Are Your Teeth Killing You?

In Cognitive Health, Featured Article by Natural Health Dossier12 Comments

Having a cavity filled by the dentist is hardly enjoyable. It doesn’t matter how comfortable the chair… Or how pretty the scenery out the window.

It’s especially disturbing if you consider what he’s putting in your teeth.

There’s a good chance he’s filling your cavity with dental amalgam. It’s the “silver” material dentists have used to fill cavities in the US for more than 150 years.

But dental amalgam contains a deadly poison: Mercury. Studies have linked this element to autism, Alzheimer’s, birth defects, mental illness… even cancer.

Dental amalgam leaks low levels of mercury right into your mouth. You inhale it. And it’s absorbed into your body.

Amalgam is banned in Scandinavia. Countries like Germany have restricted its use. But not the US.

The FDA says it’s harmful for pregnant women and children. But they’ve stopped short of declaring it a lethal substance.

The dental industry is divided over the safety of dental amalgams.

The Wealthy Dentist is a dental marketing information company. It surveyed 320 dentists, and found that they were split down the middle on the issue.

The dentists were asked, “Does your dental practice place amalgam fillings?” Forty-seven percent said “yes.” Just 53 percent said “no.”

There’s also controversy among dentists over whether taking out the old fillings does more harm than good. That’s because removing an amalgam filling can increase the amount of mercury circulating in your body for up to three months.

What you want to find is a “mercury free” dentist. One who is committed to your health. You also need to know about risks associated with mercury removal, and what precautions you should take.

The Amalgam Controversy

Amalgam was created in the 1800s by a Frenchman named Louis Regnart. He mixed mercury with boiled mineral cement to fill cavities. Today he’s known as the “Father of Amalgam.”

The mixture is about 50% liquid mercury. The other half is made up of a powdered alloy. This contains tin, silver, and copper. The mercury is liquid at room temperature. So it bonds well with the powdered alloy.

But from the beginning there were safety concerns. They led to the so-called Amalgam Wars.

In 1833, the Crawcour brothers brought dental amalgam from France to the US. By 1844, it was used for 50% of all fillings. That sparked a backlash from the American Society of Dental Surgeons (ASDS). They were the only national dental association at the time.

The ASDS called use of the amalgam “malpractice.” They required members to sign a pledge not to use it. They also ran the Crawcour brothers out of the country.

But dentists liked amalgam. It’s durable, easy to use, and inexpensive. They didn’t want to stop using it. The ASDS was forced to back down on its position in 1850. It disbanded a few years later.

Today the removal of mercury fillings is just as controversial. That’s because dentists cut the amalgam with a dental bur. It produces little particles. This exposes the patient to mercury.

In 1990, scientists in Scandinavian conducted an experiment. The study was titled “Mercury Release from Dental Amalgam in Man.” The researchers had volunteers swallow amalgam particles. The subjects’ blood mercury levels increased. They found a three- to four-fold increase in plasma mercury and a 50% rise in urine mercury in 10 of the volunteers.

The scientists concluded that “the GI uptake of mercury from amalgam particles is of quantitative importance.”

In May, the FDA held a town hall meeting in Orlando. More than a dozen anti-mercury activists were there. They demanded that the government restrict or ban the dental fillings.

Dr. Jeff Shuren, head of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiologic Health, told the audience that a scientific panel was being reconvened to study the issue. The panel may reach a conclusion this year.

Dr. James Hardy of Winter Park was one of the dentists present. He is author of the book Mercury Free. He said many dentists are against removing amalgam because it creates hazardous waste. Yet they have no problem putting it in their patients’ mouths.

“After it is taken out of a patient’s mouth, it is treated as hazardous waste,” Dr. Hardy said. “But somehow, when it is in the patient’s mouth, it’s not.”

If you have the silver fillings in your mouth, consider replacing them. But you need to have a conversation with your dentist first. Make sure she understands how to reduce your risks of exposure to mercury.

Dr. Stephen M. Koral graduated from Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 1980. He stopped using mercury fillings three years later. Now he’s a member of the Holistic Dental Association and the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).

On the IAOMT web site, Dr. Koral lists five steps dentists can take to minimize the risks of removing the amalgam.

  • Slice across the amalgam. Or dislodge it in big chunks so it doesn’t aerosolize.
  • Keep the amalgam under constant water spray while cutting.
  • Lower the temperature to reduce vapor pressure within the mercury.
  • Use a high volume suction.
  • And provide piped-in air so the patient doesn’t have to inhale the toxic material.

Amalgam Alternatives

Many dentists still use amalgam. So you need to make sure you’re safe.

First, find the right dentist. Look for one that is holistic and “mercury free.”

You also want to make sure you understand the procedure. Make sure your dentist plans to use a rubber dam and extra oxygen supply. Discuss Dr. Koral’s risk-reducing steps with her. And ask her to prescribe a supplement to detoxify your body before and after the mercury is removed.

The good news is that people are getting fewer cavities. We’re eating healthier. New dental advancements are keeping our teeth in better shape. And when we do get a cavity, there are alternatives to dental amalgam.

Composite resin is the most popular. It’s made from a type of plastic and powdered glass. It’s more expensive and less durable. But it’s also white – the color of your teeth. And it doesn’t contain toxic mercury.

Another option is glass ionomer cement. It’s also a resin. When it bonds to the tooth, it releases fluoride. It’s recommended for smaller cavities.

But your best tool is to prevent cavities from forming in the first place.

If you’re worried that your existing amalgams have poisoned you, consider chelation. It’s a natural therapy that removes heavy metals – including mercury and lead – from the blood. It also whitens your teeth. You’ll learn about a natural chelation method on Friday.

To your best health,

Michael Jelinek,
Managing Editor, NHD “Health Watch”


  1. Excellent information. This poisoning may be a contributing factor to hair loss in both males and females. The more fillings, the more chance of hair loss. This would be a worthy study.

    Equally important would be the removal methods of such toxins from the blood, such as chelation. Looking forward to the next.

  2. To fill the cavities, there are CAD-CAM made inlays or inlays-onlays in ceramic: it is cheap, acurate, and absolutely chemically neutral (see about CEREC by SIRONA and Emax by IVOCLAR, per exemple). I’m a French MD , DMD, and my office is mercury-free for 10 years.

    1. If it weren’t so sad it would be almost funny!…My Osteopath told me of the dangers of “amalgam fillings” (which had been placed in my mouth 20 years before.THIS WAS 30 YEARS AGO!!!
      He sent me to a special dentist and I had mine removed 30 YEARS AGO!!! My doctor referred me to a support group and a book “It’s All in Your Head”…a book about the dangers of mercury fillings.

      The frustrating and sad part is that in these years since mine were removed…so many tons more mercury have gotten into countless mouths!

      When mine were removed…ceramic inlays were available, but were several thousands of dollars EACH! I had to settle for the less expensive “white filling material”…over time they did crack and break off…not being as sturdy…and were on jaw teeth…so got a lot of use…where the part broke…it exposed a small black area that I wondered if could be a speck of the amalgam that got left in my tooth…I am 70 years of age now and have been in bad health so have not been able to afford this dental work…

      I am glad to see the world of peoples being enlightened to this dangerous practice…(however belatedly)and hope that “one day”…it will be considered as an unfortunate history of dental practice…GREED OVERSHADOWING HEALTH AND COMMON SENSE!!

  3. I am 100 percent sure that mercury amalgams are toxic over a period of time. I’d been getting these fillings from i was a child and only found out after getting many of them that the fillings are potentially dangerous. I had them all removed and improved my health condition, even reversing many symptoms I was having.

  4. My dentist, who is a likable, honest, guy, says that the mercury in amalgam is in a compound, and therefore not a source of free mercury. He wholeheartedly believes it to be harmless.
    Is he misled? Is he perhaps brainwashed by pharmaceutical propaganda (as I think he might be)?
    My recent experience with my wife’s death, due to leukemia, has me very skeptical about organized medicine. I sincerely believe that they are guilty of involuntary manslaughter, as they were very negative to the suggestion of alternates to the pharmaceutical approach. (Stanford received over 2.5 million from Kaiser, treating my wife).

    1. Author

      Thank you for your comment, Bill.

      The research points to the fact that dental amalgam does give off mercury, whether it is leaked into the mouth or inhaled. The only scientific disparity is how much goes into your body. That seems to depend on your personal habits and the number of amalgam fillings you may have.

      The World Health Organization (WHO) says that exposure can be increased by gum-chewing. They cited another report that found a nearly five-fold increase in mercury levels after chewing, eating, or brushing teeth. The report also estimated that amalgam contributes to about 50% of mercury exposure in adults.

    2. The more you read about the dangers of these mercury poison filled fillings…you will see how it contributes to our declining health…and many things…like the mercury encourages dental plack which encourages more cavities resulting in more mercury being placed in your mouth by (some well meaning but brainwashed) dentist!

      Also I have read that presence of mercury causes an internal environment that encourages yeast and fungus to flourish…another health hazard leading to lowering your immune system among other problems. Yeast and fungus have been suspected in causing cancers of different types…I read about years ago…but again because of the GREED INVOLVED common sense is ignored.

      One of the largest issues with mercury fillings (I haven’t seen mentioned here) is the ELECTRICAL STORM created in your body by the reaction of acid in your mouth to the dissimilar metals combined in amalgam. The resultant negative or positive reading can be measured in mill amps by a meter placing one lead under your tongue and other lead touch to the metal filling. (A digital meter holding highest reading is better than a meter with needle reading.)…Probably not much research has been done in the last 30 years since I read about it, back then. But can you imagine the static electricity when one tooth may read negative 9 another tooth be positive 25 (as mine was)and acid saliva being a connecting medium causing a discharge…like crossing wires…AND consider what small electrical current used in a pace maker does…and the natural current reactions in our biosystems…finely balanced electrical impulses running our bodies but UNSEEN DANGEROUS STATIC ELECTRICITY DISCHARGING…CAN you imagine what havoc is being done inside our bodies…no wonder so many people are sick and dying!

      Can you see the sad humor here…most people are conscious of the dangers being present in overhead wires…but oblivious to a electrical storm in their mouth!…It is true …please check it out! Some knowledgeable dentist have and use the meters…but they are relatively inexpensive …I hope in these last 30 years since my doctor(James Carlson DO, Knoxville, TN)showed me this electrical reading…research has been done…and more is known …I HOPE but strongly DOUBT IT!

  5. This makes perfect sense. I had my amalgam fillings replaced in 2009, and am very satisfied. I’m glad that I got that toxic material out!

  6. Good article. Its important for the public to hear about the history of amalgam. This will help them understand why the ADA is still supporting the use of amalgam. Important point not mentioned is to be cautious about what the mercury fillings are replaced with. Composite resins have thier own set of problems. Have your dentist check which materials are most compatable with you. Also ask your Dentist to show you what their amalgam removal protocol is.

    1. Author

      Thank you, Gene.

      Good points about consulting with your dentist. At NHD, we are here to inform everyone so you don’t walk into the dentist or the doctor blindly. It’s best to have many options and be aware of each solution. That way, you are able to find the best treatment for yourself.

  7. ..In November 2003 I chaired a Scientific Meeting of the British Society for Allergy Environmental and Nutritional Medicine now the British Society for Environmental Medicine at The Royal College of General Practitioners which spent the day discussing the toxicity of mercury amalgam. Up until that day I had been advising patients to remove mercury amalgams when the opportunity arose and replace them with white gold or ceramic fillings. The evidence presented was so compelling that I am now advising all my patients to get rid of their mercury fillings as part of any general work up to almost any health problem including wishing to live to a ripe old age!.Professor Fritz Lorscheider presented his work over the past ten years.

  8. The one thing missing from this article, when the author is citing the supposed harmful effects of mercury, are sources. Also, look up the difference between organic and elemental mercury. Here is a tip to get you started, elemental mercury is what’s found in amalgam fillings. This whole thing is a conspiracy theory for all the scientific background to support it.

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