Home Contact Us Search TEST Foundation

Amalgam & TMJ

Mercury Amalgam Thimerosal Founders Donations

Mercury Neurotoxicity
Alzheimer's & Hg
AD & Mercury
Neurites & Hg
Hg Induced AD
Rep. Burton & Amalgam
Hg Nephrotoxicity
Heart Disease & Hg
Dentist's Hg Exposure
Crematoria & Hg
Amalgam Hg Release
Published Studies
Hg Abstracts
Dr. Haley On Amalgam
Hg Press Releases
AD Pathology & Hg
ADA & Amalgam
Amalgam Safe
Baratz Testimony
Amalgam Make Up
Hg Exposure
Amyloid & Metals
Amalgam & TMJ
Hg Free Dentists
Amalgam Quotes
Hg Points of View
Hg Free Patents
Toxic Hg Species
Amalgam Lawsuits
Antibiotic Resistance
Amalgam Economics
Amalgam vs. Composites
Amalgam Debate
Safety & Treatment
Amalgam Protest
Federal Agencies
Mercury Measurement
CA Dental Board
Fish & Mercury
Dr. Haley Responds
Ban Hg Petition
Dr. Vimy Responds
Mercury Links
Amalgam & Cavitites
Amalgam & Hg Waste
Hg in Medicines
Rep. Watson & CDA
Amalgam Waste
Black Caucus
Mercury Links
States Fight Hg
Toxic Teeth

Video tapes for the Third Annual Dental, Medical and Scientific Conference on Sources, Diagnosis and Treatment of Oral Toxicities are now available.

The Shocking Tooth about Trigeminal Neuralgia

by William P. Cheshire, Jr., M.D.

The New England Journal of Medicine

June 29, 2000,  Vol. 342, No. 26


To the Editor:

A 66-year-old woman with a two-year history of right-sided trigeminal neuralgia (involving the second trigeminal division) presented with severe exacerbation of her typical sharp pain after a root-canal procedure in a right upper incisor. The procedure had slightly repositioned a mercury-amalgam restoration, nudging it closer to the adjacent tooth, which bore a gold-alloy crown. Thereafter, and until the mercury amalgam was replaced by a porcelain restoration, tomatoes or certain other acidic foods would produce intense jolts, described as being like those of an "electrical battery," in the right palate, boosting the pain in the same division of the trigeminal nerve to an excruciating level. Lightly touching the right cheek also triggered paroxysms of neuralgia, which subsequently resolved with use of gabapentin.

Adjacent dental amalgams that are composed of dissimilar metals in contact with saliva can form a galvanic cell that generates localized electrical currents (1) with potentials as high as several hundred millivolts. (2) Such currents usually cause no symptoms, (3) although some patients report a metallic or battery-like taste. (4) Many patients with trigeminal neuralgia describe their pain in terms of electricity. This patient's oral galvanism produced genuine electrical currents that potentially triggered the neuralgia.

William P. Cheshire, Jr., M.D.
Mayo Clinic Jacksonville
Jacksonville, FL 32224


1. Certosimo AJ, O'Connor RP. Oral electricity. Gen Dent 1996;44:324-6. (8957826)

2. Bergman M, Ginstrup O, Nilsson B. Potentials of and currents between dental metallic restorations. Scand J Dent Res 1982;90:404-8. (6758103)

3. Muller AW, Van Loon LA, Davidson CL. Electrical potentials of restorations in subjects without oral complaints. J Oral Rehabil 1990;17:419-24. (2231160)

4. Hugoson A. Results obtained from patients referred for the investigation of complaints related to oral galvanism. Swed Dent J 1986;10:15-28.

Back Home Up Next