As dentists, we preach the importance of brushing and flossing to prevent tooth decay from that devil, sugar— and the big bad bacteria monster from moving in on your gums. When filling a cavity or performing a root canal, the goal is to save a tooth’s life, yet many patients and dentists are unaware of the toxic effect of mercury on the body. It’s poisonous to your overall health.
People with more than eight silver fillings in their mouths are walking around with 150 percent more mercury in their bloodstream, which increases the risks of heart, brain and kidney damage. That’s according to the most recent scientific study from the University of Georgia.
I’ve long been an advocate of mercury-safe dentistry, and many countries outlaw the use of dental amalgam to protect their citizens. The American Dental Association continues to find it safe, and silver is worth its weight in gold to millions of dentists because it’s affordable and durable.
As an oral health expert with degrees in not only dentistry, but biology, I must acknowledge the effects of mercury vapors on the body are cumulative, and therefore dangerous. As we age, our body’s immune system weakens, making us more vulnerable to autoimmune diseases.
I recommend having all existing mercury removed from the mouth. It’s important to distinguish with the person booking your next dental appointment, whether the office performs mercury-free or mercury-safe procedures. A mercury-free dentist is someone who doesn’t use mercury fillings to restore cavities, while a mercury-safe dentist is someone who takes additional safety protocols while removing mercury fillings from patients.
In my practice, we use specifically designed test kits to cross-check dental materials against a patient’s blood serum for extra safety and accuracy. Make sure your dentist replaces the mercury with white fillings that are fluoride and BPA (bisphenol A) free. Otherwise, it’s just a different poison
Ensuring good oral health requires X-rays, as the human eye cannot see beneath the teeth in the gums and bones. To protect your body from unnecessary radiation, be sure your dentist or hygienist covers your chest and stomach with a lead apron. A lead thyroid collar should also be used, if you are a pregnant woman, have children, or of childbearing age. If you change dentists, request the previous provider send a copy of your records to the new office, to avoid unnecessary x-rays.
Digital x-rays give off less radiation than the traditional x-rays. Good communication with your dental team and staying informed before your visits are my prescription for a safer and healthier mouth.