Ah the dentist. A great place to spend a lot of money fast even with insurance. This however is one place you should not cheap out. I have heard from my physical therapist and a coworker that dentists are still installing silver amalgam mercury fillings. While they may be cheaper than the white fillings or the ceramic inlays never get these. Pay up for the fancy materials. These are more aesthetically pleasing and make your teeth less temperature sensitve to hot and cold liquids. Plus they don’t contain mercury which is toxic!
It is a known fact that mercury is a dangerous substance. There is no safe mercury exposure regardless of what someone may tell you. Mercury is a potent bio accumulative neurotoxin. That means it affects the nervous system and brain the most and builds up over time. While there are well known cases of people getting mercury sickness from industrial exposure to mercury vapors, ingesting mercury salt remedies or eating contaminated fish like in Japan what I want to touch on here is based on my experience of being exposed to mercury from dental amalgam fillings.
Mercury sickness from dental amalgam is controversial and not openly discussed in the dental community however it is very real based on my experiences, measurements and journal research. In fact there are plenty of dentists who still use it due to low cost knowing there are potentially harmful effects on the patient. Many won’t talk about it for fear of lawsuits or loss of license. Others are more honest and don’t use it. I mean you have to dispose of your fluorescent light bulbs in a special way as they contain mercury. So why would it be ok to put that in your mouth?
Mercury toxicity from amalgam has known to be a problem since the 1920s. One of the articles posted here was written by a German scientist in the 1920s who became exposed to mercury vapor in the lab but also measured mercury release from fillings concluding that both were dangerous. The use of mercury fillings is banned in some European countries such as the Nordic ones. In the USA dentists are luckily moving away from these restorative techniques and replacing them with ceramic and plastic composite perhaps for health reasons, available alternatives or fear of lawsuits. However some dentists are still using it and many people have in their mouths, therefore this post. There are also plenty of sites purporting amalgam is safe. I will present evidence to you and then you can decide. I have no financial interest in any of this. I am just looking to warn people and help them make the right decisions.
Not only does mercury impact the body during life but also after death in that the mercury needs to be disposed of safely. One cannot just throw it in the trash just like one has to safely dispose of fluorescent light bulbs that also contain mercury. If one incinerates dead bodies with mercury fillings the mercury vapor goes into the atmosphere, comes down with rain and then bioaccumlates into small organisms, fish and then back into people based on what they eat. However here we don’t care about dead people only living, breathing ones. So let’s assume you excrete all the mercury as proponents say, how do you feel about being the one that puts a toxic substance into the environment? Putting a toxin into the environment that may bioaccumulate in places where you live, breathe and eat? That’s not very eco is it now?
Exposure depends on number of fillings and time
The amount of dental mercury exposure will depend on the number of fillings, surface area exposed, length of exposure time, other metals dental work in the mouth and medical conditions. The more fillings and the more time the more exposure you will get. Exposure could vary from 5 to 50 micrograms per day.
How does the mercury get into your body if it is bound in the amalgam?
This is the claim that many have made is that since the mercury is bound to other metal like silver it is safe. That’s only partly true. Here is why. Mercury has a low melting point. If you’ve ever seen it in the high school or college chemistry lab it is liquid metal not solid at room temperature. The heat of your body at 98.6F/38 C is very warm in your mouth. It causes it mercury to slowly vaporize from the filling just like water evaporates from a mud puddle but more slowly. You then breathe this vapor into your lungs where it enters the bloodstream and brain. Studies say 80% is absorbed. You also swallow some in saliva. Some is absorbed and some is eliminated. It does seem to find a way to get into the nervous system and brain. There it binds tightly. Once there it also demyelinates neurons (removes the electrical insulation like on an electric cord) and kills astrocytes (cells that feed neurons). These are the nerves cell you use to think with! It kills , damages them and kills the cells that feed them. The half life estimated for mercury in the brain is on the order of many years.
You are also exposed to new mercury when you brush your teeth, eat, chew gum, drink hot liquids like coffee and tea or drik acidic thinks like soda pop. Finally if you have other metal dental work they can work together creating a current like in battery thus leaching more ions off. Basically any kind of you mechanical agitation causes it to come off. This in turn you ingest and breathe in. Some of that is absorbed into the bloodstream and in the gut whereas some is eliminated.
I used to be able to taste my many metal fillings. Yes, that is from metal coming off them otherwise you could not taste them. That was especially true after a cup of hot coffee at work or while chewing gum.
Here are some of the symptoms of mercury poisoning that have been documented. Most are nervous system related. The reason is mercury is fat soluble and nerve cells are made of fatty insulation so they can conduct nerve signals like an electrical wire. Mercury destroys and disrupts nerve cells.
- Nervousness/jittery feeling/restlessness
- Fine motor tremor in hands
- Irritability/over emotional/easily angered/bad temper
- Lack of confidence/fear of public speaking/exaggerated feeling of what other people think
- Social withdrawal, spending time alone
- Depressed mood/blues/negative view
- Reduced motor skills/clumsiness/reduced sports ability
- Impulsiveness or rash decision making
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing unless it is quiet when studying or working
- Bleeding gums, mouth sores (canker sores), gingivitis, dental pockets
- Difficulty sleeping at night unless it is very quiet
- Nights sweats/hot and cold cycles where it’s either too hot or too cold repeatedly
- Lethargy/sluggishness/lack of energy/seems like thyroid issue (selenium depletion impacts thyroid hormone levels and metabolism)
- Strange reactions to normal things like multi vitamin/ multi mineral supplements due to mineral imbalance.
- Strange reaction to fish oil i.e. DHA supplements. They seem very strong as one is depleted of DHA in the brain.
- Need for lots of sleep to feel refreshed. Seem to need lots to think clearly. Six hours makes one feel tired.
- Tooth loss around the fillings
- Loss of long-term memories
- Frequent urination
These symptoms make sense as they are neurological symptoms, due to mineral imbalances, selenium depletion, lack of DHA in the brain/nerves.
If you have mercury fillings you can run a simple test to see if you are exposed and how badly.
How to Test for Mercury Levels
- Get a hair metal test. These are relatively affordable as in $100- $150 USD. Essentially you cut some of you head hear or pubic body hair if you are bald. (Don’t use armpit hair as it is exposed to anti perspirant that contains aluminum if you use that). Put it into an envelope and send it in. A month or so later the test lab will send you a mineral and toxic element analysis based on that hair sample. The reason we test hair is that hair is formed from cells that are fed by blood. When the hair grows it keeps with a mineral signature of what was in the blood during the time that the hair grew. The hair is kind of like a human tree ring. These tests are widely available on the Internet from several providers. It only tests what is in the blood stream not what is stored but it is a good indicator of levels. So if your amalgams do not emit mercury why do we see elevated levels of it in the hair of those with fillings? Think about that one.
- Have your doctor run a mercury test. Mine clipped my fingernails and toenails and sent them in for testing. We did this after I showed my doctor the hair metal test. They came back off way over the reference range. I did this to validate the hair test results I got in the mail. I recall coming in at close to 300% over the maximum range on the test.
What does this have to do with money given this is a money site?
A lot! Going to the doctor is expensive and time consuming. You can easily spend thousands of dollars visiting doctors treating symptoms and taking medicines when the root cause of the health problems is on the tip of your tongue. Best to avoid the doctor for anything other than check ups.
What to do if the test comes in positive
- First of all don’t get more or new mercury amalgam fillings. Duh.
- Get the mercury fillings taken out and replaced by a dentist and replaced with ceramic inlays and plastic composite fillings. There are metal free dentists out there and normal ones will also do the job.
- Stopping input is the best step to solve mercury poisoning. This won’t be cheap but do one tooth at a time if you can only afford to do so based on insurance. The less exposure the better. Get them ALL taken out! I did mine over several sessions.
- The new materials are much better looking too cosmetically in that they are white and color match the teeth instead of silver. So not only will you be healthier but have a better smile. Plus there will be no metal taste and less temperature sensitivity when dealing with hot or cold liquids.
- If your dentist refuses find another dentist. They are lots of them in every city.
- Then you wait for the mercury to clear from you system over time.
- Take a selenium supplement or make sure your multi vitamin/multi mineral has it. Selenium binds with mercury and will help to detoxify you. Selenium is a component of several detox enzymes in your body. 100 micrograms of selenium yeast per day is fine. You can buy it a drugstore, vitamin store, muscle man shop, mass market chain, supermarket for about five dollars. Don’t take more than the recommended dose think you will get ahead.
- Take a normal multi mineral/multi vitamin daily to get your mineral balance right which may be off. I mean Centrum, One a Day, Nature Made, Costco brand etc.
- Take fish oil i.e. DHA pills daily with meals. Make sure they are molecularly distilled to remove impurities. You can get these at mass market stores, drug stores for ten to twenty dollars depending on size of bottle. This will help rebuild damaged nerve cells.
- Eat healthy and drink foods full of anti-oxidants like orange juice, fruit, coffee, tea etc.
- You will also need to eat protein in the form of meat or plant protein to help build enzymes
- There is no need to chelate or do any wacky thing like that. That is dangerous and can lead to problems if you use DMSA or another chelator. They will create further mineral imbalances.
- Buy a water filter like PUR or Brita or fridge door filter. You don’t need any lead from old pipes in some cities, especially when detoxing. Drink that water not stuff straight from the tap. A fridge filter also works well. See the example of Flint, MI where water was full of lead.
- Don’t smoke tobacco. Cigarettes often contain cadmium, arsenic and other nasty toxic elements from the ground the plants grew in. I don’t know about marijuana but best not to smoke anything.
- Avoid exposure to other heavy metals such as lead which is found in some cosmetics, at shooting ranges in the air as bullets are made from it.
- Getting rid of fillings will not cure some other weird disease however it will make you healthier. If the element is toxic why would you allow someone to put it in your body when there are safer alternatives available?
I will post several articles you can read so you can make up your own mind.