As the holiday season fast approaches the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking a second look at the evidence showing the imminent health dangers of amalgam or ‘silver’ fillings. In July 2009, the FDA reviewed scientific evidence presented in regards to the serious health hazards caused by having these mercury based fillings sitting in the mouth of millions of Americans. What they learned then made them make a serious change. Now they may be seeing the further risks of continuing to use amalgam fillings.
The change the FDA made just eighteen months ago, reclassifying amalgam fillings from Class I (no risk) medical device to a Class II (more risk) medical device, is not enough protection for the American public. Four consumer advocacy groups petitioned the FDA to reconsider the evidence and ban the use of amalgam fillings. As of December 10, 2010, the FDA is actually considering this ban.
Amalgam 101: What’s in Your Mouth?
Do you have amalgam fillings? Chances are if you’ve ever had a cavity filled, it’s been filled with amalgam, which is the number one filling choice for dentists across the country. Amalgam is composed of liquid mercury (about 50% by weight), and powdered alloy metals; silver, tin, and copper. This filling material appears silver in color giving it the nickname ‘silver fillings.’
Amalgam fillings have been used for more than one hundred years to repair cavity damaged teeth of literally millions of people. So what’s the problem? According to a plethora of scientific data, these amalgam fillings leach dangerous, toxic mercury into the bodies of everyone who has them. The danger is not measured in one day but over the many years the fillings sit in the mouth.
According to numerous scientific studies, including those from the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), fillings release a toxic mercury vapor which travels throughout the body depositing in vital organs throughout.
Mercury vapors released increases with any type of stimulation–think chewing (food, gum, grinding the teeth, etc.) heat, and dental procedures such as dental cleanings. In their groundbreaking video, IAOMT, shows in plain sight the mercury vapors released from a twenty-five year old amalgam filling on a removed tooth. The video is shocking, informative, and a must see.
With simple stimulation that would occur everyday in a person’s mouth, the dangerous, toxic mercury vapors released increases. Do you ever drink hot tea or coffee? This simple, enjoyable indulgence raises the temperatures in your mouth, which is yet another cause of increased mercury vapor release. Ever get a piece of meat that’s a bit tough or pop a stick of gum in your mouth? This agitation again increases the mercury vapors released into your mouth which then travels through the rest of your body.
In two separate studies by the IAOMT, amalgam fillings were placed into the teeth of both sheep and monkeys. After just a few weeks, dangerous deposits of toxic mercury were found through out the body of these animals.
Mercury found in Vital Organs of Sheep and Monkeys:
- Heart Intestines
In addition, after just two weeks kidney function decreased by sixty percent, indicating kidney malfunction in the animals. Another problem found was that the monkeys were antibiotic resistant just two weeks after receiving these amalgam fillings.
If these dangerous health problems begin in just two weeks what is happening in our bodies that have amalgam fillings after several decades?
It’s vital to note here that the impact of amalgam on children, and pregnant and nursing women is of even greater concern. Even the FDA has warned dentists and the public about the potential impact on developing fetuses and small children with amalgam fillings. The health hazards increase for both of these groups and they should avoid amalgam fillings at all costs.
Mercury Exposure Causes Serious Health Issues
Mercury exposure, both in one large dose and through low level exposure over time, is linked through scientific data to kidney, brain, urological, fertility, neurological, and renal problems. These problems are even more severe in children and developing fetuses.
In the video, The Smoking Tooth, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology urge the government to ban the use of these fillings in the interest of public health. There are literally millions of people with mouths loaded with amalgam fillings. This is a serious health problem that must be faced immediately.
20 Signs & Symptoms of Mercury Exposure from Amalgam Fillings
(from the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology)
- Memory loss
- Concentration problems
- Numbness, tingling in hands, feet, fingers
- Muscle weakness
- Balance issues
- Tremors (hands, feet, eyes, fingers)
- Bleeding gums
- Shocks and pain in brain
- Stiff neck and shoulder pain
- Metallic taste
- Numbness of face
- Burning, tingling of lips
- Ringing ears
- Speech impairment
This list includes only twenty of the forty listed common symptoms from exposure to mercury through amalgam fillings. For the complete list and references to studies revealing these symptoms click here.
As you can see, the list of symptoms from amalgam filling poisoning is long and varied. As with all types of symptoms and signs of health issues it can vary from person to person as each person’s body chemistry is different, resulting in a variety of symptoms. If you have a mouth full (or even just a few) amalgam fillings I urge you to look into having them safely removed.
Alternatives to Amalgam Fillings
There are options to getting amalgam fillings. These are composite fillings, glass and plastic ionomers, and gold foil. However, if you are concerned (as you should be) about toxicity of amalgam fillings contact a consumer advocacy group where you’ll find needed information about amalgam fillings, what to do, and what dentists in your area can help you to safely remove your own amalgam fillings and replace them with materials proven to be safe. The proper methods of removal must be used, or you can end up causing even more damage to your body.
The following list provides links to these groups who will guide you in the right direction based on your individual circumstances:
Steps to Take if You Have Amalgam Fillings
If you do have amalgam fillings you’ll need to contact a holistic health care practitioner for advice on safe removal, nutritional support, and detoxification from mercury exposure. Visit the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) to find a holistic physician to help you with safely dealing with amalgam fillings you may already have.
In the Nashville area where I live, I personally recommend Dr. Nina Foley (www.drninafoley.com)
It’s vital to arm yourself with information and take action to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of mercury exposure in your own mouth. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “dental amalgam is the greatest source of inorganic mercury for the general population.” Act now!
Dr. Axe's Action Steps
- Be sure that you opt out of amalgam fillings for your children even if you have to pay more for composite fillings this is an important health issue. Protect them now.
- Take a look in your own mouth. Do you have amalgam or ‘silver’ fillings?