If a person has an allergic sensitivity to a material, their response to the material varies by degrees. This response could range from a slight sensitivity of the immune system to an anaphylactic reaction that could be life threatening.
The overriding response of all body tissues at all levels of sensitivity is inflammation. Acute inflammation is necessary for body tissues to heal. When inflammation becomes chronic, free radicals are produced, which cause oxidative stress that can damage cells.
Connective tissue is the most susceptible to oxidative stress damage, and the mouth is full of connective tissue. For example, connective tissue connects gums to teeth, gums to bone and teeth to bone. Therefore, long term chronic inflammation can destroy oral tissues, especially in susceptible people. If dental materials cause a sensitivity response in a person, these materials are a source of chronic inflammation.
Some materials, such as mercury, are toxic to the body. Biologic toxicity can affect the function of individual cells and systems of the body. Toxins are a source of chronic inflammation, and they inhibit the function of enzymes crucial to the body, which will be the topic of a future blog article.