Did you know that dental amalgam fillings are primarily made up of mercury, and that this heavy metal is toxic to your health? Were you aware that the use of amalgam is even prohibited in some countries, due to the risks involved?
In today’s article we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the health and safety of amalgam fillings: what are they, how can they affect your health, and what other options do you have to replace them?
What are amalgam fillings?
Amalgam is a silver-colored material made up of a combination of various metals, particularly mercury, which dentists use to fill cavities that appear as a result of tooth decay.
Today most countries use other materials for dental fillings, because numerous studies have shown that the levels of mercury are toxic both for the recipient of the filling, as well as the dentist who works with it. In addition, there’s a growing environmental movement to reduce the use of mercury-laden products, because they have a negative impact on the planet.
Since 2008, the use of amalgam fillings has been banned in countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
Exposure to mercury
An amalgam filling contains between 120 and 570 mg of mercury, which is slowly released over time thanks to the effects of saliva, stomach acids, food, high temperatures, and more.
It produces mercury vapors that are absorbed by the body day after day over the course of your lifetime, making these fillings a large source for continuous toxicity.
However, you should keep in mind that exposure to mercury can result from any contact with products that contain it, such as thermometers, light bulbs, batteries, cosmetics, skin brightening creams, paints, pesticides, etc. Studies have also shown that large ocean fish like tuna and swordfish can contain dangerous levels of mercury, so you shouldn’t eat them too often.
One of the biggest risks that mercury poses is that while some of it is removed naturally by the body, a significant amount of this heavy metal actually accumulates in the brain, where it can remain for years. This causes a progressive degeneration of the neurons, which has been linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Another serious health problem occurs when mercury crosses the placental barrier and reaches the central nervous system of the fetus during pregnancy.
Mercury can also accumulate in the gastrointestinal tract, the mouth, the lungs, the thyroid gland, the pituitary gland, and more.
Can amalgam fillings be removed?
Once people learn about the risks that the mercury found in amalgam fillings pose to their health, their next question is usually: Can they be removed to avoid these health problems? This is especially true for people who are already suffering from the side effects, but had yet to find the cause for their symptoms.
The answer is yes, they can be removed, but it must be done very carefully. If it’s impossible to follow a very strict protocol of removal, it’s best to leave these fillings in place to keep both the dentist and the patient from being exposed to a sudden release of mercury that could cause much greater damage to their health.
Always seek a trained professional with experience in extracting these types of fillings, and make sure you follow these guidelines:
- Keep the entire mouth isolated during the extraction, to avoid swallowing any remnants of the filling.
- Use eye protection.
- Use an oxygen mask.
- Perform the necessary removal in a cold environment.
- Remove the filling in one piece, and quickly.
- Replace the old filling with a new one of better quality materials.
- Treat the area with antiseptic.
For both the patient and the dentist, in case of exposure to mercury during this process we recommend treatment with an effective natural remedy to remove heavy metals from the body: chlorella. This algae-derived product is a powerful detox agent that helps eliminate all types of harmful substances – not just heavy metals – thanks to its high chlorophyll content.