Is Your Dental Work Leaching Toxins, Creating Inflammation, and Worsening Your Chronic Condition?


When I treat my patients, I’m always looking for sources of inflammation because it’s the root of most chronic diseases, including autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s or MS. I’ve found that inflammation is often caused by five major environmental factors: our diets, a leaky gut, stress, toxins, and infections.

Changing the diet and healing the gut are big first steps in getting to the root of your health problem, but the gut isn’t the only place where persistent infections and toxins such as heavy metals can easily enter the bloodstream. There’s another major point of potential exposure: the mouth.

We tend to see human anatomy in terms of separate systems, with dental health as somehow distinct from the rest of the body. But there is no separation — infections and toxins in the mouth affect your health as a whole! So, what’s in your mouth?

Root Canals

A root canal is a common procedure in which a tooth’s nerve is killed, but the tooth itself is not removed. The dead tissue becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, specifically to the periodontal ligament, a hard to reach area of the tooth that is very difficult to flush out manually. Since the tooth no longer has a blood supply, neither immune cells nor antibiotics can reach the decaying tissue. The ongoing infection leads to inflammation, which stresses the immune system.


When wisdom teeth are removed, cavitations are a common complication. They can occur in the jaw after a tooth extraction, when gum tissue grows over the hollow area and bacteria begin to propagate. Bacteria within a cavitation again create inflammation and agitate the immune system.

Bridges and Retainers

If you have an autoimmune disease or another chronic health condition, you may be sensitive to certain foods, yes, but also to specific materials used in dentistry. Bridges and retainers for example, are usually made with stainless steel that contains nickel, a known allergen which can also activate the immune system.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings are made with a mixture of copper, silver, and mercury. Mercury is incredibly toxic, and exposure to mercury has vast health consequences, including neurological symptoms, muscle weakness, and impaired vision. Dental amalgams emit mercury vapor, that can leach into your bloodstream.

If you’re unsure of whether or not you have amalgam fillings, just open your mouth and look: do you have fillings that look metallic? Don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about removing them safely if you’re worried about your toxic burden.

Porcelain Crowns

A crown can actually exacerbate the effects of mercury when placed over a tooth with an amalgam filling. It can create an electric current that interferes with your own body’s natural electric current, which can create bizarre and uncomfortable auditory and sensory symptoms for those who are sensitive.


In general, gold fillings are preferable to amalgam fillings. But when gold is combined with other metals in your mouth, it too can create an electric current in your body. I have seen patients who complained of buzzing and ringing in their ears, only to find those symptoms resolved when their metal dental work was taken out.

A Functional Medicine Approach to Dentistry

In biological dentistry, an emphasis is placed on only using materials which are compatible with the patient’s body. Each person is different when it comes to what materials they can tolerate and how well they get rid of toxins like mercury. In my clinic, I run tests to see which foods my patients are reactive to; a biological dentist may test your blood to find out which materials are incompatible with you, most often with Clifford Materials Reactivity Testing (CMRT).

If you have fibromyalgia, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or another chronic condition, your immune system is already in overdrive, and incompatible materials in your mouth or infections could be adding more stress. If you have amalgam fillings or other dental work, or suspect that you have an infection, make sure a biological dentist is correcting the problem for you. They are trained in the safe removal of previous dental work. A conventional dentist might be able to remove your fillings, but they could endanger you or themselves more by not taking the necessary precautions or disposing of the material properly. Listen to my podcast with biological dentist Stuart Nunnally, DDS, for key questions you can ask your dentist, or check out my interview with him and 38 other autoimmune experts from The Autoimmune Summit.

Remember, what’s in your mouth does affect the rest of your body. If you haven’t achieved the level of health you want and deserve, it could be the missing piece of the puzzle for you.

To find a biological dentist, you can search for one in your area at, The International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology.  


Want more? You might also like:

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Note: PLEASE consult with  your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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6 thoughts on “Is Your Dental Work Leaching Toxins, Creating Inflammation, and Worsening Your Chronic Condition?

  1. Pam

    21 years ago I had a root canal I’ve had fibromyalgia for about that long. I watched the documentary on Netflix called Root Cause . I had my root canal removed from 2 to 19. Please let me know approximately how long until I can start getting relief from my fibromyalgia? Also do they make bridges that don’t have any metal in them so I can fill in the space?. Thank you so much for getting back with me you have no idea how much I appreciate it.

  2. Nancy Busak

    My mouth has all implants except for one tooth with a cap on it. Twelve years ago I was diagnosed with Diabetes 1 LADA. October 2018 I developed Scleritis which was diagnosed in March 2019. I was diagnosed with a autoimmune disease but they don’t know what it is. As of January 2019 I am recently gone off Prednisone. I am still taking Micophenolate. I do have top doctors. My Rheumatologist feels I am doing remarkably well. Can this all be related to have very poor quality teeth my whole life? Do you have any suggestions? My diet is excellent. Thank you in advance for your help.

  3. Jenny

    How do you test for toxic root canals?
    How do you know if old root canal teeth are infected or producing these toxins?
    I have found tons of info abour root canals and the potential problems they create but I can not find any info about testing for the bacteria / toxins.

  4. Matt Stibbe

    I watched a Netflix documentary on the affects that metal implants can have on the body.
    One of the patients in question was have a reaction to a chrome cobalt hip replacement .
    I have sarcoidosis and i have metal fillings and a metal denture .
    I have been on a predominantly plant based diet for the last 10 weeks to help my body heal itself .
    Doctors only want to sell me drugs and treat my symptoms .
    I want to find what is continually poisoning my body .

  5. Vicki

    Hi I had a root canal and have been dealing with a series of health issues since . Fatigue, weight loss , headaches to name a few . I have taken some 3D images of the area and there doesn’t seem to be a noticeable infection , One dentist felt the overfill could cause inflammation . I just need a holistic dentist to tell me if I should try removing the tooth and periodontal ligament as it maybe the continued cause of my issues ! Any Infor will be appreciated I cannot find a dentist in my area that understands this

  6. Pat Craiglow

    My 79-year-old husband has the antibody for the
    GUILLAIN-Barret Variant MILLER FISHER SYNDROME and the day before he was rushed to a hospital he underwent dental work! Originally diagnosed with GBS, he was found to have the MFS Antibody known as GQ1b and then diagnosed with MFS!! An Autoimmune Syndrome, MFS IS IN ABOUT 80% of The Cases
    Has an Anticedent Upper Respiratory Virus (which my husband did have). The question remains, WHAT IS THE TRIGGER IN CASES OF MFS?? I have done extensive research and am inclined to believe that in seven additional cases the TRIGGER MAY WELL HAVE BEEN DENTAL WORK? MFS in the USA IS A CONDITION THAT OCCURS IN ONE IN A MILLION PEOPLE IN WESTERN COUNTRIES. Could their be a connection between the two??

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