When we visit the dentist, many of us will have encountered "silver" fillings, these are known as Amalgam. These fillings date back to the early 19th century and are composed of a unique blend of 50% silver alloy and 50% liquid mercury. Mercury, as many of us are aware by now, is a notorious toxic substance, and Amalgam is no exception to its risky reputation when it comes to our health!
The Toxic Nature of Mercury
Mercury, in all its forms, is one of the most toxic substances known to humanity. It attacks nerve cells, damages kidney tissue, and obstructs crucial biochemical reactions within our bodies. It is, essentially, a poison and what’s more concerning is that Amalgam fillings continuously release or "emit" mercury vapour. Simple daily activities such as chewing, sipping hot beverages, or consuming acidic foods can intensify this release.
Mercury Vapour Absorption
The World Health Organization (WHO) has, in its assessment, identified Amalgam fillings (excluding occupational exposure) as the largest source of mercury exposure for people. Mercury vapour finds its way into the body through multiple pathways and it permeates the cheek lining, gaining access to the lungs. It can also be drawn in by the olfactory nerves in the nose, providing a direct route to the brain. Mercury from these fillings undergoes a transformation facilitated by oral bacteria, converting into organic methyl-mercury and breaking through the blood-brain barrier.
Health Implications of Chronic Exposure
While specific diseases cannot be directly linked to mercury from Amalgam fillings, chronic exposure to low levels of this toxic element has been proven to induce dysfunction in various bodily functions. This includes the nervous system, kidneys, heart, liver, endocrine glands (particularly the thyroid), digestive tract, and the immune system.
When mercury from Amalgam fillings enters the large intestine, it disrupts beneficial bacteria and fosters the overgrowth of pathological yeast. This can then contribute to multiple symptoms such as chronic bloating, hair loss, skin rashes, acne and food sensitivities.
Here are some symptoms to look out for if you have amalgam fillings. These are common signs that could indicate mercury vapours are being released from your filling:
- Feeling nervous and irritable
- Ongoing headaches
- Ear ringing/tinnitus
- Twitching muscles
- Feeling weak often
- Experiencing tremors
- A metallic taste in the mouth
- Feeling nauseous
Safe Removal: The SMART Protocol
The scientific community continues to debate the problems surrounding Amalgam fillings and therefore removal or replacement should ultimately be a personal decision, made in consultation with a knowledgeable healthcare professional. You can consult with a holistic dentist about your options to remove Amalgam fillings and reduce toxin exposure.
If you do decide to have your Amalgam fillings removed, it’s vital that this is done with a holistic dentist. This is because regular dentists, although well-trained and skilled in handling Amalgam outside the mouth, are not always equipped to shield you and those around you from the vapour generated during the drilling of Amalgam fillings. For example: as your dentist begins to drill the old Amalgam filling, tiny particles and vapour will scatter throughout your mouth, this poses a risk of inhalation. The particles that fall into your mouth are swiftly absorbed into your bloodstream through your cheek lining. The dentist will also attempt to capture the vapour with a suction instrument but this escapes through another end and disperses throughout the room. This exposes not only you, but also the staff and other clients in the regular dental office to the vapour! Studies even demonstrate contamination of air and furniture surfaces with mercury vapour in these environments.
The Connection Between Chronic Mercury Exposure and Alzheimer's Disease
Emerging research has also highlighted a troubling link between chronic mercury exposure, such as that from Amalgam fillings, and Alzheimer's disease. One study, published in the July 2015 issue of "Alzheimer's Research & Therapy," concluded that women exposed to mercury amalgam fillings were 13.2% more likely to develop Alzheimer's than their non-exposed counterparts. Another study in the "Journal of Alzheimer's Disease" (February 2010) found that inorganic mercury promotes neurodegenerative disorders. The author is quoted "As the single most effective public health primary preventive measure, industrial and medical usage of mercury should be eliminated as soon as possible."
A Path to Safer Removal and Improved Health
So why do some dentists continue to use Amalgam, and why does the ADA continue to promote them? It’s difficult to pinpoint an exact answer to this and it’s possible that it could even be down to an unwillingness to change.
It's crucial that you are aware if you have Amalgam fillings, they can be removed safely!
If you would you like to have your Amalgam filling removed you should:
- Seek a dentist who is "SMART-certified" by the IAOMT.
- Find a healthcare provider experienced in safely detoxifying the body from heavy metal accumulation. You should keep in mind that this process should be gradual, as it took years to accumulate these toxins in your body. Avoid overloading your system during the detoxification process.
In conclusion, the dangers associated with Amalgam fillings are in fact a matter of concern and understanding the risks and opting for safe removal under the guidance of a qualified healthcare team is a crucial step towards safeguarding your health and well-being. You should be carrying out a protocol pre and post removal:
- Make sure to do a 21 Day Reset before removing any Amalgam fillings, this will ensure to open detox pathways (restocking soon!).
- Start a heavy metal detox 1-2 weeks before removal. Click here for a FREE heavy metal detox protocol. The day of, and the next week (really week 1 and 2) use an infrared sauna. For low EMFs sauna recommendations, please see here.
Klimenko, E. (2017) The dangers of amalgam fillings - by dr Elena Klimenko - Functional medicine, Elena Klimenko, MD - Functional Medicine Doctor. Available at: https://www.drelenaklimenko.com/the-dangers-of-amalgam-fillings/ (Accessed: 01 September 2023).
Blodgett, D.K. (2022) Introducing the trios 3D dental imaging system, Blodgett Dental Care. Available at: https://www.blodgettdentalcare.com/mercury-exposure-and-alzheimers-disease/ (Accessed: 01 September 2023).
McCullough, M J, and M J Tyas. “Local adverse effects of amalgam restorations.” International dental journal vol. 58,1 (2008): 3-9. doi:10.1111/j.1875-595x.2008.tb00170.x
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