Mercury is the most toxic of the heavy metals. It is a well known poison and is toxic as a vapour and when bound to other molecules such as methyl mercury.
Mercury has been used in dentistry in amalgam fillings for over 150 years and continues to be used. An amalgam filling is half mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc and copper. It was thought for many years that the mercury was locked into the filling but research over the last 40 years has shown that it is slowly released and absorbed into our bodies. The release of mercury from the fillings increases when we eat, brush our teeth and drink hot liquids.
What are the effects?
The effects of mercury from fillings come from long term chronic exposure to continual small amounts of mercury being released from the fillings. There are many reported signs and symptoms of mercury toxicity but the ones I have most commonly found in my patients are fatigue and lack of energy, psychological effects such as poor short term memory, poor concentration, anxiety and depression and susceptibility to infections due to a depressed immune system. (For a more comprehensive explanation see the articles on mercury and amalgams)
It is estimated that from five to thirteen percent of people are actually allergic or sensitive to mercury. This means that about one in ten people will have an immune response which could be affecting their health.
Why does it matter?
Metals in the mouth cause small electric currents and galvanic corrosion of fillings. More mercury is given off your fillings when there is gold in your mouth. Gold can be used in fillings and is often found in crowns. These electric currents can also interfere with the energy flow in your acupuncture meridians and may effect the electric currents and hence the proper functioning of your brain.
So what should you do if you have mercury in your mouth? Definitely do not go out and just have your amalgam fillings removed. This can in some cases cause an increase in your symptoms due to the mercury released when the fillings are removed. As we do at Natural Dentistry, you need a proper work up before treatment which includes a comprehensive medical history, a tailored programme of detoxification to remove the mercury from your body, then use of the most biocompatible materials to fill/restore your tooth back to health.
The Natural Dentistry Difference
At Natural Dentistry when the amalgam fillings are removed we place a barrier between you and the treatment so you do not swallow or inhale the mercury that is released as vapour, aerosol, or powdered pieces from the fillings. This barrier is in the form of a rubber dam which isolates the teeth being treated so amalgam will not be swallowed, a nosepiece which can deliver clean air, Oxygen filtered through the room, and eye covers to prevent absorption and protect the eyes from the aerosol created.
When amalgams are removed we prescribe a tailored programme of detoxification which will help remove mercury from your body and also protect against the effects of mercury.
This would include vitamin and mineral supplements such as Glutathione and vitamin C, which could be administered intra-venously and selenium which can bind mercury. Herbs, homeopathy and even chelating drugs can be useful depending on the degree of toxicity the patient is experiencing. This programme is started a week before treatment and continued for up to three months following treatment.