So, I remember sometime in my childhood, someone was teaching me about lightning safety, and they explained that it was important to crouch low but keep as little contact with the ground as possible, if you knew lightning was going to strike.

I understand the purpose of that. They also told me that you should keep your mouth open (screaming if possible) to avoid lightning welding your fillings together if you did get struck. So, my question:

Is it possible for lightning to weld your (metal) fillings together if you get struck and your mouth is closed?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Hmm... your fillings are insulated from the rest of your body by the teeth's enamel and it's not clear to me if they actually touch if done properly by the dentist. All the current for the welding process would have to flow trough your teeth, and the bones the tissue that holds them in your jawbone. My feeling is that all of the tissue would be destroyed long before the metal would start welding together, and there would probably be severe neurological damage to your brain. In other words... you were told a story meant to frighten you. $\endgroup$
    – CuriousOne
    Jun 19, 2015 at 23:36
  • $\begingroup$ If the temperature inside your mouth got high enough to weld fillings, I doubt that you would survive, so it wouldn't matter if you kept your mouth open or not. $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2020 at 19:53

1 Answer 1


Your fillings are either gold / palladium inlays or silver-mercury amalgam. The composite or enamel fillings don't apply here.

Welding fillings together will require that you have fillings in opposing teeth. It is certainly possible to weld metals together with a brief electrical current - it's done by robots in car factories every day. However, it requires quite a bit of current - without doing the math I would guess on the order of hundreds of amperes.

Your head (and, indeed, the tooth with the filling) is not a particularly good conductor of electricity, so the base current needed to weld your teeth together will require a much larger current flowing through your jaw. All those soft, wet squishy bits around your teeth will take some current too, reducing the available welding current and in general heating things up.

Your brain is surrounded by a saline liquid, and it's in a very well sealed solid enclosure (your skull). If we apply enough current across your skull that we have 50-100 amps across two fillings (and remember that this has to happen in the timeline of a lightning strike) we will also see considerable current and resultant heat around your brain. Water + enough heat = steam, and your skull is not a pressure vessel.

So, if your teeth do get welded together after a lightning strike it's really of no concern, because your head will explode.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.