical Nutritionists (CCN). He practices Biological Dentistry that includes mercury free, tooth colored fillings; healthy dental materials; balancing body chemistry; and nutritional therapy. For articles and information about Biological Dentistry (also referred to as Holistic Dentistry) and patient success stories visit www.toothbody.com or call his office 314-997-2550. Attend a free monthly presentation and discussion by Dr. Rehme on Biological Dentistry the third Tuesday each month at 6:30 pm and his dentistry office in St. Louis. Please call to verify the date.

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13 Responses to Dental Allergies – Truth or Myth?

  1. Michael March 28, 2015 at 8:06 am #

    I think I might be suffering from the same thing. My upper lip burns and persistently swells and I suspect its due to me replacing my amalgams with the all-white composites. They restorations were not all performed at the same time but the burning/swelling of the upper lip persists.

  2. Gayle Flanagan September 18, 2016 at 5:52 pm #

    I am so glad I found this article. Maybe I can get some answers now!!
    I went for a routine dental exam in April. I had no sensitivity or pain at the time. The dentist told me I gad some small “toothbrush abrasions ” at the gum line of several teeth so I needed fillings. Ok. I have never had a fear of the dentist before. Let’s get it done! The next day my teeth were so sore, but I figured it would go away in a few days. Not so!
    The pain started keeping me awake at night and it was difficult to eat. I went back and she worked on them a bit more. I left with doubt that I would feel better but I gave it another week and a half and went back again.
    By this time I felt like I was having reactions to the Tylenol and advil I was taking for the pain. When I returned to the dentist for the third time I asked if it was possible that I could be having a reaction to the fillings. She told me she didn’t think so since I have other fillings. I allowed her to work on me once again hoping this time would do the trick. Still no luck.
    I went to another dentist who told me I needed a root canal so off to the endodontist I went. The root canal went well but the pain in my tooth got worse. And not just my tooth. My jaw. My head. Everything felt achy.
    I was trying to google dental reactions at this time but everything I found was related to metal fillings. In the mean time my healtj was deteriorating. I couldn’t swallow. Sometimes I felt like I couldn’t breath. And I always had pain and pressure in my face.
    I went to the ent who put me on high doses of antacids. I went to the gastroenterologist who did an endoscopy. I went to my family physician who did blood tests and swallowing studies. Everything has come back normal. I went to the emergency room 3 times. Nothing.
    I had a root canal on another one of the teeth that was worked on initially amd even more pain ensued.
    This has been going on for almost 6 months. I am fed up. Frustrated! I don’t even enjoy my life anymore. I am just going through the motions.
    I know this is all related to my teeth and I know with my whole being that I am having a reaction to the fillings but how do I make someone listen to me?
    Whatever help you can offer would be greatlt appreciated! I live in Texas or I would make an appointment for today!

    • Office September 19, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

      Thanks for reaching out, Gayle! It sounds like a tough journey you’ve been on. Have you looked into any biological dentists in Texas? Both the IABDM and IAOMT have quite a few member dentists in your state. Getting a complete evaluation of your current oral and systemic health is the first step to determining the key factors in your specific health situation and how to best prioritize and address them so you can get some relief.

      Here are those organization’s directory listings for Texas (each also has search tools, in the event you want to widen your search):

      https://iabdm.org/?geodir_search=1&stype=gd_place&s=+&snear=&sgd_placecategory%5B%5D=1605&gdas-range=200&sgeo_lat=&sgeo_lon=&set_location_type=2&set_location_val=2

      https://iaomt.org/search/region/texas/

    • Lynn Weiss October 11, 2016 at 1:21 am #

      Gayle,
      My story is all the same as yours, only much worse. I had white resin used to repair my two front teeth what where cracked and chipped.

      I also went to have an endoscopy, ER many times, 32 doctors and dentists, which included oral medicine DMD’s at all the major universities in Los Angeles, CA.
      Cultures, blood tests etc. Mine were all abnormal, a unknown foreign substance in culture and disease of larynx (unknown).

      A growth in mouth came down this year over my teeth and entire oral mucosa.
      I also knew right away something was wrong after dental work, I felt poisoned
      my stomach would swell, taste in mouth, a plastic type substance formed
      on and around the teeth she had worked on.

      My story started almost three years ago, and I realized that the dentists I saw all thought I was from Mars…LOL…but was a mental case for sure, since they could not see, or feel anything they did not believe me.

      My entire mouth is now a complete mess. Teeth have all changed with some type of adhesive and plastic with little shiny particles and goo.

      I kept going to different doctors as it progressed.

      One just becomes so desperate, I was treated with humidifiers, Mighteaflow lozenges along with others. Salt rinses, etc,

      Part of the resin has come out, in my case it is throughout my oral mucosa and
      was told at a cancer center I needed a biopsy on tongue. When I went to a surgeon for biopsy he said there is nothing there.

      I real nightmare not being able to eat or go out.

      My teeth are all ruined, for someone who had excellent oral hygiene it is devastating and taken inner strength to keep going.

      I hope you have found help. Please let me know. Anyone that can help me
      I will travel there. Everyone local thinks I am crazy.

      It is more complicated But I just wanted to post after reading yours that is so
      similiar to my experience.

      I need help to find someone

      to believe me. Take care.

      • Dixie Ramirez February 23, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

        Interesting. I’m on here looking for answers for the same reasons. Not as specific as yours, as long or severe yet either but i CAN pinpoint it and EVERY time i go in to dentist a very minor issue i mention turns out major AFTER the treatment. My teeth are shifting. My gums are swelling and itch between the teeth all the time. My natural teeth (without root canals and crowns YET) look like they are dying and turning brown. Mow my neck and jaw line are starting to itch something horrible. I live in san bernardino county. Have you found treatment anywhere near you yet?

      • Micki August 12, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

        I lost two front teeth from an allergic reaction to white fillings.
        I had migraines, toothache, seeing flashing lights( like fireflies)
        My dentist did not believe me so I checked with a local Environmental clinic and they confirmed that people do have reactions to fillings.

  3. Julie January 14, 2017 at 11:15 pm #

    I had a cap done on the bottom left 2nd from the back tooth at the end of October 2016 also had a post and filling done on the right bottom tooth 2nd from the back due to losing part of that tooth, all on same day. 2 weeks or so later I have congestion in my head and I cannot hear out of my left ear. I waited a week thinking it was just a head cold but my hearing did not return nor did the head congestion get better. I went to my primary care doctor he stated I had a pretty bad ear infection in left ear and fluid on both ears, put me on Augmentin and flonase. Finished the antibiotic but hearing had not come back in my left ear….during the 1st week of December my hearing returned to normal for a couple of days then I lost my hearing again in the left ear. Went back to primary care doctor she then checked my ears said they were clear of infection but I still had fluid on them, she prescribed sudafed and to continue the Flonase and to come back if it didn’t clear up. I came back 2 weeks later, she then referred me to an ENT. Its now been almost 2 months I’ve been sick like this. I’ve not run any fevers, had no pain in the ears even when I had the ear infection, mucous was always clear on whitish cloudy never yellow or green.
    I saw the ENT he did a scope up both nostrils everything looked normal throat a little inflamed, no growths. Tempanigram showed normal, no fluid in either ear. Hearing test showed right ear severe hearing loss requiring hearing aid, left ear hearing loss so pronounced hearing aid was not an option. I was told a virus can damage your hearing permanentlying but sonce my hearino returned during the 1st week of December the doctor didn’t think it was a viral he thought more of an allergic possibly. I was put on a medrol dose pak to clear up the congestion and inflammation in my sinuses but it only helped a little. I have had an MRI and am waiting for the results. My question is this…..is it too far fetched to think that my body for whatever reason is having an allergic reaction to the material used either in the filling or the cap or the cap adhesive??
    It just seems to coincidental that all of this started within weeks of the dental procedures. I have never had an ear infection or sinus issues before this.
    Help. I am really struggling at work with my hearing loss and just not feeling well due to all the congestion in my head plus I’ve lost my “phone ear” due to the loss of hearing in the left ear. Of course the ENT doesn’t think any of this is related to the recent dental work.
    Anyone ever experience this or know anything about the connection of the dental material causing allergic reaction like this?
    Thanks!

    • Office January 16, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

      There could be a dental connection. A biological dentist should be able to do testing that will provide some clarity. If you’re in the St. Louis area, please give us a call: (314) 997-2550. If not, check the directories of the three main holistic and biological dental associations for a dentist near you: http://iaomt.org, http://iabdm.org, http://holisticdental.org.

  4. Muugii from Mongolia March 21, 2017 at 4:17 am #

    Dear Sir,

    I am writing from Mongolia. My name is Muugii. I am a professional TV engineer

    I am having a serious and hard to diagnose medial problem. I would like to tell you my symptoms. It started six years ago. First, it seemed something was gagging my throat. Then the back end of my tongue on the left side seemed to be paralyzed. I lost my sense of taste. Gradually my whole tongue lost the sense of taste.

    Since one year ago the left part of my lips, and left cheek became numb as if I got a shot when dentists remove a tooth. Now I have no sense of taste 100%.

    I had MRI. Nothing abnormal was detected. I have been seeing Mongolian doctors including a neurologist, cancer therapist and audiologist. But my diagnosis is still not clear. I was told that is not curable.

    I had an acupuncture. I took zinc. I had a brain treatment. A few months prior to losing the sense of taste I had serious bleeding from my nose. They did laser to stop my bleeding in my left nostril. After that, for a long time I had a tingle in my left ear, like the sound of a washing machine. My sense of smell is good.
    I allowed my dentist, mercury fillings I had replaced with porcelain fillings 6 years ago with a different dentist were incompatible with my body.
    From Mongolia I can’t go to the USA. Our doctors don’t believe me. But I always thinking if I remove those 2 tooth may be I will be OK

    Can you please help me? What can I do.

    • Office March 22, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

      There is no doubt these are concerning symptoms. We can hear your frustration, concern and suffering. As you can imagine, it is difficult to determine what may be at the root of your issues. This difficulty is compounded by an inability to place these symptoms in context with your lifestyle, previous dental services, overall health, stress level, sleep habits grinding/clenching tendency and more. All we can suggest from this great distance is follow your instincts and continue to pursue the answer. Your body is clearly telling you something is amiss; follow the clues. The International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine has a directory, https://iabdm.org/location/, which may at least bring your attention to doctors who may practice somewhat closer to your region. Best to you in your search.

  5. Valerie March 28, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    Hi!
    I’ve never heard of biological dentistry before but would like to share my recent experience.
    I went to a new dentist in January to have a broken filling repaired (upper left 15). He choose to also redo a discolored filling in the next tooth (14). Everything went fine with the anesthetic etc (I’ve never had trouble with it).
    The sensitivity never went away. It became very sensitive. I called in, and they adjusted the height, however, they guessed that wasn’t the problem. He suggested if it hadn’t passed in a few more weeks I might be allergic to the composite. It didn’t go away, but the sensitivity and soreness seemed to spread though all of my teeth. Upper, lower, right side, have all become very intensely bothered by hot/cold/wind/eating. I went back in last week to have the fillings replaced. The dentist couldn’t get me numb. He tried 6 orn7 needle pokes (even between the teeth which was new for me), I could still feel his cold test. He had tried to drill after the 2nd poke, and I told him I could still feel, so he had to put a temporary filling in it. He referred me to an endontist to see if the tooth has an “anamoly”. This endontist apparently only does root canals. I’ve never had a root canal before, but I’m just worried that might not be what’s happening here? The tooth/teeth were fine in January, why after the dental work that never “healed” would I suddenly need a root canal? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  6. steve June 29, 2017 at 9:02 am #

    What is the most hypoallergenic brand of composite that you use ?

    • Office June 29, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

      You’ll find a list of the most broadly biocompatible materials we use here: http://toothbody.com/services/restorative-dentistry/.

      That said, if there are any concerns about sensitivities – or if you just want to be as sure as possible – serum biocompatibility testing beforehand is strongly recommended.

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