Mercury – A Holistic Approach
The silver fillings in your mouth are actually an amalgamation of at least four different metals, Mercury, Silver, Copper and Tin plus others. These metals combine to form a random mixture of alloys. Each alloy is separate and unique and therefore has a different electrical potential than the others. This amalgam is continuously bathed in electrolytes (saliva, tissue fluids etc.) The dissimilar metals in electrolytes can therefore act like a battery in your mouth and can cause the metallic taste in your mouth which a lot of patients often refer to. This can be made worse if other metals such as crowns and bridges and dentures are also in the mouth. Most of the controversy is regarding mercury but a lot of patients tested with the Melisa test (www.Melisa.org) are showing problems and immunological responses to the other metals as well.
Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can affect the brain, spinal cord, kidneys and liver. According to the EU Mercury strategy, anywhere between 3 to 15 million people in Europe have mercury levels around the recommended limit and a percentage have levels ten times as high, at which there are clear neurodevelopmental effects. The World Health Organisation (WHO) Mercury Paper identified the health care sector as one of the largest sources of mercury air emissions. The WHO also states that there is no safe limit for Mercury.
The European Union is currently working on implementing the EU Mercury Strategy that addresses environmental hazards such as emissions from dental amalgam use. Crematoria are now legally obliged to put in special selenium filters due to mercury vapour being released from fillings and polluting the atmosphere. Thermometers and Barometers containing mercury are being banned to reduce the exposure.
Why put such a toxic material in your mouth in the first place. Each time a mercury filling is placed in the mouth the patient is exposed to mercury vapour as this liquid at room temperature will vapourise especially when it is put under pressure during the packing procedure. As a Holistic dentist I take every precaution to reduce the effects of any exposure to my patients, my staff and myself (see mercury removal protocols). As the overall environmental exposure of mercury increases it does not make sense to add to this through the use of mercury fillings being implanted in your mouth. This is one area that you as a patient have control over to reduce your overall exposure.
It is my belief, after reading the extensive scientific literature on mercury that all amalgam fillings should be replaced and that the mouth should be a mercury free zone.