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image © DRosenbach – Wikipedia (PD)
In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a guide to the replacement and safe disposal of mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers.  However, the fight against mercury began long before that, with scientific studies on the adverse health effects gaining widespread popularity in the mid to late 90s. The generation called “90s kids” will remember the mercury thermometer and how it was slowly phased out by the 2000s. However, mercury is still in contact with the human population because of old mercury fillings – you read that right! Cavities are filled with a substance with mercury as the main ingredient to prevent further damage to the tooth. As thermometers and other mercury sources were placed under intense scrutiny in the later years, a lot of people forgot that they were walking around with mercury in their mouths! 
Facts About Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings are typically made with mercury, silver, tin, and copper as the main components – 50 percent mercury in fact. While the term “silver filling” is still popular, the amalgam is still mainly mercury, a very toxic substance.
One of the most recent studies on mercury fillings was published in 2015 by Jones, et. al., focusing on how amalgam fillings are the most significant contributor to mercury levels in the body. Once considered “stable”, it has now been established that a low level of mercury leaches from these fillings over the years. The study found that the mercury was likely to migrate from the mouth to other parts of the body, seen in mercury deposits in test subjects’ hair.
Mercury is a cumulative toxin, meaning it gets stored in the body. Alarmingly, the longer the amalgam filling has been in a person’s mouth, the higher the mercury levels in the body. In fact, dental nurses who were exposed to mercury during their career and have since spent 30 years without direct exposure to mercury still experience dangerous alterations to their reproductive systems. 
This Fact Will Blow Your Mind
What we discovered when researching this piece was shocking and filled me with anger: It turns out that experts in mercury toxicology protested the use of mercury for fillings as early as the 1920s.
Alfred Stock (1876-1946) was a German inorganic chemist who did pioneering research on mercury and mercury poisoning. He published over 50 papers on different aspects of mercury and mercury poisoning and himself had first hand experience of mercury poisoning in 1923. He warned German dentists about amalgam fillings in 1928 but his warnings were ignored. Another German scientist, Fleischmann, published a paper describing the removal of mercury in amalgam-related illness had led to complete recovery (Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift 1928, No. 8). 
Can you believe this? Top scientists have been warning the dental profession about this practice now for 90 years…
I have a reason to be angry about this. My mother died in 1999 of Multiple Sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that has been linked to mercury poisoning by some scientists. She suffered terribly for 20 years with crippling, debilitating symptoms that slowly killed her. She had more mercury fillings than I have ever seen on anyone else. They pretty much filled her mouth with metal. We didn’t know anything about this at the time, and I will never be able to prove it – but I cannot help thinking that if she had had all the fillings removed and a course in chelation therapy, she might even be still alive.
Mercury Filling Removal
Many modern dental surgeries use “white fillings” instead (no mercury). However, this still leaves the old fillings that have been there in some cases for several decades. And the “official position” on this mercury is that you shouldn’t remove your fillings because replacing them will only further your exposure to the mercury vapors…
There are surgeries that specialize in mercury filling removal and they use a ventilator to draw the mercury out of the mouth and minimize the amount that is reabsorbed into the body. And you know what they do with the material they remove? It has to be disposed of as toxic waste, not regular trash. Yes, we have toxic waste in our bodies. Like many others, I was even given mercury fillings in the 1980s not because I had cavities, but because of “natural grooves” in my teeth that the dentists decided were best filled. Really, they were just lining their pockets… at the expense of our health.
If you are interested in having your mercury fillings removed, consult with a practice that specializes in this. Ask also about vitamin C and chelation therapies and find out if they will be suitable for you.
Many regular dentists will simply follow the official line and tell you not to bother having mercury fillings removed. If you are having dental maintenance work and an old mercury filling needs to be replaced or repaired, insist that the new filling is a white one (these are great in my experience), insist on the ventilator and state that you will use a different dental practice if they do not provide it.
When is this ghastly practice going to be banned forever? In 2009, the FDA re-evaluated the use of this kind of filling and still deemed it safe for people age six and above. There are newer studies begging to differ (like the 2015 study by Jones, et. al.). More and more groups like Consumers for Dental Choice have been calling for the FDA to reconsider its position on the use of mercury-laden dental amalgams. Remember, mercury is a heavy metal and poisoning can occur if it builds up over time inside the body. Would you want your child to have that in his or her mouth? 
How Mercury Amalgams Are Hurting You
Aside from absorption of toxic mercury through the oral mucosa (the mouth’s membrane), it is most dangerous when inhaled. It’s been established by studies that as you brush your teeth and expose your filling to acidic food, the amalgam releases mercury vapors, which are then absorbed by the body. The most dangerous way mercury reaches the bloodstream and travels through the body is through the lungs. It can affect your nervous, digestive, respiratory, and immune systems, causing multi-organ system failure. Even in low concentrations of mercury, tremors, impaired cognition, and sleep disturbance have all been well-documented adverse effects. 
Recently, more and more people are looking at how mercury is causing autoimmune disorders like arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis – conditions whose etiology (cause) has been mainly unknown and required further research. A 2014 study found that mercury caused autoantibodies to circulate in the bloodstream.  Autoantibodies attack the immune system, bringing rise to autoimmune disorders like arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.
More concerning – did you know that research like this has been published since the early 90’s? In 1994, a study cited mercury as one of the causes of multiple sclerosis. This means that the mere presence of low amounts of mercury in the blood can cause your immune system to turn on itself! Without an actively functioning immune system, we become more prone to disease, specifically infectious disease. 
Other Health Effects Of Mercury Fillings
As reported by the Journal of Biomedical Physics & Engineering,  mercury toxicity can decrease your output of neurotransmitters, namely:
Disrupting these neurotransmitters in the brain can cause serious neurological problems.
The mercury ingredient in “silver” fillings also produces dangers due to the fact the fillings have also been found to release mercury when in contact with a strong electromagnetic field.
According to the same journal, exposure to microwave radiation, most commonly associated with an MRI machine or a cellular phone can lead to an increased leak of mercury from the fillings.
As a further matter, the effects of being exposed to stronger magnetic fields lead to increased level of mercury in the body.
The study went on to link these higher than average levels of mercury in maternal women to an increased chance of having a child with abnormalities.
These disorders incorporate:
• Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
• Along with other disorders
These disorders can couple with autoimmune disorders as well. Who would ever think that getting a simple dental procedure could cause such some serious medical ailments?
Could this enormous medical oversight could be responsible for an array of other illnesses? Only further research will tell.
 World Health Organization (2011). Replacement of mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometers in healthcare. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/44592/1/9789241548182_eng.pdf
 Cabaña-Muñoz, M., et. al. (2015). Increased Zn/Glutathione Levels and Higher Superoxide Dismutase-1 Activity as Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress in Women with Long-Term Dental Amalgam Fillings: Correlation between Mercury/Aluminium Levels (in Hair) and Antioxidant Systems in Plasma. https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4468144/
 Jones, L., Bunnell, J. & Stillman, J. (2007). A 30-year follow-up of residual effects on New Zealand School Dental Nurses, from occupational mercury exposure. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17615119/
 Colgate. Dental Amalgam: A Health Risk? https://colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/procedures/fillings/article/dental-amalgam-a-health-risk
 Consumers for Dental Choice (2014). Measurably Misleading. https://toxicteeth.org/measurablymisleading.aspx
 Neeti, R. & Singh, R. (2010). Mercury and health care. https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2992864/
 Motts, J., et. al. (2014). Novel biomarkers of mercury-induced autoimmune dysfunction: a cross-sectional study in Amazonian Brazil. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24742722
 Siblerud, R. & Kienholz, E. (1994). Evidence that mercury from silver dental fillings may be an etiological factor in multiple sclerosis. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8191275
 Mortazavi, Gh., M. Haghani, N. Rastegarian, S. Zarei, and S.M.J. Mortazavi. “Increased Release of Mercury from Dental Amalgam Fillings due to Maternal Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields as a Possible Mechanism for the High Rates of Autism in the Offspring: Introducing a Hypothesis”. Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (2016). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4795328/
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