How Can You Tell If Your “Silver” Fillings Are Making You Mercury Toxic?
Most people will get at least one dental filling during their lifetimes. Designed to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay or injury, fillings can be made from many materials, but one in particular – dental amalgam, used to make “silver” fillings – can be a problem.
Despite the name, those “silver” fillings are made mostly of mercury, and that mercury does not stay locked within the filling. Some is released with every bite and swallow. It’s released when amalgams are brushed, polished, or drilled. A clenching or grinding habit can release even more mercury vapor, and environmental factors such as exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMFs) have been shown to accelerate mercury release.
Overall, the mercury vapor released from amalgam fillings can be more than a thousand times higher than the EPA allows for the air we breathe.
That vapor passes readily through cell membranes, across the blood-brain barrier, and into your central nervous system, where it can cause psychological, neurological, and immunological problems. It can cause mercury toxicity.
What Are the Signs of Mercury Toxicity?
One of the challenges posed by mercury is that not everyone gets sick from amalgam or sick in the same way. Some people are able to excrete mercury quite efficiently, while it bioaccumulates more easily in others. For a person with ongoing health problems, mercury fillings can be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back, while a healthy person with amalgams may experience no real trouble until other toxic exposures make the burden too great to bear.
Every person is different. Each must be evaluated as an individual.
Still, there are some symptoms that occur more often than others and may be considered potential signs of mercury toxicity. These include
- A metallic taste.
- Memory problems.
- Brain fog.
- Depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Hearing loss.
- Muscle weakness.
- Speech impairment.
- Food sensitivities.
- Gastrointestinal issues.
- Impaired immunity.
- Kidney problems.
- Respiratory problems.
- Skin disorders
You can download a list of major symptoms – with scientific references – here.
Additionally, there are a good number of chronic health problems in which mercury toxicity may play a role, either triggering or worsening symptoms. Here are some of the most common:
- Chronic migraines
- Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other neurological disorders
- Multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders
- Cardiac and respiratory issues
- Multiple chemical sensitivities, fibromyalgia, and other enigmatic disorders.
How Do You Find Out If Mercury Fillings Are Harming Your Health?
There are a number of testing methods available to determine whether you’re experiencing mercury toxicity or something else. Various tests can measure the amount of mercury in your urine or feces, for instance, giving us a sense of your overall exposure. Blood tests can be done, as well, although these tend to be better for testing recent rather than long-term exposures.
In our office, we refer our patients to knowledgeable and qualified medical doctors for such testing. Once we get the results from them, we can then create a customized plan of action for replacing your mercury fillings with biocompatible alternatives and coordinating your detox plan.
That last point is crucial, since removing the fillings is only an important first step. However, it doesn’t help with the mercury that’s become stored in the body over the years. Physician-guided detox is needed to help the body clear all that metal.
What Should I Do If I Have Mercury Fillings?
Whether you have health problems and are concerned that mercury toxicity may be playing a role or are healthy but have mercury fillings you want to have removed for safety’s sake, the first thing to do is to consult a highly qualified and properly certified biological dentist, like those here in our holistic dental practice in Milburn. (We have several to choose from!) Make sure they are certified in biological dentistry by the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine and/or the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART) developed by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.
If you choose a dentist who is not familiar with mercury toxicity or the safe removal of mercury fillings, there’s the potential that you may be exposed to dangerous amounts of mercury vapor during the removal process, and that can lead to great harm.
You also want to be sure to choose a dentist who can help you with the detox portion of your healing journey, as well, whether directly or by referral to a trusted integrative or naturopathic physician.
While biocompatibility testing is always a good option, it’s especially important if you have a history of sensitivities or ongoing health issues. This test tells us which materials are the best match for your unique biochemistry. The main amalgam alternatives are composite and ceramic/porcelain, but there are many different brands, and different people can react to them in different ways.
The dangers posed by mercury amalgam dental fillings are very real – and very preventable. We’re here to help you every step of the way, addressing this and any other dental barriers that may be keeping you from living your healthiest, most vibrant life. We encourage you to be proactive and take control of your health.