Dental Health Hazards

This is page 1 of a four-part article.

Dentist 1.jpgIn March of 2007, I was sampling a delicious honey-sweetened caramel from Queen Bee Gardens at the Whole Foods Expo, when a most fortunate accident occurred. As I was chewing the caramel, it stuck to an old crown and popped it off. As I bit down again, it broke out part of the filling in the tooth next to it. I chipped the crown, too, necessitating its replacement.

This was fortunate because one of these teeth contained the last visible amalgam fillings in my mouth. So, while I was getting a new crown for the back tooth, I had the tooth next to it repaired, too, which meant I finally got rid of that last amalgam filling. There may still be some under one of my old crowns, but at least all the visible amalgam in my mouth is gone.

This is a milestone in my health improvement program, because I'd been working on ridding my mouth of "silver" for 20 years. I had been getting the work done a little at a time as I could afford it. My decision to get rid of the metal in my mouth was made at an NHF (National Health Freedom) Convention in Anaheim in the 1980s. I had heard of the dangers of amalgam fillings from Dr. Jack Ritchason, ND, and had stopped having them put in my mouth, but I wasn't too worried about the ones I already had.

At the NHF Convention, however, there was a booth where a man had one of the machines OSHA uses to test for mercury in workplace environments. He would have people chew a stick of gum and then take a reading of the level of mercury vapor in their mouth. Most people, after chewing a stick of gum for a couple of minutes, had mercury vapor in their mouths that was 3-5 times higher than what the Federal Government allows in the workplace.

The man took a while to get to me and I wound up chewing the gum for about 10 minutes. When he took the reading on me the level of mercury in my mouth was 90 times higher than what the government allows in the workplace. That's when I knew I needed to get that metal out of my mouth.

In case any of you are unaware of the dangers of having a mouth full of “silver” fillings, first let me explain that there is very little silver in these fillings. Actually, 48-50% of amalgum filling material is mercury.  The rest is composed of silver (15-37%) and various amounts of tin, copper and zinc (0-1%).Mercury.jpg

Mercury is a heavy metal and one of the most toxic substances known to man. It is third on the EPA's list of the most hazardous environmental pollutants. Mercury is dangerous because it adversely affects both the nervous and the immune system. It depresses the immune system and has been implicated in chronic yeast infections, gum disease, asthma, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, eczema, auto-immune disorders (such as fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis) and even cancer.

Mercury has an affinity for fat, and since the nervous system is 50% fat, mercury is attracted to nervous tissue. This can give rise to learning disorders, memory loss, anxiety, confusion, numbness and even hallucinations.

Remember the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland? Well, Louis Carroll devised the character because hatters in England often went “mad” because they used mercury to press hats. Today, there are still concerns about mercury being a causal factor in Alzheimer's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), autism, depression, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and senile dementia.

Mercury is a serious risk to pregnant women because it can cross the placenta to the baby where it can accumulate at twice the levels of those in the mother. This is particularly serious because mercury is known to be able to cause birth defects such as blindness, brain damage, mental retardation, seizures, cerebral palsy and the inability to speak.

Another problem with mercury is its ability to displace iodine and cause low thyroid function. Mercury can also be involved in kidney and intestinal disorders, including Crohn's disease.

There are two sisters from my area who have been clients of mine. One has MS and the other has a serious weight problem. Both of these problems may be related to mercury poisoning because their mother was a nurse and used to let them play with the mercury from broken thermometers as children.

Again, mercury has an affinity for fat, so the one sister's difficulty in losing weight may be due to mercury being stored in fatty tissue. As for the other, I've met several people who claimed they recovered from MS after getting the mercury out of their mouths and their bodies.

This is far from a comprehensive list of what mercury can do to the body, but it gives you an idea of the serious health hazard this metal poses.

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