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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:

My Nourishing Three Day Meal Plan For Living With Lupus, Fibromyalgia and Multiple

Autoimmune ConditionsDebunking Fibromyalgia as Just In Your Head: The Real Truth

After Multiple Diets, I Finally Found a Way to Overcome the Chronic Pain of Fibromyalgia: Find Out How

I Was the Mom Missing Out on Social Events Because of Migraines, Chronic Pain, Depression…Until I Had a Nutritional Awakening

I Am Not Invisible, I Have a Chronic Illness

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

  1. Mary

    The link to the podcast on what to ask your dentist does not work? I would love to hear it!! How can I access it?

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Mary: Thanks for reaching out. We recommend that your reach out to Dr. Myers directly to find out how to access her podcast.

  2. R.Sidney Collins

    Helpful validation. Thanks doctor. I just gotten 2 onlay fillings no.1&2 top left. pain in ligaments/tendons of knees. I fear for my heart valves with out a full course of amoxacillin. The one time I need a pharma doctor to believe me !!!!! I’m working on it. Yes ! Known of danger of root canal for over 12 yrs.(Ellen Hodgson Brown) Got last one scheduled to come out. RSC

  3. DR. Walter WIESE

    My daughter now has lupus and vasculitis at 35 in the last few years, symptoms bad. When she was 18 she did drugs that effected her teeth and she got many crowns, but i do not know what they filled the teeth with prior… Now she has three teeth that need root canals she is told because all three were infected, probably for some time prior to the pain. How do we find out what they did back then and if these teeth and infection are the root of the autoimmune condition? She is about to have the root canals done and capped, is this not a good idea and what alternative does she have?

  4. Vickie Patterson

    Hello, I have had a root canal that was overfilled and since then, I have pain in my neck on that side, and I have developed Eczema. I’ve never had a skin problem before and I’m concerned that this toxic chemical used in root canal is leaching into my system and causing a reaction.

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Vickie,

      Thanks for reaching out. So sorry to hear that! I would advise you to reach out to your dentist or doctor directly. Or, you can try and reach out to RD Amy Myers directly as well, here is her website:

      -The Further Food Team

  5. Joseph Michael

    Hello, I enjoyed your article. I have had chronic seasonal allergies within the first year of having a stainless steel crown put in my lower jaw molar. Recently I have now severe tinnitus and osteoarthritis. Thankfully I’m scheduled for dental work on March 9, 2020 at the VA. I told my dentist about how my health has worsened over the years since having this metal crown put in my mouth and he says there’s no connection. I’m 62 and was always in pretty good shape. I don’t know whether I should have it pulled or have another root canal and replace the crown with porcelain. I have this feeling my health will drastically improve once this metal is out of my head. Thanks again for your article.

  6. Elya

    I have problem with tooth nr.6 was removed and prepared for implantation with artificial bond , afrer one week I got strange rush around eyes , after 3 weeks was badly ill , inflammation —- diagnose autoinflammatory , autoimmune STILL deasese , hardest worm of RA. Before tottaly sport , atletic woman…. its live !!!! 🙁

  7. Shelby Shelby pegues

    Recently had not so good experience at dentist. I had a tooth to broke in half and left an old amalgam filling exposed. Went dentist and had removed. Put a crown on .A month later went back because it felt like it was moving when I touched it but it was not. X ray again , didn’t want to and dentist told me I had an abscess and I dont understand why it didn’t show a month ago on that’s same tooth. I was referred to an oral surgeon. Dont know what step to take next. Dentist cost is expensive. Please help!

  8. Tracy DiMaggio

    I had a root canal in August of 2018. It had three chambers in a tooth that receive the root canal, but only two were cleaned and filled. After 9 months of dealing with a painful burning tongue feeling in my mouth and pain in my tooth, and endodontist redid my root canal a few days ago. I am still experiencing pain within the tooth and the burning tongue feeling has not went away. Any advice you could respond with would be helpful.

  9. Laura Hetzel

    I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 8 months ago. I was in so much pain I was bed ridden when not taking methotrexate. I watched ‘root cause’ and found a meridian tooth chart. My root canal was in tooth #30 which is linked to neck, shoulder, elbow and wrist joints. This is where my unbearable inflammation was located. My root canal was not bothering me but I wanted the tooth removed anyway. My family dentist told me there was no sign of infection & that I was basically crazy. He refused to help me. I found a biological dentist and he removed the root canal. I experienced immediate relief. I am totally off all RA medication. No pain! I am maintaining my anti inflammation diet and occasionally taking alieve for my one wrist which has mild arthritis.

  10. joanel

    I had bad dental work done by a Prosthodontist who worked on the wrong molars and the wrong arch (upper). He accidentally ripped out my upper right molars (including à good bridge).
    After that I underwent multiple oral surgical procedures. These were done over a four year period to replace bone and put in implants. now, five years after original errors I am ready for permanent implants and bridge but other parts of my mouth have rearranged. And over the past 2 years have had peripheral edema and neuropathy and recently extreme constipation and IBS symptoms.
    After laxatives and other Treatments, bowels were unblocked and the fibromyslgia symptoms ameliorated!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 .

  15. 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

  16. 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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