The human immune system is one of many methods that the body has to protect itself from harm. It works by recognizing substances that do not belong in the body and removing them.
Such substances are called antigens and may include viruses, bacteria, fungi, toxins, and parasites. Immunologists describe two general types of antigens: those that are supposed to be present in the body are called “self” antigens, while those that are not supposed to be there are called “non-self” antigens. Recognition and removal of antigens is handled by about a dozen specialized cell types collectively known as white blood cells or leukocytes. It is theoretically possible for anything to create an immune response. All that needs to happen is for the immune system to recognize the substance, and the immune system can recognize any antigenic substance.
Many of the metals and components of composite materials are part of a group of chemicals called haptens. These are atoms or small molecules that do not prompt an immune response themselves, but they can combine with a carrier, a larger molecule (usually a protein) in the body, to form a substance that will trigger the immune system. If the carrier is a self antigen then there is a possibility that the immune system will begin to recognize the carrier without the hapten. This results in an autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks part of the body as if there were an infection. These types of immune reactions have been linked to diseases such as multiple sclerosis and lupus erythematosus.
The presence of dental or other toxins in the body is easy to detect by the elevated levels of lymphocytes and other components of the immune system. One would expect to see similar elevations in a person suffering from a cold or flu. These elevations indicate that the immune system is actively fighting an infection. The difference is that with a cold or flu, the immune system can eventually rid the body of the infection. With dental toxicity, the source of the problem is permanently imbedded in the mouth and only the chemicals that are released into the body can be dealt with. This keeps the immune system on “alert” status all the time, while simultaneously using a significant portion of the body’s nutrients and energy in order to maintain this level of activity.