All silver-colored fillings are dental amalgam fillings, and each of these fillings is approximately 50% mercury. Although a number of other countries have banned or limited their use, dental mercury amalgams are still being used in many regions of the world, including in the USA.
Mercury is continuously emitted from dental amalgam fillings, and it is absorbed and retained in the body, particularly in the brain, kidney, liver, lung, and gastrointestinal tract. The output of mercury can be intensified by the number of fillings and other activities, such as chewing, teeth-grinding, and the consumption of hot liquids. Mercury is also known to be released during the placement, replacement, and removal of dental mercury amalgam fillings.
Dental Amalgam Danger: Human Health Risks Linked to Mercury Fillings
Dental mercury and its vapor have been scientifically linked to a number of health risks which demonstrate the danger of dental amalgam mercury fillings. Individual response to mercury varies, and some of the factors known to potentially impact those exposed to mercury include their allergies, diet, gender, genetic predispositions to adverse reactions from mercury, the number of amalgam fillings in the mouth, and concurrent or previous exposures to other toxic chemicals such as lead (Pb). Scientific studies have identified dental mercury as a potentially causational or exacerbating factor in the conditions included on this table:
|Allergies, especially to mercury||Alzheimer’s disease||Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)|
|Antiobiotic resistance||Autism spectrum disorders||Autoimmune disorders/immunodeficiency|
|Cardiovascular problems||Chronic fatigue syndrome||Complaints of unclear causation|
|Hearing loss||Kidney disease||Micromercurialism|
|Multiple Sclerosis||Oral lichenoid reaction and oral lichen planus||Parkinson’s disease|
|Periodontal disease||Psychological issues such as depression and anxiety||Reproductive dysfunction|
|Suicidal ideations||Symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning||Thyroditis|
Pregnant women and children are known to be susceptible populations to the danger of mercury from amalgam fillings, and researchers have also demonstrated danger to dentists and dental personnel who routinely work with dental amalgam mercury fillings.
Steps to Reduce Dental Amalgam Danger
Whereas “mercury-free” dentists no longer place amalgam fillings and use available alternatives, “mercury-safe” dentists apply special techniques to remove existing amalgam fillings. In fact, the IAOMT has developed rigorous recommendations for removing existing dental mercury amalgam fillings to assist in mitigating the potential danger of mercury exposure to patients, dental professionals, dental students, office staff, and others.