Could your teeth be making you sick? If you have had cavities filled with silver amalgam, it is quite possible. What you may not be aware of is that those silver fillings are made primarily of mercury, 50% by weight. San Diego dentist, Dr. Daniel Vinograd, speaks towards just such alarming facts in detail on his website here.
Dental amalgam has been in widespread use by dentists in the United States for more than 160 years, but many people who receive them have no idea that they contain mercury, or just how much mercury is in them.
Now a group of scientists, dentists and patients have filed a lawsuit against the FDA. The suit alleges that many people have been made ill by mercury fillings, and that FDA has not enough to protect the public from the health hazards posed by these fillings. The suit calls for mercury dental fillings to be banned, or at least more strictly regulated.
“I was trying to avoid mercury when I was pregnant and nursing. I knew all the fish not to eat, but I had no idea it could be in my mouth,” dental patient Amy Forseter said. She said she’s had at least a dozen cavities, and most of them were filled with amalgam.
While it is true that the majority of people who have these fillings will not suffer distinct ill effects from them, some scientists say that everyday activities like chewing and brushing cause mercury from these fillings to be released and absorbed by the body.
Healthy people typically are able to eliminate the mercury from their bodies as fast as it is released, but those with weakened immune systems, children and pregnant women are not able to eliminate the mercury as efficiently, and it accumulates in their organs and tissues. Even healthy people who have mercury fillings removed for other reasons frequently report increased energy levels and relief from minor ailments they had not previously attributed to their fillings.
While Canada, Denmark, Germany and several other countries have already banned mercury fillings, the FDA along with governments of some other countries, have held the position that there is not enough evidence of the harms of mercury to warrant banning the substance and that any mercury released by the fillings is well within safe levels.
The bottom line is that mercury continues to be widely used because it is less expensive than many other filling materials. Sadly, this means that those hardest hit by this toxic substance are the most vulnerable, such as low income individuals, prison inmates and military personnel.