Research at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine and other prominent medical schools, have demonstrated that mercury vapor continuously escapes from dental amalgams and 80 percent of this vapor is immediately absorbed through the lungs and into the bloodstream. Once in the blood, mercury vapor enters into the cells almost immediately.
Mercury vapor from dental amalgam fillings is the primary source of mercury contamination. 80 percent of adults, specifically baby boomers, currently have amalgam fillings that will release from 4 to 40 micrograms of mercury vapor per day, depending on factors such as the number of fillings, filling size, teeth grinding and the presence of other metals in the mouth.
Every day, we do things to encourage the release of mercury vapor from amalgam fillings: chewing gum, eating, drinking hot tea or coffee, having dental work done and getting your teeth cleaned. Effects of exposure can vary significantly depending on the tissues and/or organs involved as well as other genetic and health factors.
According to Dr. Russell Blaylock, mercury can damage many bodily systems, although the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems seem to suffer the most adverse effects of chronic exposure. He also states that there is growing evidence that mercury toxicity plays a vital role in a significant number of Alzheimer’s cases along with other neurodegenerative diseases.
Protecting yourself from mercury exposure
An article published in the British Dental Journal (2001) stated that in 15-20 percent of dental offices, the mercury vapor concentration levels were 10 times higher than the current safety limit set by OSHA.
When you visit a traditional dentist, you increase your risk of mercury exposure from someone else’s procedure, since even a simple dental cleaning will release mercury vapor into your dentist’s office. So if you are not ready to replace your amalgam fillings, you should consider finding a biological dentist in your area to reduce your mercury exposure during your dental visits.
Safe amalgam extraction
If you have any amalgam fillings, get them replaced. Your dentist should be following a safe protocol as outlined by The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology:
- Use of a rubber dam to prevent any amalgam debris from being swallowed or inhaled.
- Covering the face of the patient with a barrier to prevent spattered amalgam particles and mercury vapor from coming in contact with the skin and eyes.
- Administration of nasal oxygen.
- Use of high volume suction in the operating area.
- Use of a saliva ejector behind the dam to evacuate any mercury vapor that passes through the dam.
- Rinsing of the dam thoroughly during amalgam removal to remove any stray amalgam particles.
- Using water on amalgam during removal to cool the amalgam and reduce the amount of vaporization of mercury.
- Sectioning the amalgam fillings into large chunks for removal in order of reducing the disbursement of amalgam particulate aerosol.
- Thorough rinsing of the mouth area after removing rubber dam.
- Proper office and air filtration system in dental office.
If you have chemical or environmental sensitivity and are removing amalgam fillings, work with a nutritionist or naturopath to come up with a health plan based on your specific needs, to avoid any negative reactions.