I have a mouth full of mercury amalgam fillings (prob. 14 or so, some huge ones) that I had done about five years ago (thank you, college dining room soda fountain!) I developed thyroid issues over the past two years that have proven difficult to treat, and my nurse practitioner wants to test my mercury levels, suspecting heavy metal poisoning as a cause of my thyroid problems.
I've read a bunch of conflicting information about the safety of these fillings, some saying that the amalgam is bound and excreted in harmless form, others saying that it collects in the brain, eyes and thyroid in significant amounts and effects thyroid hormone conversion. I certainly can't afford the work needed to remove the huge amount of metal in my mouth right now, but I'm wondering if it's something I should save for in the future or if I'm falling prey to scare tactics.
Anyone have any success resolving health issues by removing mercury fillings?
Remember that removing fillings not only costs money, time, and discomfort but redoing them also means losing more natural tooth and exposing yourself to more chemicals, from the new fillings and the drugs used to add them. I would say stick with the ones you've got and add no more until the ADA recommends that dentists stop using them, which could happen soon. In the mean time, check your serum mercury levels.
Yes, had mine removed. I realize there are "conflicting claims" about the potential dangers of mercury fillings, but: If issues of toxicity are part of your dietary and lifestyle calculus -- if they show up on your radar screen of reasonable concerns -- then I simply do not see how one can be apprised of the horrific poisoning effects of mercury, and sleep well knowing it's in your mouth.
Would any pro-mercury-fillings folks be willing to account for why dentists take extraordinary steps to protect against mercury poisoning when they remove mercury fillings at the request of patients?
I've got one tooth that has them and have decided that it's less risky to have the chronic exposure of mercury vapor inhalation/swallowing than it would be to risk an acute poisoning if the dentists Fs up the procedure. I'm not sure what I'd do if I had that many. I do consciously make an effort to chew less on that side though. I've seen papers where gum chewers with amalgam fillings have waaaay more mercury exposure, so don't do that.
I had all of mine replaced with composite, doing one quadrant at a time. A Hair Analysis test might find only slightly elevated levels of mercury. However, it can also test for all of the heavy metals (lead, cadmium, etc). I discovered 10 years ago that I had toxic amounts of aluminum. I realized that I was eating from my favorite Mandan Village replica terra cotta bowl whose black patina was slowly being consumed which each meal. So good-bye bowl. My naturopathic doctor prescribed malic acid pills to bind and take out the aluminum. Now my levels are below toxic range. Back then, during my amalgram days, the mercury seemed a tad elevated, but not way above range, so maybe the hair analysis method is not so good for testing mercury. Take chlorella and cilantro to help bind with mercury so the liver can send them towards excretion. There are good chutneys made with cilantro. I hope in time you will be able to change your fillings from amalgram to composite, even if its one tooth per year. Your dentist might figure out which amalgrams are the best candidates to take out first. To your Health and ours.
I am on my fourteenth round of Andy Cutler's mercury chelation protocol. My tentative take on its value (I'm planning on doing this for atleast 100 round!) is that for me, it's equal to the whole value of the Paleo lifestyle. I imagine the percentage will grow as the months pass. I love being on the Alpha lipoic acid every two to three hours. Good for weight lifting, sex, mood, even sleep.Fun dreams right before the ALA half life "effect" wakes me up at night like clock work. Cutler has it nailed people. He is the Kurt Harris of Mercury Chelation, and he is a honey bagger, as well. I feel my 100% Paleo approach has taking much of the side effects out of Culter's protocal. Cutler claims a lot of foods groups interact with the ALA and DMSA(Mostly certain veggies.) Grass fed beef/sheep/fat doesn't screw up the process. There is a certain stress to the chelation,but the Paleo diet really helps.And it should. Isn't that what all the hype is about!!!! The fucking diet actually works when you need it most.!!!!! Luckily my dentist did a good job.I felt nothing good or bad from the removal. The chelation phase is where the Magic happened.I recommend PROPER amalgam removal and PROPER low dose oral ALA chelation.( N+1 )has lead me to side with all the Anti-amalgam hysteria "crazies." The mercury vapor made me sick/crazy, and I know it, because I'm far less sick/crazy after only 14 weeks. QED
I'm a dental hygienist and as I understand this, when amalgams are removed mercury aerosol is produced. In addition, many of the composite fillings used contain BPA. The best approach to dentistry is a preventative one. Brush, floss, and regular cleanings. IF you need restorative work, you can get gold onlays instead of fillings. Just find a dentist that's really experienced in this.
Another option is to find a holistic dentist that is CERTAIN that her composite filling material will not produce BPA.
Sounds like we're in the same boat, Shrimp - a mouthful of old amalgams and oh-so-fun thyroid problems. After years of mildly annoying sluggish thyroid symptoms, I started getting sick close to a year ago - chronic fatigue, cold extremities, weight gain, thinning eyebrows etc. etc. Thyroid medicine (both T4 and T3) have not helped. Although I was never tested for mercury toxicity, (in retrospect, I probably should have been, but my doctor kept insisting there was nothing wrong with me) I am now convinced that years of mercury exposure are a major player in my health issues. I had all of my fillings removed in November 2011. It was not cheap, since my insurance only pays for one filling every two years, and only for amalgams, (facepalm) but it was less than I expected - about $600 all said and done. It was money well spent. For the first time in almost a year, my energy is improving and I'm starting to feel more like myself again. Of course having my mercury removed may not explain everything, but I do believe it helped.
If you decide to have your amalgams removed, please make sure whoever does it uses rubber dams and constant suction during the removal, since, as Evelyn wisely points out, it can make you even sicker if done carelessly. Look for a "biological" or holistic dentist who specializes in safe mercury removal. Take lots of vitamin C. Consider taking chlorella and cilantro extract to chelate the excess mercury after the removal.
It's also worth mentioning that I've begun taking a topical glutathione supplement because I've read that there's a strong correlation between low levels of glutathione (the body's primary antioxidant) and Hypothyroid/Hashimoto's. Amalgam fillings can be the culprit behind the glutathione depletion in the first place, and I'm almost certainly low. There is a solid link between mercury toxicity and thyroid malfunction, and glutathione depletion may explain that connection.
Good luck Shrimp! No easy task to make the right choices on your path to health. I look back at college days and recall ALL the things that affected my health negatively -- college stress, family stress, college dining refined and/or processed foods (Big Agra cereal, pasta, bread ALL DAY, pesticide-salad greens and vegs probably covered with antifungals and bromides which adversely affect endocrine glands, soda, mochas with HFCS, etc) -- BLAAARGH!
You probably had more vaccinations (mercury) for HepB, menigitis, swine flu and annual influenza... WHAT A TOXIC BURDEN TO BEAR in addition to said new amalgams.
We could single out 'metals' but it's not the only toxic burden unfortunately.
It sounds like your endgame goal is: health, recovery of thyroid/adrenals/gonads, and eventually ROCKSTAR fertility and non-autistic, healthy children. No?
Yeah, IMHO I'd concur that you don't want hypometabolism (a form of cr*p hibernation), excessively low body temps or sluggish functioning. Under these circumstances, the kids produced (if even fertility) studies show have lower IQ when TSH is > 2.0 (although likely savant and ASD/ADD spectrum). Thyroid demands are HUGE during pregnancy as this is one of the prime hormonal regulators of transformation, development and neurologic and physiologic growth... (take away thyroid from developing tadpoles and they don't morph).
You will get there. Many of us are or have. Dave Asprey lost 100 lbs, cured the adrenals/thyroid, reversed his Asperger's and is 'done'. ha ahaa! See page 9 of the Roger Lawson interview where he tells me how... (chelation, addressing overgrowth issues (candida), adrenals -- well that was dinner -- 10 g salt daily, sometimes glandulars, biofeedback with high tech which is like meditation, paleo diet, blah blah)
Normally, this is one topic where I'd say don't worry about it. Usually people get all scared about mercury and it doesn't matter because the mercury is already bound to something else. But since I didn't know anything about this topic, I did a quick visit to wikipedia just to find out what the amalgum is:
In dentistry, amalgam is an alloy of mercury with various metals used for dental fillings. It commonly consists of mercury (50%), silver (~22-32% ), tin (~14%), copper (~8%), and other trace metals.
So that actually scares me. There's no chemistry here - i.e., no bonds. We have mercury, solver, tin, and copper as an alloy (that is just the molecules stacked together, no chemical bonds holding them together). So there is definitely some release of mercury (and silver, tin, and copper) into your mouth from the filling.
I can't say how much and if it's actually would be worse to remove it and expose yourself to the removal process (analogous to removing asbestos. It's often better just to leave it there than it is to disrupt it and get it back into the air while removing it). But I can say that whatever mercury is released is elemental mercury which is worse than bound mercury.
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