Posted by: Ticktock | June 6, 2008

Dental Fillings: Leaking Mercury Again

I had a bloody visit with the dentist yesterday.  By the end of it, my mouth looked like it had been in a UFC cagefight.  Having a sharp hook scraping out plaque from my gumline is probably one of my least favorite things in the world.  And yet, I never learn my lesson.  I just can’t get in the habit of flossing.

My visit inspired me to apply some skepticism to claims made against the field of dentistry.  I picked my dentist’s brain, but he wasn’t much help.  Later in the day, however, two ideas just fell in my lap.  My friend Meredith told me that some China-made ceramic fillings were composed of high quantity of lead.  Then I read an article that said that the FDA was forced to admit that metal mercury fillings may leak toxins afterall.  I have not been able to find anything on the former, but the latter has been an interesting journey.

California House Democrat Diane Watson has been trying for years to get legislation passed banning the use of mercury in fillings.  Her efforts have continued despite calls from the ADA and Time Magazine to cut it out and look at the science, which failed to show any link between mercury fillings and health problems.

The prevailing reason supporting dental mercury amalgams is that the metals in fillings are bonded to each other, locking in the mercury.  There have also been some quality studies that have shown no link between amalgam fillings and their various previously associated symptoms.

Some holistic dentists pointed to trace amounts of mercury vapor detected by sensitive instruments, but the vapor was not releasing significant quantities of mercury to support the concern (a fact that anti-amalgam activists refute).  They also point to Canadian studies on sheep despite serious flaws in the methods.  The typically reliable news program 60 Minutes didn’t help the situation by producing their segment “Poison In Your Mouth”, which was inaccurate and not fairly balanced.

This all served to encourage Colorado dentist Hal Huggins, who authored the anti-amalgam book “It’s All In Your Head”.  He was the most outspoken on amalgam fillings, and he ended up having his dental license revoked for diagnosing every one of his patients with mercury poisoning… even the patients without metal fillings.  I guess it really was all in his head.

Or maybe not.  Now the FDA is backtracking(?) and admitting publicly in a warning on their web site “Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses … Pregnant women and persons who may have a health condition that makes them more sensitive to mercury exposure, including individuals with existing high levels of mercury bioburden, should not avoid seeking dental care, but should discuss options with their health practitioner,””.  Whoah… back up.  What happened?

It turns out the FDA is settling a lawsuit, and this is one of their punishments.  They still insist that people shouldn’t rush to have their fillings removed, but they are now required by law to change their warning labels.  The anti-amalgam activists are tickled pink, but the ADA still won’t back down that metal fillings are safe.  If there are dental experts reading this, your statements and opinions will be accepted by the FDA until July 28th.

If anyone has relevant info on this subject, please comment.  I’m interested how people feel about this topic.  My opinions aren’t hardened on the amalgam debate yet.  But I do know one thing for sure, I do need to floss more.  Dr. Oz says that flossing will help me live two extra years.  And we all know that Dr. Oz has NEVER made inaccurate health claims on Oprah.  I guess that’ll be another post.

Just a reminder to parents.  You should be brushing your toddler’s teeth (with a fluoride-free toothpaste) for two minutes twice daily until they are five, and then they can do it on their own.  A recent study showed that most parents are not keeping a close eye on dental hygiene.  I had a friend whose daughter had major damage because her mother wrongly assumed she was brushing when the child was actually faking it.

*Update* The Science Based Medicine blog has a post with additional information on this topic.


  1. I am looking to have all my mercury fillings removed due to a long chronic ‘mystery’ illness that has all the earmarks or chronic mercury poison (ringing in the ears, twitches, numbess, metal taste, ab pain etc). How anyone can say with a straight face that implanting 4-5 grams of mercury in your mouth can be safe is probably suffering from mercury poisoning themselves. Mercury fillings will be the next tobacco…

  2. I encourage you to research that option first. Removing mercury fillings release a lot more mercury into your system than you may ingest over your lifetime. Just be careful.

  3. Try visiting for a handy gadget that I have used for 30 years to keep me motivated to floss.

  4. I have 17 mercury fillings and suffer from electro sensitivity to mobile phones, wi-fi and fluroescent lights. I believe that mercury has leached from my fillings and settled in my brain. I also suffer from tinnitus when in the vicintiy of a mobile phone mast.

    I don’t know what to do and have no one to turn to as the doctors in the UK don’t acknowlodge my condition. I am suffering all the classic syptoms of mercury toxicity which are relate directly to EHS.

    I need to chelate the mercury out of my body and feel that for that to happen succesfully then the fillings will have to go as well in a very controlled manner. I’m talking going to london to get them removed by the best holistic dentist in the UK Dr Hesham El essawy.

  5. My doctor had me chelating w/ various compounds. after 16 months, I feel no better. I WAS getting better around month 9 or so. I have yet to have any amlgams replaced. I belive the problem may be with just several teeth that are leaking. I am of the mind set that I ‘ve had these things for 48 years. At age 46 I started feeling low body temp, which left as soon as it came. at age 50 I amlosing it. Perhaps the chelatores were too strong. I should have been de-toxing what was there, not chel;ating, so as to get the levels down before I had any dental work done. Any thoughts on this ?

  6. Steve, you should never be chelating with amalgam inb your mouth that is VERY dangerous! I did it not knowingly using chlorella and cilantro and suffered alot of retox. Please goto to a dentist that really specialises in SAFE mercury removal and get that poison out of your mouth. Idid and it is very eraly on and I am feeling so far so good… Good luck

  7. I would like to know if anyone knows what causes teeth to leak?

  8. the ADA is a totally corrupt organization

    they’ve been promoting “fluoridation” with hydrofluorosilicic acid (literally an industrial waste) for years – read bryson’s book THE FLUORIDE DECEPTION if you have any doubts

    dental amalgam is pure poison and there is no controversy other than INDUSTRY-FUNDED studies demonstrating “safety”

    if you believe that just because the ADA revoked huggin’s license his research is wrong – as you have represented here – then you are very ignorant

    however amalgam needs to be removed by a specialist and even many of the so-called “holistic” dentists do not use proper precautions and biocompatibility testing

  9. I agree. If you chelate while the fillings are still in your mouth you retox and make matters worse. Get them out first.

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