Luckily, these days, the use of amalgam fillings is ever decreasing. Amalgam fillings used to be the norm to fill dental cavities and are comprised of liquid mercury (roughly 50% by weight), and powdered alloy metals; silver, tin, and copper. These appear to be “silver” in the mouth.
Nowadays they use “white” fillings are made of composite (usually plastics and ceramics which have their own issues, Bisphenol A or BPA leeching for one) which offer a safer but perhaps not completely harmless solution. That is a post for another time.
According to the American Dental Association and the Food and Drug Administration the use of amalgam fillings have “150-year proven track record of as one of the safest, most durable and least expensive materials used to a fill a cavity. Ongoing scientific studies conducted over the past 100 years continue to show that amalgam is not harmful.”
This is based on the assumption that mercury as a bonding agent, when mixed with other metals, is rendered harmless. This is, however, a false and alarming assumption. There are many studies that indicate amalgam fillings may, indeed, be toxic to the body.
One such study done by Dr. Anne Summers, a microbiologist at the University of Georgia,discovered that animal subjects with amalgam fillings have higher levels of mercury in their GI tract, feces, and throughout their bodies than subjects that had consumed mercury-rich fish on a daily basis. Other studies have concluded that children, when exposed to high levels of mercury, show varying degrees of mental impairment and still more studies concluded that people with amalgam fillings have shown signs of psychological disturbances such as anxiety, depression, and short term memory loss, with some experiencing extreme symptoms such as tremors and even seizures.
There are even studies that show that mothers with more than six amalgam fillings in their mouths have a greater risk of delivering a child with Autism. This study was done by Dr. Mark Geier, president of Genetics Center of America and founder of Autism Spectrum Disorders Research Centers.
So how can a compound that both the ADA and the FDA say is safe cause so many issues? Two words. Mercury toxicity. (It should be noted that just recently the FDA has warned dentists and the public about the potential impact on developing fetuses and small children with amalgam fillings. They are at least talking about the health hazards increasing for both of these groups and recommending to avoid amalgam fillings at all costs. It’s a step in the right direction but what about the rest of us? Elderly? Those with chronic illnesses.)
The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) report that amalgam fillings release a toxic mercury vapor which travels system wide throughout the body depositing mercury in vital organs. (Liver toxicity, kidneys, gall bladder, etc.)
Increased mercury vapors are released with any type of stimulation–think chewing (food, gum, grinding the teeth, etc.), heat (drinking hot drinks), and dental procedures such as dental cleanings. Every day that you eat hot food or drink hot beverages, are under stress and clamp down on your jaw, grind your teeth, or pretty much use your mouth in any way, your fillings are releasing mercury vapors into your body.
Bear in mind many people who still have amalgam fillings in their mouths have had them for decades. Mercury is toxic in large doses but small doses over a long period of time have the same or even greater effect. I compare it to black mold in a house. It can take years to cause a reaction but when it does, it is usually a profound impact on the body. (or indeed any food), are under stress and bite down or grind your teeth in anger, or drink coffee ,tea, or your morning Detox Ginger, Lemon, Tea, if you have amalgam fillings in your mouth, mercury vapors are being released into your body.
Here are some of the many symptoms related to mercury poisoning::
Common Symptoms of Chronic Mercury Poisoning
Loss of appetite
Anger (fits of)
Fear and nervousness
Ringing in ears
Heartbeat rapid or irregular
Shortness of breath
|Muscles & Joints||Cramping
Lack of concentration
Memory loss, short and long term
|Nose||Inflammation of the nose
Excessive mucus formation
|Bad breath (halitosis)
Inflammation of the gums
Leukoplakia (white patches)
Ulcers of oral cavity
Loss of sense of smell
Skin cold and clammy
Vision problems (tunnel vision)
Water retention (edema)
And here are a few of the diseases and health issues that have mercury toxicity as, at the very least, a factor::
Diseases Related to Chronic Mercury Poisoning
Anterior lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Immune system disorders
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
I urge you, if you have amalgam fillings, to find a holistic dentist in your area (one that specializes in removing amalgam fillings safely) and discuss your options for other materials to replace the fillings as soon as possible. We will be discussing how to detox from heavy metal poisoning in subsequent posts!