This week is Mercury-Free Dentistry Week – an occasion launched by Dr. Mercola and Consumers for Dental Choice to raise awareness about the personal and environmental health hazards of mercury amalgam “silver” fillings and encourage all to keep working toward a mercury-free future.
And there’s certainly work yet to be done. Consider the recent news about the Department of Health and Human Services blocking a proposed FDA warning against amalgam for some populations.
The proposal, approved by top FDA officials in late 2011 and kept secret since, would have told dentists they should not use mercury fillings in cavities in pregnant women, nursing moms, children under 6 and people with mercury allergies, kidney diseases or neurological problems.
It also urged dentists to avoid using fillings that contain mercury compounds in any patient, where possible.
Mercury is often described as insidious. Once in people’s lungs, it moves to the bloodstream and can accumulate in the kidneys, liver and brain, where it damages the central nervous system. It has been linked to an array of health problems, including memory loss, nerve damage, autoimmune diseases, vision problems, kidney failure, depression, autism and foggy thinking. Recent research suggests it may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. It also can be lethal.
Indeed, mercury – particularly once it’s methylated – is one of the most toxic elements there is. It’s especially damaging to an organ seated just inches from the teeth: the brain. Indeed, neurological problems are common among chronically ill patients with mercury fillings. So are autoimmune conditions, gastrointestinal disorders and enigmatic illnesses such as multiple chemical sensitivities, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
The great German physician and scientist Dr. Reinhold Voll said that as much as 90% of all systemic illness can be traced to oral conditions – including the presence of mercury fillings. (Others include root canal teeth and cavitations.)
Our practice has been mercury-free since the 1970s, after Dr. Erwin began to learn of the research then emerging from Germany on mercury toxicity and other oral-systemic issues. Through this – and incorporating the same holistic approach to life he was raised with from his youngest years – he (and we) have been able to help many patients seeking to improve their health.
For instance, there was the gentleman who complained of facial pain and tiredness – both of which put a damper on his ability to play music. After safe mercury removal and detox, he wrote to us that the pain had gone, strength had returned, and “my trumpet performance is better than ever!” Overall, he described his health as “dramatically improved.”
Or consider the woman who claimed that, before treatment, “amalgam fillings were killing me – literally.”
I was toxic and did not understand the extent of the toxicity in my body and how that was depressing my spirit and mental function. I was dizzy and had to hold onto walls to walk about 25% of every day. I thought I was getting OLD. I gave up on my dreams and goals.
My purposes are revitalized! I am awake and alert and feel vitality and an interest in life returning. I am a bright and sunny influence to others and my environment. I am happy and make others around me happier, too. The dizziness is almost completely gone. I have lost 30 pounds and my body is stronger than it was 15 years ago. Watch out world!
Stories like these are not necessarily typical, nor can we validate their medical claims. But they do illustrate just what a difference amalgam removal and proper, supervised detox can make in the lives of those who develop mercury toxicity.
If you suspect that your mercury fillings may be causing problems, there are a number of things that are crucial to keep in mind:
- Get tested by a well-qualified biological dentist or naturopath. Find out whether the fillings are indeed an issue and, if so, to what degree.
- If you choose to have your mercury fillings removed, have biocompatibility testing done to make sure you’re not sensitive to the materials used to replace them.
- If you choose to have your mercury fillings removed, make sure the dentist who does the work is mercury-SAFE, as well as mercury-free. (Learn the difference.) The IAOMT protocol for safe mercury removal is standard.
- Both before and after the procedures, guided detox should be provided to help your body effectively clear the mercury it has stored up – if not by the dentist, then a physician, naturopath or other qualified practitioner in collaboration with the dentist.