Heavy Metals, Mercury and Amalgam Fillings
Heavy metals can cause or be related to a large number of symptoms in your body. The symptoms can be emotional or behavioural such as irritability insomnia, fatigue, lethargy and mood swings or it might be physical problems like digestive issues, muscle pain, headaches or kidney disease. There are also systemic issues like low blood sugar, faintness or nervous system disorders like numbness tremours, pins and needles and lack of coordination
All of these things can be caused by common materials used dentistry. Many heavy metals like zinc, chromium and iron are essential in tiny amounts. If these metals accumulate too much in your body they can poison you. The most common heavy metals associated with poisoning are lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium.
Often we don’t give a second thought or worry about what materials the dentist uses because they have been given the seal of approval so we take it on face value that it’s okay to use these things in our mouths.
But the problem is that some of these materials and metals when tested in clinical trails were found not to be safe.
Toxins, Heavy Metals and Health
The world we live in today is more toxic and polluted than ever before with air pollution, food pollution and water pollution. Our bodies in the past were not as stressed by the toxins we encountered and the demands of a modern lifestyle.
Many of us today are so toxic that we are constantly on the edge of chronic illness and the materials used in your dental work could be adding to your problems or even causing them.
A metal is an element that freely transfers electrons, which means an electrical current can run through it. Some metals are better at this than others and this makes them very volatile in how they a interact with the tissues in our body.
The ability for a metal to transfer electrons allows it to become bioactive or have a greater reactivity in your cells. The metal changes the chemistry of how the cells function and we call this dysfunction.
Metals In Dentistry
So why am I talking about metals it’s because dentistry commonly uses metals as filling materials, the most common one being dental amalgam or silver fillings. I commonly get asked if these fillings are safe and if I need to do anything about them.
Those silver amalgam fillings are about 50 percent mercury mixed in with other metals like silver, cooper, zinc and tin. Mercury is a heavy metal and it is among the most neurotoxic elements on earth. That means mercury can and does damage the nerve tissues in your brain and also all of your nervous system, which send signals from your brain to the rest of your body.
There is no safe level of mercury for the human body. This means it is harmful at all doses. In dentistry the law states that any scraps of filling material from amalgam have to be treated like a toxic substance and need to be disposed of as hazardous waste. So no matter if those scraps are from putting in a new filing or removing an old one we are not allowed to throw them in the bin or wash them down the sink.
It’s crazy but the only safe place to put amalgam fillings has been deemed to be in a human being!
Why Are Amalgam Mercury Fillings Still Used?
So why are amalgam fillings not banned when mercury is known to be so toxic? the problem is the dental associations say it is not for them to dictate what the dentist does or does not use. Even using the line the mercury fillings are manufactured by the dentist who mixes the alloy of metals with mercury at the time so that makes the dentists responsible for manufacturing the material. And to make matters worse the American Dental Association owned two patents for amalgam fillings that include mercury.
Today it is estimated that the use of mercury fillings has dropped by over 50% this is because we want teeth to look white and natural and we now have newer products that we can use instead. However some insurance plans will only pay for mercury fillings in countries like the United States and the UK. Many people think dentists don’t use amalgam anymore but this is not true and we are still training all our dental students to use it. It is a material that is affordable and quick and easy to use and it lasts a long time so many dentists still like to use it as their number one filling choice.
Holistic Dentistry and Mercury Fillings
Holistic dentists and other groups have been lobbying for a formal ban on the use of mercury fillings or to have it classified as more toxic, there have been many lawsuits around this. Having it classified as toxic would require additional restrictions on its use and more stringent proof of safety.
So lets focus on mercury – what are its health effects?
Mercury from your fillings is not bound to the other metals it is constantly being released. This happens more dramatically when your teeth grind together or against hard things when you chew, have acidic drinks or foods or have hot foods and liquids. Mercury vapour is released which gets breathed in or absorbs directly through the cheeks and insides of your mouth.
The effect is worse if mercury fillings are grinding against each other.
Dentists are taught and claim that the mercury is locked up or bound in the filling and it does not leak. But science has proven otherwise, the mercury does leak out from the moment it is placed in your tooth.
It is a fact that mercury is a toxin that affects you brain and nervous system, your cardiovascular system and your immune system.
Mercury gets stored in fat cells, ok so what fat doesn’t do anything but guess what your brain is mostly fat, our nerves are coated with fat for insulation so they can send signals along themselves. Our brain and nerves are like mercury magnets.
When mercury contacts your brain the neurons (nerve cells) break down and short-circuit. These are your nerve cells that signal and send information. A low level of mercury causes your brain fibres to shrink.
Your body is designed to constantly heal and repair itself but if the damage or attack is ongoing eventually your cells can’t keep up, they get worn out and fatigue sets in. Eventually your body breaks down with what we call cell disease.
This happens in the brain and your nervous system throughout the body.
The problem with mercury toxicity is it does not cause one symptom or specific condition or set of problems, the affects are very variable which makes it hard to detect and treat.
That mercury which is supposed to be locked in your teeth and never leave the filling spreads around your body, this was proven in sheep studies where they mixed radioactive mercury into amalgam fillings and placed it in the teeth of sheep. When the sheep were tested there was little to no mercury in the blood and urine that are the recommended tests to see if you are mercury burdened. The tests showed high levels in the kidneys of the sheep as well as the liver, brain, stomach and jawbone.
The mercury leaves your fillings and goes to organs that have a lot of fat.
Your brain and gut have a lot of fat. Your gut is your second brain, which controls your immune system. This means that people with mercury exposure often have immune problems as well as other issues as mentioned earlier.
Mercury is foreign to your body, and creates what are known as metalloproteins, these get targeted by the immune system and are linked to autoimmune illnesses. When mercury combines with body proteins your immune system sees them as foreign and will do all it can to remove them. The trouble is the mercury protein is so similar to your normal protein your immune system gets mixed up so targets both the bad and the good proteins.
Mercury Exposure – we ingest mercury from our foods like tuna and plants, the air that we breathe and other environmental sources like industrial waste. This adds to the toxic load stored in your body. Pollution from coal burning releases mercury into the air which then falls as rain and contaminates water supplies and our soils. Dental office waste also pollutes our water supply.
Beauty products can contain mercury especially those from overseas or off the Internet.
How to Stop Mercury Exposure
The only way to stop mercury exposure from your dental amalgam fillings is to have them safely removed, by a holistic SMART certified dentist like Evolve Dental holistic dentist Brisbane.
In Part 2 I will explain how to ensure you have your mercury fillings safely removed and what you should have them replaced with.
Book a consult to remove your mercury fillings today 07 3720 1811 or use the contact page.
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