Is There A Battery In Your Mouth?

That’s a strange question to ask or is it? Did you know that most metals found in your mouth have the ability to create an electrical charge? This charge can be responsible for numerous side effects that are rarely associated with the dental work found in your mouth.

Galvanic current is a term that has been used in dentistry for over 100 years. It is a condition created by the presence of dissimilar metals in the oral cavity of the teeth and gums, with saliva serving as the electrolyte. Have you ever felt a “shock” to your teeth caused by a piece of tin foil or a spoon that touches a sliver or mercury filling in your mouth? If you answer yes to this question, you’ve experienced a galvanic event.

There are several different types of galvanism: 1) A silver/mercury filling is placed in opposition or adjacent to a tooth restored with gold. These dissimilar metals in conjunction with saliva and body fluids constitute an electric cell. When brought into contact, the circuit is shorted, the flow of electrical current passes through the pulp, and the patient experiences pain. 2) Dissimilar metals coming into contact when the upper and lower teeth come together and touch each other. 3) Two adjacent teeth are restored with dissimilar metals. The current flows from metal to metal through the dentine, bone and tissue fluids of both teeth resulting in discomfort and tooth sensitivity.

We learned about the galvanic current in dental school. We’ve read about it in dental journals. However, how often do dentists follow the protocols that are necessary to avoid this condition from occurring? The dental profession needs to be more aware of the negative effects that are caused by galvanic currents and be committed to prevent the unwanted, and often harmful, electrical charges or imbalances from occurring.

Other than tooth sensitivity, galvanism can cause a metallic or salty taste in the mouth, increase salivary secretion, and burning or tingling sensation of the tongue. Other systemic complications may include headaches, chronic fatigue, memory loss, sleep deprivation and even irritability due to its effects to the central nervous system.

The brain operates on 7 to 9 nano-amps which is 1000 times weaker than the currents resulting from non-precious metals found in the oral cavity. That is the difference between touching a 9 volt battery and sticking your finger in the light socket as far as the brain is concerned. Since the upper teeth are less than 2 inches from the brain, it is of concern that adding this much excess electrical activity has the potential of creating mis-directed impulses in the brain.

How can you tell if you have a galvanic current occurring in your mouth? The good news is that it can be measured. An electrical potential meter known as the Rita Meter can be used to measure electrical charges on fillings, crowns and metallic appliances. (Normal readings range from +2/-2 micro-amps.)

Healthy gold crowns or composite resins (tooth colored fillings) most often register a positive charge. When they register a negative charge greater than -2, it usually indicates either decay under an old filling or there’s an amalgam/mercury filling under a crown.

If these symptoms sound familiar or if you’ve had 4 or 5 different dentists caring for your dental needs over the years, chances are much greater that there are several dissimilar metals to be found in your mouth.

Metals will not necessarily always cause the galvanic effect in the mouth. It depends on the specific metal and alloy being used along with quantity and placement in the mouth. However, knowing that some of the above symptoms could be dental related may provide you with an opportunity to evaluate your mouth from a different perspective and discover once and for all if there is a galvanic current present in one or multiple sites in your mouth.

Solution? Remove the offending material(s) connected with that particular tooth or teeth in order to reduce this unwanted electrical charge and create a balanced condition. Biological dentistry views galvanism as an obstacle to achieving overall health and wellness. Keep it simple, keep it safe. A balanced body is a healthy body.

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 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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14 Responses to Is There A Battery In Your Mouth?

  1. Tammy May 4, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Hello… it is 3:45am. I am up because of what you just explained. Thank you for restoring my sanity ! One week ago, I had my first root canal for a broken tooth and the restoration 5 days later where he installed a silver temporary crown. I have many fillings from childhood ( I am 49 ); healthy teeth otherwise. Almost instantly I had the sour taste in my mouth…just thought it was from shots. Now three days later if my top and bottom teeth touch. I get a jolt and Have a acidic taste, kinda like heart burn from my mouth down my throat. I can not sleep, Have nausea and a burning sensation in the cheek on the side of the crown. I was looking for a quick fix to calm the situation so I can sleep. Supposed to have the crown replaced in 2 weeks. This is truly miserable. First I thought it was all in my head. #19 and #14or15…

  2. Alex October 10, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    After months I think I finally know why my tongue has increasingly painful marks directly in line with a gold tooth at #26 (FDI) and nickel at #16 (FDI). When the tongue moves upwards and ‘connects’ the two metal crowns. Boom – an electrical current passes through… it’s a very rational theory and one I am going to test with my dentists. #26 gold was just installed but #16 is long over due for a change – if I change that one to porcelain… maybe all of this misery and discomfort will go away…

  3. Shelly April 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

    Im experiencing the same problem. I have a temporary silver crown that is making contact with a gold crown right above it. This is the worst kind of dental pain! Please..please new crown come in!

  4. david dritsas July 16, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    I was recently reading your very informative website and wanted to know if you could point me in the right direction on a troubling issue that has been affecting me for over 10 years. I believe the issue involves oral galvanic currents in my mouth.

    I simply don’t know where to turn anymore to get answers for this long-time lingering, perplexing and frustrating condition.

    In a nutshell, for over 10 years I have experienced what seems like an electric-type current in my upper mouth/head region, which creates the following symptoms: constant brain fog, lethargy and overall listlessness.

    This, despite having all my amalgam fillings/metal crowns removed and replaced, over 10 years ago, in a Huggins-protocol clinic, with biocompatible, non-conducting porcelain/ceramic materials.

    I have tried all sorts of mercury detoxing with no success, (ie. Andrew Cutler’s detox as outlined in his book “Amalgam Illness, etc) I simply don’t know where to turn or who to talk to for an accurate diagnosis to “cure” this malady.

    Of course, my family thinks it’s “all in my head”, because other than the aforementioned neurological symptoms, I am in peak health. The impact on my productivity has been immense.

    What could be creating this “energy” around my mouth which sort of paralyzes me from functioning how I used to?? If only I could just “turn it off” I feel I would be instantly better. But how?

    Any suggestions and/or directions or contacts you could provide me with and I would be eternally grateful.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    David Dritsas
    Los Angeles, Ca

    • Dr. Michael Rehme, DDS, CCN July 24, 2014 at 10:01 am #

      It does sound like a perplexing situation! You may want to have your restorations checked again for galvanic currents. Some composites can contain a lot of aluminum oxide, which could trigger the kind of response you describe. If the readings are normal, though, then you know something else is going on that requires attention from other specialists.

      In LA, you might contact the office of Dr. James Rota about getting your present restorations checked:

    • John Sigmon December 10, 2014 at 12:24 am #

      Hi David!

      God only knows how I stumbled upon your comment, but I am currently having my amalgam fillings replaced by IAOMT dentist, Dr. Yokoyama, in downtown Los Angeles. I’ve replaced 2 of my 6 fillings, and just now learned about the Huggins protocol and have been fear stricken to see that he highly recommends sequential removal, so much so that he claims that full physical healing is impossible if not done in the proper order. Do you mind describing your Huggins-based dental revision in depth? Particularly I’d like to know:

      1. Which Huggins dentist did you see? By chance was it Dr. Villareal in Thousand Oaks?
      2. Did you do all the restorations in one session or did you spread it out?
      3. Did they perform sequential removal, determining the sequence using electrical current readings of each of your fillings?
      4. Were your symptoms present before your dental revision or only after?

      Any color you can provide would be extremely helpful as it could help to relieve me of some of my fear that I may have bundled my amalgam removals.

      To help return the favor…are there any other types of materials (pins, implants, plates) in your head from past surgeries or restorative work? For example, besides my amalgam fillings, I also have a=a sub lingual permanent metal retainer for my bottom teeth, and two titanium pins in my upper jaw. If I were to have received the same treatment as you, and still had problems, I would check to see if these may be causing the symptoms you mentioned.

  5. Jennifer October 14, 2014 at 3:25 am #

    I have a metal filling which is there about 17 years, and i never had a problem with it, recently i got braces on my teeth, now each time my toothbrush touches the part of the tooth between the brace and the gum i get an electric shock feeling, my dentist checked and told me that nothing is wrong with the tooth but like that saliva could be causing a battery like affect between the two metals, it means I’m currently unable to brush the tooth and with braces this is a huge problem, he said it would settle down in time? but its been over a week now

    • Dr. Michael Rehme, DDS, CCN October 14, 2014 at 11:31 am #

      A biological dentist can evaluate the matter properly. If you’re in the St. Louis area, feel free to give us a call at 314-997-2550 to discuss your situation. If you need to find a biological dentist elsewhere, several organizations have helpful online directories:

  6. Dan January 29, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    I had my wisdom teeth removed nearly two years ago at age 72 because they were collecting food particles, like celery, really bad. Other than that they were not giving me any problems. Ever since the extraction I have been experiencing a terrible “constant” metalic (best way to describe it) taste in my mouth, that is continuing to get worse and worse as time goes by. Neither my oral surgen, my dentist or my medical doctor can tell me what’s going. I’m hopeing that you can and where I can get help. I live in a small town in central Washington state.

    • Office February 2, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

      We’re sorry, but we can’t comment or offer advice on specific dental health situations on this blog. Just give us a call at our office instead: (314) 997-2550. We’d be glad to speak with you.

      If you’d like to consult with a biological dentist closer to home, all three of the main professional societies for biological dentistry have online directories available:

      International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology:

      International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine:

      Holistic Dental Association:

  7. pamela fritz January 31, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    I have been diagnosed via Igenx Lab w/Bartonella & Babesia and clinically diagnosed by LLD with Lyme. I recently spent a lot of money having one tooth replaced in order to avoid having a root canal. I have my teeth cleaned 3-4 times per yr. and yet in the last few months I have 3-4 teeth that are turning “brown” which I am sure is from the Bartonella. I use a combo of hydrogen peroxide and perioguard for oral rinse, but don’t know what to do about these other teeth going bad. Supposedly my dentist is a “preventative” dentist using holistic solutions but they don’t seem to have an answer for this. These affected teeth are in the bottom front of my mouth and I am very afraid I am going to lose all of those teeth. What can I do?

    • Office February 2, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

      We’re sorry, but we can’t comment or offer advice on specific dental health situations on this blog. Just give us a call at our office instead: (314) 997-2550. We’d be glad to speak with you.

      If you’d like to consult with a biological dentist closer to home, all three of the main professional societies for biological dentistry have online directories available:

      International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology:

      International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine:

      Holistic Dental Association:

  8. Annette February 27, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

    Would Durelon cement have any potential for a galvanic response since it contains zinc oxide and tin oxides? Thanks a lot for your help.

    • Office March 4, 2015 at 11:18 am #

      Dr. Rehme doesn’t use this product, so we really can’t say, unfortunately.

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