When you go to a dentist, they mix and place the amalgam in the mouth and whatever is not used or whatever is drilled out must be disposed of according to precise directives. They’re not allowed to throw it away in a garbage can. They are also not allowed to leave it on the working desk because mercury itself is a liquid that vaporizes quickly into the air and it would harm the dental workers. It must be put in a container that is sealed tightly so that no vapor may come out. But that’s not good enough; they have to have a liquid inside there so that if it ever evaporated, it wouldn’t leak out into the room.
Most municipal governments have regulated that all dentists must put an electronic trap under the sink that you spit into to catch any particles so that the waste does not pollute the rivers and lakes.
But the Dental Association says that once it is placed into the mouth, it is safe. How logical is that?
A patient of mine brought this book to my attention. “It’s All In Your Head, the Link between Mercury Amalgams and Illness” by Dr. Hal A. Huggins. The patient had been wheel chair bound with multiple sclerosis (MS), but after being convinced by this book to have her mercury fillings replaced with white composite fillings, she came to me for follow-up treatment to have the remaining mercury removed from her body tissues. Within a short period of time, she no longer needed a wheel chair and was able to go hiking. That prompted me to replace my own fillings.
The people in dentistry are well-trained professionals whose training includes the safe handling of materials, x-ray procedures, anesthesia, etc. Most believe that amalgam is safe because they have been trained in using it at their dental school and they accept the Dental Association position that it is safe. However there is a growing minority of dentists who question this position.
Amalgam is composed of around 50% mercury, 35% silver, and either 15% tin or a mixture of tin and copper. It is easy to work with for the dentist and lasts longer than white composite filling material. Amalgam fillings may need replacing less frequently than other materials, but as the dentist
Dr. Huggins claimed in 1992:
“The real issue is which is more important, the life of the filling, or the life of the patient?”
Mercury is a toxic heavy metal, which in its pure form is liquid at room temperature. It also vaporizes quickly. When mixed with silver and tin, it remains a solid alloy. However, even in its amalgam state, mercury vapors seep out. These are increased when the person is chewing food or gum or drinking hot drinks.
Mercury affects different people in different ways. Some people are more sensitive to amalgam than others. Some people will react with a different set of symptoms. Not everyone has the same number of fillings in their mouths. Symptoms caused by mercury, such as general fatigue may be caused by many disease states so dental fillings are rarely suspected. Chronic fatigue may in some cases be due to mercury attaching to one or more of the four receptor sites on hemoglobin that are intended to carry oxygen to body tissues.
Mercury may be ingested by accident during the dental process, either when the dentist is placing the amalgam into the tooth, or when he is drilling out another filling. Women should never have dental surgery while they are pregnant. It is implicated in causing deformities and various illnesses depending on the time during fetal development that the mercury has its effect. There are scientific studies with animals confirming this.
There is growing evidence that the effects of amalgam in a person’s teeth could contribute to autoimmune diseases. When the immune system detects toxic inorganic metals in body tissues, it sees these as “foreign” and proceeds to destroy them, turning on its own tissues, hence the term “autoimmune.”
The dental industry vigorously defends the use of amalgams claiming that the level of mercury exposure is too small to be harmful. Critics of amalgam suggest that they are doing this is to ward off the lawsuits that would ensue.
Another concern about metals in your mouth is the effect of “galvanic current.” When two different metals are placed side by side in your mouth, such as gold and amalgam, an electric battery effect is generated between the two metals. Being situated close to the brain, one can imagine how “electrical interference” may influence brain function.
Dr. Hal Huggins has been a vocal critic of amalgam for years, and has written books on the topic. He has developed a protocol for the safe removal of amalgam fillings. There are a growing number of dentists who have learned this protocol and have adopted it into their practices.
If you suspect that the amalgam in your teeth is making you ill, the first thought you’ll have is to do a blood test. But, actually, it may not be that useful as heavy metal such as mercury does not flow around in the blood. They are attached to tissues. So, one has to use a “Chelation Challenge test”. The test entails the infusion of agents that has ability to attract the heavy metal off the tissue. The Chelating agent will tightly bound to the released mercury. Level of mercury can be measured when this complex is finally excreted in the vein.
Understand that mercury can also come from many other sources, such as the consumption of tuna fish, either tinned or fresh, and shellfish.
What are the symptoms of mercury toxicity in your body?
Because mercury can attached to any tisues of the body. It can poison any enzumes systems that is useful as catalyst in any metabolic test. The symptoms can be the disturbance of any body functions. Many patients that have high blood pressure with no underlying cause. But, their mercury is cleaned up, their blood pressure also normalized.
If the adjective “foggy brain” describes yours, or you have unexplained ailments involving the nervous systems, suspect mercury. Mercury seems to have special affinity to nerves tissues. Therefore are many literatures linking mercury to problems such as dementia, depression, irritability, hyperactivity, peripheral nerve problems or even multiple sclerosis. Many illnesses were called “autoimmune”. The conventional medical profession thinks that the body has turn “crazy” and attacks its own self. The only treatment approach they use is to suppress the “crazy policeman”. They rely on drugs like prednisone, and transplant medicines to suppress the policemen so that there is no more attacks. All the side effects and the immune suppression end up bring about the patient’s eventual deterioration. The conditions, such as arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s diseases got “controlled”. But, the patients develop diabetes, infections, drop in blood count etc. One of the mechanisms proposed by the alternative circles is that the body indeed “sees” that there are foreign substances attached to normal tissues that should not be there. They start using the immune systems top attack these “aliens”. Unfortunately, the “conscientious policemen” got blamed and got suppressed. By putting in the search term “amalgam” into the internet, you will see all types of concerns the whole world (except the dentists ) has about mercury.
What can you do about it?
If you decide that you wish to have your amalgam fillings replaced for preventative reasons, then choose a dentist who specializes in amalgam replacement. While most dentists are willing to replace your amalgam fillings with white composite fillings if requested, if the many safe procedures are not used you could be harmed. Regular dentists may not appreciate the need to make sure every last bit of the amalgam is removed and their facilities may be lacking. An organization that can refer you to a qualified dentist in your area can be inquired through www.iaomt.org
After your fillings are replaced, the next step is to remove the mercury that is already in the body. The two most effective Chelation methods for removing mercury are DMPS and DMSA. EDTA chelation is more effective at removing heavy metals such as lead, but not as effective with mercury removal. DMPS is a treatment that is given intravenously, usually from a large syringe, over the course of half an hour. DMSA is given orally, and has the advantage of being able to cross the blood/brain barrier. Generally, a few DMPS treatments are given, first to reduce the peripheral level of mercury in the body, before the usage of oral DMSA treatments to clean the rest of the body and the central nervous system.
For more information on the mercury issue, and the detoxification of mercury, please contact our office.
Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children younger than 6 years are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.
Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in older buildings are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children. Other sources include contaminated air, water and soil. Adults who work with batteries, do home renovations or work in auto repair shops also might be exposed to lead.
There is treatment for lead poisoning, but taking some simple precautions can help protect you and your family from lead exposure before harm is done.
Initially, lead poisoning can be hard to detect — even people who seem healthy can have high blood levels of lead. Signs and symptoms usually don’t appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated.
Lead poisoning symptoms in children
Signs and symptoms of lead poisoning in children include:
- Developmental delay
- Learning difficulties
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Sluggishness and fatigue
- Abdominal pain
- Hearing loss
- Eating things, such as paint chips, that aren’t food (pica)
Lead poisoning symptoms in newborns
Babies exposed to lead before birth might:
- Be born prematurely
- Have lower birth weight
- Have slowed growth
Lead poisoning symptoms in adults
Although children are primarily at risk, lead poisoning is also dangerous for adults. Signs and symptoms in adults might include:
- High blood pressure
- Joint and muscle pain
- Difficulties with memory or concentration
- Abdominal pain
- Mood disorders
- Reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm
- Miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth in pregnant women
Lead is a metal that occurs naturally in the earth’s crust, but human activity — mining, burning fossil fuels and manufacturing — has caused it to become more widespread. Lead was also once used in paint and gasoline and is still used in batteries, solder, pipes, pottery, roofing materials and some cosmetics.
Lead in paint
Lead-based paints for homes, children’s toys and household furniture have been banned in the United States since 1978. But lead-based paint is still on walls and woodwork in many older homes and apartments. Most lead poisoning in children results from eating chips of deteriorating lead-based paint.
Water pipes and imported canned goods
Lead pipes, brass plumbing fixtures and copper pipes soldered with lead can release lead particles into tap water. Lead solder in food cans, banned in the United States, is still used in some countries.
Other sources of lead exposure
Lead sometimes can also be found in:
- Soil. Lead particles from leaded gasoline or paint settle on soil and can last years. Lead-contaminated soil is still a major problem around highways and in some urban settings. Some soil close to walls of older houses contains lead.
- Household dust. Household dust can contain lead from lead paint chips or from contaminated soil brought in from outside.
- Pottery. Glazes found on some ceramics, china and porcelain can contain lead that can leach into food served or stored in the pottery.
- Toys. Lead is sometimes found in toys and other products produced abroad.
- Cosmetics. Tiro, an eye cosmetic from Nigeria, has been linked to lead poisoning.
- Herbal or folk remedies. Lead poisoning has been linked to greta and azarcon, traditional Hispanic medicines, as well as some from India, China and other countries.
- Mexican candy. Tamarind, an ingredient used in some candies made in Mexico, might contain lead.
- Lead bullets. Time spent at firing ranges can lead to exposure.
- Occupations. People are exposed to lead and can bring it home on their clothes when they work in auto repair, mining, pipe fitting, battery manufacturing, painting, construction and certain other fields.
Factors that may increase your risk of lead poisoning include:
Age. Infants and young children are more likely to be exposed to lead than are older children. They might chew paint that flakes off walls and woodwork, and their hands can be contaminated with lead dust. Young children also absorb lead more easily, and it’s more harmful for them than it is for adults and older children.
Living in an older home. Although the use of lead-based paints has been banned since the 1970s, older homes and buildings often retain remnants of this paint. People renovating an older home are at even higher risk.
Certain hobbies. Making stained glass and some jewelry requires the use of lead solder. Refinishing old furniture might put you in contact with layers of lead paint.
Living in developing countries. Developing countries often have less strict rules regarding exposure to lead than do developed countries. American families who adopt a child from another country might want to have the child’s blood tested for lead poisoning. Immigrant and refugee children also should be tested.
Lead can harm an unborn child, so pregnant women or women likely to become pregnant should be especially careful to avoid exposure to lead.
Exposure to even low levels of lead can cause damage over time, especially in children. The greatest risk is to brain development, where irreversible damage can occur. Higher levels can damage the kidneys and nervous system in both children and adults. Very high lead levels may cause seizures, unconsciousness and death.
Simple measures can help protect you and your family from lead poisoning:
Wash hands and toys. To help reduce hand-to-mouth transfer of contaminated dust or soil, wash your children’s hands after outdoor play, before eating and at bedtime. Wash their toys regularly.
Clean dusty surfaces. Clean your floors with a wet mop and wipe furniture, windowsills and other dusty surfaces with a damp cloth.
Remove shoes before entering the house. This will help keep lead-based soil outside.
Run cold water. If you have older plumbing containing lead pipes or fittings, run your cold water for at least a minute before using. Don’t use hot tap water to make baby formula or for cooking.
Prevent children from playing on soil. Provide them with a sandbox that’s covered when not in use. Plant grass or cover bare soil with mulch.
Eat a healthy diet. Regular meals and good nutrition might help lower lead absorption. Children especially need enough calcium, vitamin C and iron in their diets to help keep lead from being absorbed.
Keep your home well-maintained. If your home has lead-based paint, check regularly for peeling paint and fix problems promptly. Try not to sand, which generates dust particles that contain lead.
Elimination of the source of Heavy Metal.
Chelation for adults with symptoms.
Chelation for children with encephalopathy.
* Dr. Shiela Torabi provides top internal medicine care to the following communities: Seven Oaks, Grapevine, Visalia, Tulare, Shafted, Dela, Alame, Lamo, Edison.
* For up to a 1.5 hour visit, Dr. Sheila Torabi charges $525 per visit and she accepts Medicare and some private insurances. Please bring your previous labs to your appointment.