Conventional dental fillings are a mixture of metals consisting of approximately 50% mercury, followed by silver, copper, tin and zinc. Most people are unaware that their so-called silver fillings are composed primarily of mercury, which is a potent neurotoxin.
Studies have shown that over time, mercury leaches out of the fillings in the form of vapor or abraded particles. Where does it go? Some of the mercury is swallowed as it can mix with foods, some may be inhaled in the form of vapor, and some may be exhaled.
While many people are seemingly unaffected by this exposure, others can develop symptoms due to the chronic nature of the exposure. The American Dental Association (ADA) continues to hold the position that these fillings are completely safe and that fewer than 100 cases of allergic reactions to the fillings have ever been reported. The ADA recommends that amalgam fillings should not be removed for the sole purpose of reducing mercury levels. However, it would appear that a growing number of persons are showing signs of sensitivity to them, which can be expressed in many symptoms. These side effects can vary from individual to individual, perhaps due to the differences in genetic make-up, diet and social factors, medical and dental histories. Certain medical conditions like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), certain forms of cancer and environmental illness may be aggravated by mercury exposure. It is up to the individual, and not the dentist, to decide if removing their mercury amalgams is appropriate for them.
Some of the more common symptoms reported include: neurological dysfunction, muscle and nerve pain, brain fog, cognitive dysfunction, chronic fatigue, irritability, headache, unusual sensitivity to light/sound/odors/temperatures, metallic taste in mouth, heart irregularities (arrhythmia & palpitations, tingling sensation in the extremities and bouts of rage!
Studies have suggested that mercury from dental fillings may be released when someone drinks hot liquids like coffee or tea – the mercury is vaporized and turns into gas which can be inhaled into the lungs and by chewing foods, gum, or sticky candy-allowing the abraded particles to enter the digestive tract. Mercury can also enter the blood stream through the dentin layer of tooth. These structures are like straws that start just below the enamel layer and reach all the way down inside the tooth to where the blood supply is located. Once mercury enters the body, it can be deposited into the tissues, organs and bones of the affected individual.
There are even more insidious events that occur in the body when mercury fillings are present. Since bacteria live in the mouth and intestinal tract, there are various common strains like Streptococcus Mutan, E. Coli and Lactobacillus that can “methylate” mercury into methyl mercury, which is 100x more toxic, especially to the nervous system, than liquid or vapor mercury. Methyl mercury has been shown to deactivate critical enzymes and proteins in the body interfering with crucial metabolic process. It can combine with hemoglobin and decrease oxygen transport. Anyone who is considering having their mercury fillings removed should first consult their primary physician and/or alternative care physician ruling out any other medical conditions or contraindications.