Odontologic survey of referred patients with symptoms allegedly caused by electricity or visual display units

Acta Odontol Scand. 1998 Oct;56(5):303-7. doi: 10.1080/000163598428491.


Twenty-eight consecutive patients with symptoms allegedly caused by electricity or visual display units were odontologically investigated according to a specially designed registration form including an anamnestic interview and a clinical protocol. The most common oral and general symptoms reported were burning mouth, craniomandibular dysfunction symptoms, skin complaints, and fatigue. Oral symptoms such as craniomandibular dysfunction and general symptoms such as eye complaints and dizziness scored highest on a visual analog scale regarding mean symptom intensity. The patients reported various numbers of medical diagnoses, such as allergic rhinitis or asthma and hypothyroidism. Various dental diseases were found; the most common were temporomandibular joint and masticatory muscle dysfunctions, lesions in the oral mucosa, and periodontal diseases. Urinary-Hg (U-Hg) analysis showed a mean U-Hg concentration of 8.5 nmol Hg/L urine, and none of the patients exceeded the limit of 50 nmol Hg/L urine. The U-Hg concentration was positively correlated with the number of amalgam fillings (P< 0.01) and craniomandibular disorders (P < 0.05). No or low secretion of the minor mucous glands was found in 43% of the patients. One patient showed hypersensitivity to gold and cobalt. The present study showed that various odontologic factors might be involved in some of these patients' suffering. Thus, it is important that professionals from other disciplines collaborate with dentistry if these patients are to be properly investigated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burning Mouth Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Burning Mouth Syndrome / etiology*
  • Computer Terminals*
  • Dizziness / etiology
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / diagnosis
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / etiology
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking
  • Mercury / urine
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patch Tests
  • Patient Care Team
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis
  • Skin Diseases / etiology
  • Taste Disorders / diagnosis
  • Taste Disorders / etiology*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / etiology*
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Xerostomia / diagnosis
  • Xerostomia / etiology*


  • Mercury