Titanium Dental Implants Pose Serious Health Risks to the Allergy Sensitive

Titanium Dental Implants Pose Serious Health Risks to the Allergy Sensitive

Metal dental implants were originally made out of commercially pure titanium or titanium alloy, providing the only option for implant tooth restoration for many years. After years of study, we now know that placing metallic dental implants and other restorative devices can potentially provoke allergic reactions. One study involving 1,500 patients demonstrated that although rare, titanium allergy could be clearly detected in dental implant patients. One research paper published in 2010 indicated that “…the risk of an allergy to titanium is increased in patients who are allergic to other metals. In these patients, an evaluation of allergy is recommended, in order to exclude any problem with titanium medical devices.” Further research on the subject noted a higher risk of positive allergic reaction was found in patients whose implants failed for no other known reason other than that they had a higher incidence of allergic reaction.

Who cares about allergies?

Metal allergies are suspected by researchers and holistic dentists alike of being one of the most likely culprits behind the growing number of cases of autoimmune diseases in the United States including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Psoriasis, and Scleroderma, Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and many others. A correlation between metal allergies and a weakened immune system suggests that it is not only important but imperative to take the necessary precautions to ensure that patients are biocompatible before allowing any substance or material to be permanently affixed into the mouth.

There’s more to titanium than you might think

Screw and abutments used in dental implants can be made from the same alloy, but frequently a combination of alloys are used including small amounts of nickel and gold. One of the more commonly reported metal allergies in dental patients is to nickel, which explains why anyone with known sensitivities to metals would be vulnerable to the side effects of titanium implants. Symptoms to metal implants can vary from patient to patient and often include oral burning sensation, general fatigue, skin rashes, a constant dull pain and in some cases loss of the implant. A paper published in July of 2011 focused on titanium allergy in patients who have undergone an implant, and it concluded in part; “This review of the literature indicates that titanium can induce hypersensitivity in susceptible patients and could play a critical role in implant failure.”

Titanium allergy is rarely documented in mainstream medicine however, it has been reported that about four percent of all patients tested will be allergic to titanium. For those affected with a titanium allergy, the symptoms can be quite intense and somewhat confusing ranging from simple skin rashes to deep muscle pain and overall fatigue – common systems for an immune system that perceives itself under attack.

The known effects of titanium allergy

Like all metals used in the medical field today titanium releases tiny particles as it begins to corrode. In the case of an implant, these metal particles become ions and bind to proteins found naturally throughout the body. In some people the body reacts to metal particles in the same way it does to a virus or other foreign substance and it will try to attack the ‘invader’. This starts a chain reaction which can lead to many symptoms including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Allergy Testing – An Important Part of the Whole

Our unique focus on dental health takes into consideration a patient’s oral health in relation to the whole body, including identifying and treating issues pertaining to allergies and autoimmune disorders.

That is why we consider ceramic dental implants to be the better and safest alternative to metal implants. The advantage of these implants is that they are ceramic, and thus there is no concern of corrosion, allergic reaction or electronic interference.

A Natural Way to Prevent – and Reverse Gum Disease

Gum disease – also known as periodontitis – is a chronic bacterial infection that essentially destroys the soft tissue and surrounding bone structures that otherwise help to support healthy teeth. This unfortunate scenario happens as the bacteria binds with food particles to form a sticky, colorless plaque on the teeth. If the plaque is not brushed away it can build up and lead to more serious forms of gum disease. While the first line of defense against all gum disease is, of course – regular check-ups with your dentist, decades of research studies suggest that the fight against periodontitis can actually begin at home, in the form of a nutritional supplement called Coenzyme Q10 or ‘ubiquinone’.

Stage One – Gingivitis

Gingivitis is considered to be the mildest and earliest form of gum disease. Left untreated it can cause the gums to become red, swollen and to bleed easily. Although there may be little or no discomfort at this point, it is important to treat these early symptoms because as gingivitis progresses, it can lead to periodontitis or periodontal disease – the more advanced form of gum disease.

Stage Two – Periodontal Disease

At this point the build-up of bacteria begins to form a deep inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth. This stage of gum infection can lead to normally benign mouth bacteria multiplying out of control and spreading throughout the body – where it can cause or compound other chronic health issues.

Who is affected by gum disease?

As much as 90 percent of all Americans will be affected by gum disease during their lifetimes, and fully a quarter of those will lose their teeth to advanced forms of periodontal disease by the age of 60. Warning signs include swollen, tender and bleeding gums transforming into chronic bad breath, loose and shifting teeth, and then pus-filled buildup between teeth and gums as the disease takes hold. And then it gets even worse as sensitive gums recede away from the teeth, this eventually leading to total tooth failure: or tooth loss.

How can we guard against gum disease?

Naturally, the first line of defense against all forms of gum disease is proper dental hygiene which includes brushing twice daily, flossing once a day and routine professional cleanings. Proper nutrition is also vital to oral health. Supplements and nutrients that are known to work to boost the immune system, help build collagen in the periodontal ligaments, and decrease inflammation can help stop gum disease before it gets started – and help to heal gum disease. One of the most researched and highly recommended supplements for fighting gum disease is CoQ-10.

COQ-10 Studies – the proof is in the results

Clinical studies conducted since the mid 1970’s have shown that people with gum disease tend to have low levels of CoQ-10 in their gums. A few studies found that CoQ-10 supplements led to faster healing and tissue repair – primarily by boosting the immune system and supporting the body’s natural ability to fight off pathogens. In one of the more interesting studies 24 patients suffering from severe periodontal disease that did not respond to extensive flossing and brushing were selected for study. About a dozen of those subjects received 50 mg of CoQ-10, while the others received placeboes. The majority of CoQ- 10 patients showed dramatic improvement while only about a quarter of the placebo recipients showed minor improvement. Interestingly, a full quarter of the CoQ-10 patients were completely healed of gum disease in as little as eight weeks. Later studies conducted in Japan confirmed that 60 mg a day of CoQ-10 could improve diseased gums overall.

The benefits of CoQ-10 go beyond oral health

The human body requires CoQ-10 to generate energy. This energy takes the form of adenosine triphosphate molecules, or ATP. ATP works like a rechargeable battery helping to transfer of energy from cell to cell. People who suffer from gum disease require sufficient energy for the healing and repair of gum tissues, which naturally necessitates sufficient amounts of CoQ-10. CoQ-10 is not only important to anyone interested in stopping and/or reversing gum disease, this nutrient is so essential to the proper functioning of every cell in the body that a deficiency of CoQ-10 has been linked to a number of chronic diseases including:

  • Heart Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Migraines
  • Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s

Periodontal disease has also been associated with many of these same chronic illnesses and in particular; heart disease, type 2 diabetes and respiratory disease as well as problems in conception and pregnancy.

Finding the right CoQ-10 for you

Small amounts of CoQ-10 can be found in foods, primarily meat and fish with the greatest amounts found in organ meats like heart, liver and kidneys. It is also found in beef, soy oil, sardines, mackerel and peanuts. As a supplement, coenzyme Q10 is available in numerous forms such as soft gel and hard shell capsules as well as mouth rinses and oral sprays. But before you rush out to buy a bottle at your local health food store, you might want to consider that a new and likely superior form of CoQ-10 called Ubiquinol is now available. This type of CoQ-10 makes the benefits of this important supplement even more readily available to the body, particularly in adults.

The CoQ-10 found in most supplements is called ‘ubiquinone’. In order to produce cellular energy, the body must convert the ubiquinone to ubiquinol. It is the ubiquinol that carries electrons through the mitochondria to produce vital energy to the cells. By and large younger, healthy people can easily convert CoQ-10 to ubiquinol. But as people age – or when chronic illness is present, a person’s ability to convert CoQ-10 to ubiquinol is limited. This decreased ability becomes more apparent the closer we get to age 40, although some researchers suggest that it may begin in the early to mid-20s. Therefore, most experts recommend that healthy individuals under the age of 25, who can easily convert standard CoQ-10 to ubiquinol, take the conventional form of CoQ-10 – everyone over the age of 25 will likely benefit more from the properties of CoQ-10 by using Ubiquinol.

More information:

Ubiquinol – A More Advanced Form of the Energy-Producing Nutrient CoQ-10 

University of Maryland Medical Center: Coenzyme Q10 

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments 

MedlinePlus: Coenzyme Q-10 

“Indian Journal of Pharmacology”: Role of Coenzyme Q10 as an Antioxidant and Bioenergizer in Periodontal Diseases; Shobha Prakash, et al.; December 2010