We finish up this, our eighth, Mercury-Free Dentistry Week, with a documentary by Elizabeth Hong and Daniel Montoya. “Mercury Undercover” exposes the very real dangers of mercury toxicity, and its connection to amalgam fillings.
Amalgam, also called “silver fillings,” is in fact a massive consumer fraud. By referring to the color of the compound rather than its content, consumers everywhere have been tricked into placing a known neurotoxin in their mouths.
Think about it: If your dentist said, “OK, I’m going to put a large mercury filling into this molar,” you’d probably sit up and say, “Hey doc, maybe we should talk about this!”
Most people are aware that mercury is hazardous to health, but if they don’t know that amalgam contains mercury, then they cannot object to it in the first place. And that’s exactly how the dental industry and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) want it.
Most Americans Are Deceived by Inaccurate Term
In a report titled, “Measurably Misleading,“1 Consumers for Dental Choice, led by Charlie Brown, former attorney general of West Virginia, reveals how the FDA and the dental industry have deceived you about amalgam.
A Zogby poll, commissioned by Consumers for Dental Choice, reveals that Americans are indeed fooled by the terms “silver fillings” and “amalgam.”
Fifty-seven percent of Americans are unaware that amalgam is a mercury filling, and 23 percent believe amalgam is made of silver. Also, a mere 11 percent of people say their dentist ever told them that amalgam contains mercury.
The FDA is responsible for addressing consumer fraud that occurs in medicine and health. But when it comes to mercury fillings, the agency has refused to take corrective action. Not only that, it actually condones, not condemns, the marketing of amalgam as “silver fillings.” Hence, the deception continues.
Dental Mercury Fuels Chronic Inflammation in Your Body
Indisputable evidence exists that dental amalgams readily release mercury in the form of vapor when you eat, drink hot liquids, brush your teeth or otherwise stimulate your teeth.
As noted in a 2010 scientific review2 on mercury exposure and children’s health, there is no known safe level of exposure for mercury. Ideally, exposure should be zero, so any dentist insisting that mercury exposure from amalgam is “minimal” or “inconsequential” is really not acting in an ethical manner.
The mercury vapors released from the amalgam in your teeth readily pass through your cell membranes, across your blood-brain barrier, and into your central nervous system. Effects can be psychological, neurological, and/or immunological.
At above average doses, brain functions such as reaction time, judgment and language can be impaired. At very high exposures, mercury can affect your ability to walk, speak, think and see clearly.
One 2012 study3 evaluating the effects of mercury on cognition in otherwise healthy adults found that those with blood mercury levels below 5 µg/L had the best cognitive functions. Mild impairment was evident at blood mercury levels of 5 to 15 µg/L, and above 15 µg/L, cognition was significantly impaired.
Mercury is also known to cause kidney damage, which is why it’s so important to have your mercury fillings removed by a properly trained biological dentist. As explained by mercury expert Chris Shade, Ph.D., mercury can also displace other elements such as zinc and copper, by attaching to the receptors that would otherwise hold these essential minerals.