Avatar universal

Strange nerve damage symptoms after dental implant

I am really searching for some help to control my symptoms and any input from anyone would be greatly appreciated.

I have had four dental implants over a period of four years (one lower, three upper) and had no problems with any until recently.  I do not think it can be coincidental, and think I have suffered some sort of nerve damage.

After placement of an upper pre molar implant last October I noticed a very strange 'taste' in my mouth and strange sensation on my face and in my mouth.  It was difficult to describe, but I went back to the dental surgeon who assured me that the implant had been placed properly and there was no infection which he thought would cause a strange taste. (I have had dental infections, and this taste was nothing like it.)   He also said as there was absolutely no pain either, this indicated there was also no apparent nerve damage.

This taste and sensation  has stayed with me since October and affects everything I eat and drink. It comes and goes in intensity, but  I mainly feel the taste on the tip of my tongue and behind my front teeth.  Sometimes is is a bitter, acrid, vile taste, chemical and medicinal, almost like I imagine poison would taste.  Nothing will shift it, and it just makes me feel ill.    Other times it is soapy, and at other times (strangely) menthol, minty, like I have been eating Vicks vapour rub. (I now understand that with nerve damage, it is actually a sensation of altered taste as perceived by the brain, rather than an actual taste in the mouth.)   Now this is where it gets weird,  because in addition to the menthol taste, I also have the sensation of menthol vapours around my face and head, even my eyes sting. I also have extremely cold sensations on my skin. Mainly my face and the backs of my arms and hands, but today I had the sensation on my thighs and fronts of my shins. It is like a freezing cold ' sunburn'.  I am aware how this sounds, as I am talking about cranial nerve damage caused by a dental implant, but perhaps the vagus nerve can be affected too and I know it originates in the head and innervates the whole body.  

I also wondered about some sort of galvanic reaction between the metals of all the implants, and the two amalgam fillings I have.

I have been back to my dental surgeon who I believe I am beginning to lose credibility with - I must sound like a nutcase.  he assures me the implant is not the cause of my trouble.  But all of these symptoms are very real and are beginning to seriously affect my ability to function normally. I can't think of anything else, and the taste sensations especially are very hard to deal with.
Any imput gratefully received
Many thanks
37 Responses
Avatar universal
Is it possible that you are tasting the cement that holds in your crowns?  It can be a very acrid taste.  Implants are made of titanium and do not react with other metals.  It is the same metal that is used in hip and knee replacements and ICD's and pacemakers.  Allergy to titanium is so rare it is not medically considered at all.

It sounds more like you are tasting residual glue from the crowns.  Has you dentist checked that out for you?  Many times it will harden behind the crown and then pulverize and you can taste it.  Nerve damage from the implants should not give you the sensations you are having.  Nerve damage would leave more a numbness or transient shock like pain, not a taste.

Your Vick's vapour rub description sounds like the cement.  Perhaps you could start there.  

GOOD LUCK on finding a solution.
My very best to you,
Avatar universal
Hi and thanks for your comment!  

The crowns are not cemented in, they are attached to the implant abutment by screws which are an integral part of the crown itself.  I have had no materials in my mouth that might cause this sensation  -  expecially over such a long period of time.   In any case, before I had implants I had ordinary cemented crowns for many many years, and never experienced dental cement tasting like menthol, or leaving an acrid taste in my mouth.  Perhaps some dental tooth packing treatments were medicinal,  but I have not had one of those for forty years!   Thanks anyway for taking the time to input!

I have reason to believe that damage to the cranial never can indeed cause these symptoms, there is another thread on it here from someone who has MS, cranial nerve problems and has the same sensation


So I am not actually tasting a real substance, it is the sensation and perception from the damage/irritation to the cranial nerve that could be  causing it.

Back to the dentist for another ex ray I think.

Avatar universal
Hi again,
It may be better if you saw a regular MD.  If you really feel you have a cranial nerve (there are 12 of them) that has sustained damage (it would be highly unlikely that the implants could have done this) you should see a regular MD for a MRI or CAT scan and mapping of the brain itself.  Not to scare you, but what you are sensing could be from something entirely different than an implant.  Especially because you have had them for quite some time.

I urge you to explore another reason for your problem.  It's unlikely it is caused by the implants themselves.

My very best to you,
P.S.  Normally the abutment is screwed onto the implant and the crown is cemented to the abutment.  You may also want to check that with your dentist.  Unless you can see a screw in the back, your implant is probably the normal kind and the crown is cemented to the abutment which had been screwed onto the implant.  Again --- GOOD LUCK.

Avatar universal
Thank you very much for your time.
Avatar universal
I found this article on titanium allergy and oral galvanism.  This is only one of MANY articles and reports of allergy to titanium, and reactions between titanium and other metals.

Replacing Missing Teeth

By Dr. Lina Garcia

A dental implant is one option for replacing missing or badly diseased teeth. It is composed of an artificial root that looks like a post or screw and is covered with a dental crown.

Treatment involves the surgical placement of the implant into the jawbone, where it is allowed to fuse to the bone in a process called “osseointegration.”

Once healed, the implant acts as an anchor for an artificial replacement tooth, or crown. The crown is made to blend in with your other teeth and is permanently attached to the implant.

A typical dental implant is made of pure titanium and/or a titanium alloy.

In fact, titanium alloys are widely used in both medicine and dentistry, for dental implants, pacemakers, stents, orthodontal brackets, and orthopedic implants (e.g., hip, shoulder, knee, or elbow). Not only is titanium strong, but many consider it biocompatible: it forms an oxide layer when exposed to air, and this purportedly results in reduced corrosion and superior osseointegration.

So why should you reject the standard titanium metal implant?

Titanium is NOT Biologically Inert

Titanium implants release metal ions into your mouth 24 hours a day, and this chronic exposure may trigger inflammation, allergies, and autoimmune disease in susceptible individuals. They are a precursor to disease.

Cases of intolerance to metal implants have been reported over the years, and the removal of this incompatible dental material has resulted in reduced metal sensitivity and long-term health improvement in the majority of patients.

Titanium has the potential to induce hypersensitivity as well as other immunological dysfunctions.

One study investigated 56 patients who developed severe health problems after receiving titanium-based dental implants. These medical problems included muscle, joint, and nerve pain; chronic fatigue syndrome; neurological problems; depression; and skin inflammation.

Removal of the implants resulted in a dramatic improvement in the patients’ symptoms, as well as a decrease in many patients’ sensitivity to titanium.

For example, a 54-year-old man with a titanium dental implant and four titanium screws in his vertebra was so sick that he could not work. He suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive impairment, Parkinson-like trembling, and severe depression. Six months after the removal of the implants and screws, he was able to return to work.

In another case, a 14-year-old girl developed inflammatory lesions on her face six months after being fitted with titanium orthodontal brackets.

She was also mentally and physically exhausted, and her reactivity to titanium skyrocketed. Within nine months of replacing the brackets with a metal-free material, her facial lesions had almost completely healed, she was healthy and active, and her sensitivity to titanium returned to a normal level.

Titanium Implants Can Cause Cancer

Another complication of the use of implanted titanium is its potential to induce the abnormal proliferation of cells (neoplasia), which can lead to the development of malignant tumors and cancer. Through rare, it is a well-known complication of orthopedic surgery that involves the implantation of metallic hardware.

Furthermore, researchers recently uncovered the first reported case of a sarcoma arising in association with a dental implant.

As described in the August 2008 issue of JADA (The Journal of the American Dental Association), a 38-year-old woman developed bone cancer eleven months after receiving a titanium dental implant. Luckily, she was successfully treated with chemotherapy, but the authors recommended further research into the tumor-causing potential of dental implants in light of their increasing popularity and their ability to last for longer periods of time.

Why You Want to Avoid ANY Kind of Metal in Your Mouth

Finally, the presence of any metal in your mouth sets the stage for “galvanic toxicity,” because your mouth essentially becomes a charged battery when dissimilar metals sit in a bed of saliva.

All that is needed to make a battery is two or more different metals and a liquid medium that can conduct electricity (i.e., an electrolyte). Metal implants, fillings, crowns, partials, and orthodontics provide the dissimilar metals, and the saliva in your mouth serves as the electrolyte.

An electric current called a galvanic current is then generated by the transport of the metal ions from the metal-based dental restorations into the saliva. This phenomenon is called “oral galvanism,” and it literally means that your mouth is acting like a small car battery or a miniature electrical generator. The currents can actually be measured using an ammeter!

Oral galvanism creates two major concerns.

First, the electric currents increase the rate of corrosion (or dissolution) of metal-based dental restorations. Even precious metal alloys continuously release metal ions into your mouth due to corrosion, a process that gnaws away bits of metal from the metal’s surface.

These ions react with other components of your body, leading to sensitivity, inflammation, and, ultimately, autoimmune disease. Increasing the corrosion rate, therefore, increases the chance of developing immunologic or toxic reactions to the metals.

Second, some individuals are very susceptible to these internal electrical currents. Dissimilar metals in your mouth can cause unexplained pain, nerve shocks, ulcerations, and inflammation, and many people also experience a constant metallic or salty taste, or a burning sensation in their mouth.

Moreover, there is the concern that oral galvanism directs electrical currents into brain tissue and can disrupt the natural electrical current in your brain.

New Alternatives to Titanium Implants

In recent years, high-strength ceramic implants have become attractive alternatives to titanium implants, and some current research has focused on the viability of materials such as zirconia (the dioxide of zirconium, a metal close to titanium on the periodic table).

Metal-free zirconia implants have been used in Europe and South America for years, but they have only recently become available in the U.S.

Zirconia implants are highly biocompatible to the human body and exhibit minimum ion release compared to metallic implants.

Studies have shown that the osseointegration of zirconia and titanium implants are very similar, and that zirconia implants have a comparable survival rate, thereby making them an excellent alternative to metal implants.

Moreover, zirconia ceramics have been successfully used in orthopedic surgery to manufacture ball heads for total hip replacements.

Therefore, given that titanium dental implants can induce metal sensitivity, inflammation, autoimmunity, and malignant tumors, while zirconia implants are metal-free but just as durable, why invite chronic metal exposure?

Your body would surely benefit from choosing the biocompatible, ceramic dental implant over the standard, titanium metal implant.
789700 tn?1256907087
Check out: " Olfactory hallucinations"  I know it sounds weird but the smell I get sometimes feels like it's coming from the back of my throat. it is not unpleasant but very scary. i think I know the smell but can't quite place it. It only lasts several seconds and it can come and go several times in an hour than it's gone for several months. I also get " visual hallucinations" that last about 40 minutes. all of this started a few years after i got an upper implant close to my sinus. i have had an MRI and nothing was found. I think mine is related to sinus issues and or a migraine without the headache. It seems to come when I'm stressed or I do hard work where I work up a sweat ...like spring cleaning. I have just learned to live with it. The visual stuff starts as a blind spot in the center of my vision then multicolored ziz zags around the edges of my sight, then strobe light which makes me instant nauseous, then it goes away. I have been getting the visual and olfactory for the past 9 years on and off, months can go by without anything then i might get 2 or 3 then nothing. I'm still alive and active.
Avatar universal
Thank you.  Just to update - I have an appointment with an oral pathologist to get to the bottom of this, as I just cannot stand it any more. My dentist is now accepting that I may have damage to the one of the cranial nerves.   This is perhaps manifesting as strange neuralgia like symptoms without the pain. It could be the implant, or it could be connected to a buried (or retained) root procedure I had done at the same time as the implant (something to do with bacteria getting in before it was sealed.)  
Avatar universal
Good luck, dierdre447.  
I hope you can find out the cause and have a quick and easy resolution!

Best to you,
Avatar universal
Thank you for your concern.  I will update in case in can be of help to anyone else in the future!
Avatar universal
My uncle had dental implants 3 years ago... soon after he began having mouth pain, on going headaches, loss of appetite, loss of perception, fatigue, and many other symptoms. He had the implants removed and still has the same symptoms: has not driven in over a year, headaches, mouth pain, and has lost 75 lbs. His family is afraid he will not make it much longer and there has been no one who can find any help for him. If anyone knows of something .... please post for everyone who has a loved one in pain... signed, Desperate and Helpless
Avatar universal
Your uncle's symptoms sound fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome. Seeing a pain specialist or orofacial pain specialist is advised.
Avatar universal
Did you have the implant removed?  I have similar symptoms.  I had my implant put in almost two weeks ago.  I want mine removed!!
Avatar universal
Search titanium vanadium aluminum dental implant on this site and view allf the posts by people suffering ill effects from titanium implants!
Avatar universal
I would love to know how you solve this situation, I have a very similar one and I am desperate too. Any advice would help.
Avatar universal
did you ever resolve this?
Avatar universal

I would recommend a consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor.
There is a substance used in Ayurveda called Shilajit.
This mineral substance can bring balance to the immune
system, and removes  buildup of toxic metals from the body.

Also, Zeolite drops. And 5- 10l000 mg of Esther C daily
for a few weeks. And Magnesium orotate, 2  400 mg tablets
twice a day.

Vitamin C is the most commonly depleted nutrient, followed
by Magnesium.


Avatar universal
I have very similar symptoms!  Please did you ever figure it out? I need some suggestions>
Avatar universal
I am going through something similar.
Several months ago my dentist slipped with an air abrasion tool while removing decay from a tooth on top and put a hole in back of mouth the tool. The hole is healed. Ever since after I eat something really chewy side of face swells and jaw itches and I have swelling under gums on bottom, if I eat a lot of chewy foods, the outer ear becomes very itchy,and often have a nasty taste that comes from the swelling gum area. Every 3-4 days the nasty taste becomes really intense for about 15-20 minutes. I have been to a new dentist, an oral surgeon, a dental specialist, had many x rays done of whole mouth, checked for tmj, had silagram done, tested the salivary gland it is ok, had mri, everything came back normal. I have been seen by a neurologist and he said he does not think it is a nerve, I have no pain at all, just the itch, does anyone have any idea's on what can be going on? I will be seeing another neurologist but not until August.
I now have chronic nasty taste in mouth, and my left cheek is stiff, when I open mouth wide or chew I have mild cheek pain.
5645452 tn?1371576807
oh my god...I just happened upon this.  I have had a similar condition for over 15 years!!! The onset was the placement of a cap on my right front upper tooth.  There was an immediate shooting pain from it and up the right side of my nose! I went away that weekend and had the most severe burning pain to the tip of my tongue whenever it would touch the back of my front teeth...which is always..and a burning, metallic taste.  It was so severe that I made the dentist take the cap off.  I tried and tried to find an answer by going to all kinds of doctors.  Since then, I have replaced the cap with an implant, but no difference was experienced.  I agree that it is just the perception of burning and taste, but it is very odd that I can draw this taste back through my mouth and swallow it.  The burning sensation and taste is exhasperated if I have a fever and is almost unbearable.  I also have idiopathic peripheral neuropathy and imagine this has something to do with that.  Did you ever solve your problem?????
5645452 tn?1371576807
I mean exascerbated:) (sic?):)
Avatar universal
Thanks for this Dierdre. I have had 5 titanium implants over the past two years, two upper right and three lower right.  I now have electrical sensations throughout my body, affecting my legs, much worse on the right side.  My ankles and legs are stiff and I can hardly walk without pain and I have never had anything like this before.  My periodontist told me that titanium is inert. My body is telling me differently.  The symptoms are getting worse and I am struggling not to succumb to depression because of this.  Someone else on the forum has suggested aruvedic medicine to help if there is a need for a detoxification, although I think that a galvanic reaction could be the problem which would necessitate removal of the implants.  I do appreciate all your posts...very helpful.  I also plan to keep posting on this forum once I have some answers.  All the best to you.
Avatar universal
Did the oral pathologist find an answer?
I have similar symptoms after a severe injury to my head and body. My mouth, including all front teeth, gums, lips, palate and tongue feel icy cold-burning sensation. I have titanium in my face and carotid artery. I have already had most of the titanium that was in my face and elsewhere in my body removed, but the pain is still there. I have been searching vagus nerve injury as a possible cause on the internet and found your posting. Your symptoms are similar to mine. I have strange toxic, icy cold taste in my mouth. I have limited sense of smell, hearing loss and vision problems.
Any info you can share may help me find a solution. Name of your Doctor, if he helped.
Avatar universal
I had infected lower tooth implant removed 8months agon. Have numbness hard to eat and talk  nerve damage.  My  quality of life has been damaged,I do not know how much more I can take.  I oral sureogn did the work. ...had to take   8 bone spurs out of my jag.  Damaging the nerve.  Please help me by iam 79 years old
Avatar universal
Wow!!  this is unreal!! I have had my implants about two years. I have six of them. I just recently had veneers put on the six teeth across the front. But now I seem to have aches in all areas of my teeth. Like nerve pain as well and a taste of metal. Keeps me up at night!! Some days are better then others. I don't want o over think this. But I am having joint pain in hands elbows and my knees are killing me. (maybe from exercise) Like I said I don't want to think to much into this but could me getting my veneers done trigger the pain in my teeth. Not even my real teeth that's whats weird. They hurt!!
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