From the June 2002 Idaho Observer:

Mercury Amalgams:

Do you still have a mouth full of them?

by Ingri Cassel

After two of my dear friends were plagued with health problems that were only minimized by natural healing programs, it was discovered that they were both suffering from acute systemic mercury poisoning and the main source of this insidious poison was in their mouth.

Both of these women have a mouthful of aging mercury amalgams. It has been shown that mercury is continually released from mercury dental fillings in the form of mercury vapor and abraded particles.

This process is further stimulated and can be increased as much as 15-fold by simply chewing, brushing teeth, hot drinks and even swishing your mouth with a solution of hydrogen peroxide (used to reduce dental plaque.)

What we have been lead to believe are “silver” dental amalgams actually contain 48-55 percent mercury, 33-35 percent silver and various amounts of copper, tin, zinc and other metals. For decades the American Dental Association has steadfastly maintained that the mercury in dental amalgams is bound to the other metals in such a way that the mercury could not possibly escape.

However the ADA's assumption was proven wrong in 1985 when two researchers demonstrated that the air inside a mercury amalgam filled mouth continually contained elemental mercury vapor, and the dynamic of chewing increased this vapor level substantially.

Mercury is extremely poisonous, accumulating over time in the various tissues of the body, particularly the brain and kidneys. Published research from two scientists at Utah State University shows that mercury is more toxic than lead, cadmium and even arsenic. Even world regulatory agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) have stated that the smallest amount of mercury that will not cause damage is unknown.

In fact, the WHO recently concluded that the daily intake of mercury from amalgam dental fillings exceeded the combined daily intake of mercury derived from air, water and food (including fish).

In human autopsy studies it has been found that there is a direct correlation between the amount of mercury found in the brain and the number and surfaces of mercury fillings in the mouth. Recent scientific research has shown high levels of mercury in the brains of Alzheimer's disease victims. Furthermore, laboratory studies of spinal fluid from both Lou Gehrig's disease and Alzheimers's disease patients have confirmed the presence of high levels of mercury that inhibit key brain detoxification systems.

Despite these findings, the American Dental Association and various agencies in the U.S. government still support the use of mercury amalgam dental fillings. They claim that they are safe based on 150 years of use and that there is no scientific proof showing mercury exposure from dental fillings causes any known disease.

“In 1988 scrap dental amalgam was declared a hazardous waste material by the Environmental Protection Agency... Once a doctor removes an amalgam and places it in a tray, it once again becomes a hazardous waste material. I ask the reader -- what is it about the mouth that makes this same item non-toxic? Or is it possible that the mouths of some 80 percent of Americans with amalgam fillings are in actuality toxic waste dumps?” ~Sandra Denton, M.D., from The Mercury Cover-Up in the June, 1989 edition of Health Consciousness magazine.

This well referenced article also brings up the fact that dentists have the highest suicide and divorce rate among professionals. And dental personnel have a higher spontaneous abortion rate, a higher incidence of premature labor and infertility, and an elevated incidence of perinatal mortality. But how do we know this is due to the constant low levels of mercury to which they are exposed?

This brings us to the problem of detecting mercury toxicity in humans: The lack of adequate diagnosis and testing available. Symptoms may vary due to biochemical individuality. There are also different degrees of intoxication from the same amount of mercury levels.

“Mary” had such high levels of mercury in her system that our dentist, Dr. Armand DeFelice, told her that he had never seen such high levels of mercury in a person that didn't have multiple sclerosis or some other debilitating auto-immune disorder.

Some of the more common symptoms of mercury toxicity are anemia, anorexia, chronically low body temperature, bronchitis, colitis, high blood pressure, low blood sugar, irritability, fatigue, gingivitis, mouth sores, bleeding gums, headaches, visual changes, insomnia, depression, stomach pains, allergic reactions, joint pains, trembling and loss of appetite.

The problem is that most people have several of these health problems and would not necessarily connect it to mercury poisoning. But with at least 85 percent of the American population having mercury amalgams in their mouth, and most of these having at least 10 mercury amalgam fillings, the mercury link to ill-health becomes that much more obvious.

Another reason for concern is that for the past 20 years, the most popular mercury filling has been the “high copper” amalgam that boasts 30 percent copper. Scientific studies have proven that the new high copper fillings release mercury (and copper) at a rate 50 times faster than the pre-1980 amalgams.

With all the media stories out now on the pervasiveness of mercury in our environment, it is imperative that we look into our mouths since our fillings will likely be the main source of our own mercury toxicity.

What is even more convincing is the stories of people who have had their amalgams replaced with a more biocompatible composite. Chronic health problems disappear and many claim there is a new level of clarity in their thinking that they hadn't had.

But the system for removing and replacing amalgams is not a simple one. Often the plastic composite materials used to replace the filling is nearly as toxic to a chemically sensitive person as the mercury amalgam was.

According to Dr. DeFelice, there are over 150 different non-mercury composites to choose from with only a fraction of them being biocompatible.

Also, the order in which the old fillings are removed is another aspect that can create more hazards than health benefits initially. For some reason, accepted but not totally clear, your body responds to the removal of the fillings according to electrical charge.

Fillings are like little batteries and they generate electrical current. Some teeth will read positive, and some negative when touched with an ammeter. Evidently, whether the filling is pushing electrons from the filling up into your brain, or pushing protons, it affects the body's own electrical system when these are removed.

These are only two of the many reasons to go to a dentist who is thoroughly trained in the art of amalgam removal. But what I consider the most important reason to go to such a skilled dentist is the fact that they are clearly dedicated to helping people get well through their profession.

Now that you know the deadly effects of mercury fillings and fluoride, deadly substances that are backed by the American Dental Association, why trust and support a dentist who uses these poisonous substances in his practice?

In a world of many options and choices, it is high time we make our choices conscious ones.

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