Oral Galvanism/ Galvanic Shock
Oral galvanism is a phenomenon that can occur when two or more dissimilar metals in dental restorations which are bathed in saliva, or a single metal in contact with two electrolytes such as saliva and pulp fluid tissue, produce an electric current. When associated with pain, the term galvanic pain has been used.
Example: If Mandibular Molar restored with Silver Amalgam is opposed by metal amalgam fillings of dissimilar metal composition in Maxillary Molar, Galvanic Shock could occur.
While there seems to be little dispute that the presence of dissimilar metals can cause an electric current and can, in some cases, cause a metallic taste in the mouth, some discomfort, and also possibly lead to premature corrosion of the metallic restorations, there is controversy over other claimed effects. Those other claimed effects include oral discomfort, skin irritation, and headaches . Many scientific studies dispute these claims.
This galvanism is said by some to be able to affect immune levels and the trigeminal nerve, causing a variety of other symptoms, such as insomnia, vertigo, and memory loss. The condition is claimed to be idiopathic, depending on the individual’s state of health, and to have varying effects on oral microbial communities. It was first proposed in 1878.
Oral galvanism is sometimes treated by replacing metallic amalgam restorations with ceramic or polymer restorations.