There is still much confusion as to whether or not mercury amalgam fillings are in fact safe or hazardous to our health. What confuses the issue greatly is that dentists themselves are so divided on the issue, and since amalgam is still the most common form of filling choice (partly due to the durability and cheaper cost), there is no wonder that more than 20 years after the public became largely aware of this issue we are no closer to a clear answer.
There is no doubt that mercury is not safe for consumption, the argument is whether or not mercury is leached from the fillings into our systems in significant quantities to merit concern. While ANY mercury leaching into our system is too much, if you already have a mouth chock full of ‘silver’ fillings and are not experiencing any underlying health issues (such as fatigue, headaches, allergies, concentration and memory problems, depression, sinusitis, unexplained gastrointestinal disturbance, excessively bleeding gums, sleep disorders and so on), then you also need to consider whether it is best to leave well alone. Disturbing the fillings can do more harm than leaving them in place – just be sure to request that any new or replacement fillings are mercury-free.
Amalgam fillings contain anywhere between 50-75% mercury (depending on when they were done – today around 52% is the norm), combined with copper, tin, silver, and zinc. Mercury is a very real concern, being the second most toxic metal known to humankind.
If you currently have mercury-based fillings, these are the ones that appear grey or silver in colour, be sure to avoid whitening products (treatments, toothpastes, and gums) as these have been shown to increase the rate at which mercury vapour is released from amalgam fillings by a factor of five.
Activated charcoal is an ideal supplement for those of us concerned about amalgams – plus it has the added bonus of whitening teeth naturally. Take ½ – 1 teaspoon in a glass of water each morning and night to help safely remove any heavy metals which are being leached from your mouth, and use it alone or along with a safe & natural toothpaste to brush your teeth for a whitening effect.
If you decide to have your amalgams removed, please do your research first and choose a dentist who specialises in this process since there are very specific preparation and post-removal requirements to ensure a safe and effective removal.