I have been planning to write some posts about dental health for some time. Lucky for you there is the HealThy Mouth World Summit coming up in less than 2 weeks that will give you far more information than I can. However, I want to go ahead and get you started. Hopefully this will help you understand why you should even care.
When I was a child we were taught about dental health in school. We were taught how to brush our teeth and given those red tablets to show us where we were missing with our tooth brushes. (Is this still done?) I brushed my teeth once a day and went to get them cleaned at the dentist twice a year. It seemed to work! I had no cavities as a young child.
Then when I was 12 or so I got braces. I don’t remember much about them other than that they hurt. I wore them for 4 years. In those 4 years I got the only cavities of my entire life. 6 of them. I was blamed for them and told it was because I did not brush well enough. I don’t know why my brushing was fine before and after my braces but not while they were on my mouth. I no longer believe that brushing or toothpaste have a significant impact on oral health. I have met people who have reversed their children’s severe tooth decay with diet changes. But my family did not know about this possibility and so when I got cavities we turned to the dentist to “fix” them.
My dentist filled my teeth with “silver” amalgam fillings. That is what he filled everyone’s teeth with. I don’t know if my parents knew that those fillings were 50% mercury. Even if they knew they wouldn’t have worried. They trusted our dentist completely. He surely wouldn’t have ever put anything in our mouths that was dangerous or harmful. I have no doubt that he honestly thought that those fillings were completely safe and that the best thing to do with a cavity was to fill it as soon as possible before it got bigger.
Over the past 15 years or so I have begun to learn more about mercury. At first I only knew it as the silver stuff in a thermometer. I heard that it was poisonous but never really appreciated what that meant. I also did not know at first that my fillings contained mercury. Now that I know more about mercury I am shocked that anyone ever thought it was a good idea to put it into peoples mouths! Just in case you aren’t aware of the risks of Mercury here is a list of the symptoms of mercury poisoning according to WebMD.
Impairment of peripheral vision.
Disturbances in sensations (“pins and needles” feelings, usually in the hands, feet, and around the mouth).
Neuromuscular changes (such as weakness, muscle atrophy, twitching).
Disturbances in sensations.
Changes in nerve responses.
Performance deficits on tests of cognitive function.
At higher exposures there may be kidney effects, respiratory failure and death.
damage to the gastrointestinal tract, the nervous system, and the kidneys.
Skin rashes and dermatitis.
I have symptoms from this list as well as many others. There are other lists of symptoms that have resolved in people after their amalgam fillings were removed. Here is one such list of Symptoms of Chronic Mercury Poisoning.
In my quest to learn more about mercury amalgam fillings I recently readIt’s All in Your Head: The Link Between Mercury Amalgams and Illness. This book documents Dr Hal Huggins experience studying amalgam fillings and the amazing healing he has seen in many patients who had their amalgams removed. The ADA says that all of those cures were spontaneous and had nothing to do with the fillings being removed just days before. They deny that mercury in fillings could possibly cause an adverse health outcome. It is an informative book and I recommend it to anyone with mercury amalgams fillings in their mouth. Read it before you do anything about them.
Below are some facts that I learned from reading that book.
In the 1980′s, the ADA sent a list of precautions to all dentists about how they were to handle the amalgam material. Here are just some of them
Store Mercury in unbreakable, tightly sealed containers.
Use a no-Touch technique for handling the amalgam.
Salvage all amalgam scrap and store it under water.
Work in a well-ventilated space.
Avoid heating mercury or amalgam.
Alert all personnel involved in handling mercury, especially during training or indoctrination periods, of the potential hazard of mercury vapor and the necessity for observing good mercury hygiene practices.
Those of you with amalgam fillings I will ask you these questions.
Has your tongue ever touched a filling in your mouth?
Is your mouth well ventilated?
Do you avoid heating amalgam (drinking hot coffee)?
Were you advised before that amalgam was placed in your mouth to be very careful to never touch it or breathe the fumes from it?
Of course none of that is possible in a mouth and yet it is how the very material that is placed in your mouth is to be handled before and after it goes into your mouth. What could make the material highly toxic everywhere except for in a person’s mouth?
There is also an idea that the mercury is tightly bound in the filling and none of it can leach out into your body. Dr Huggins removed fillings from peoples mouths and then had them tested for how much mercury was in them. Remember that an amalgam filling will have about 50% mercury. After just five years in someones mouth one filling was found to only have 27% mercury. Another two fillings were tested. Each had 36% mercury. One was 7 years old and the other was 11. Clearly it does not leach out at the same rate for every person but it does leach out at an alarming rate. My fillings are each over 2o years old. I wonder how much mercury even remains in them.
I am not going to answer many of your questions here. I’m still seeking the answers myself. This year I will have my remaining 4 amalgam fillings removed. I was going to be getting the first one out next week but I have put that off now so that I can attend the HealThy Mouth Summit first. I am hopeful that the information from this summit will help me to make the best decisions about how to best protect my health when I have them removed and other steps I can take to recover my health.
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