Real Risks Associated with Mercury Poisoning and Exposure
Chronic, long term, exposure to trace amounts of mercury can lead to mercury poisoning and buildup
in the body over time; after removing the exposure, it may take months or even years for the body to eliminate excess mercury. Overexposure can lead to kidney damage and/or mercury poisoning, leading to ‘shakes’ (ex: shaky handwriting), irritability, sore gums, increased saliva, metallic taste, loss of appetite, memory loss, personality changes, and brain damage. Most commonly associated mercury poisoning symptoms can be pain, burning or itching in the skin or even the gums, changes in skin color, loss of memory emotional impairment, even insomnia.
Sources of Mercury Poisoning
Significant sources of mercury poisoning and exposure commonly come from contaminated fish, soil or water with high mercury levels, air pollution (particularly from power plant emissions and coal mines,) exposure to mercury vapor from dental amalgam fillings, improper disposal of mercury containing products such as fluorescent lights. Less common, but significant, sources of exposure to mercury and mercury poisoning come from cement production, gold and steel production, coal mining, and other industrial operations and waste.
Why Amalgam Fillings Persist
Admittedly mercury amalgam fillings are inexpensive and easy to work with, the ADA has approved them, they are durable and reliable and dentist are familiar with the procedure. Amalgam can last for years, is resistant to corrosion and tolerant to many conditions inside the mouth. Options, in dentistry, to use other materials have been available for several decades still, because of its cost and ease of application, mercury use in dentistry is pervasive with change coming slowly.
Yet more and more states (and some countries) adopt policy to encourage reduction of amalgam fillings and our federal government continues to review and encourage reduction in mercury alloys. The public is becoming ever more educated in the adverse effects of mercury and risks of mercury poisoning, and no reasonable arguments can state that mercury is not a dangerous toxin, the risk to children and infants even greater than the risk posed to adults.
Cummulative Effects of Mercury
Environmentally the risks of mercury poisoning grows as the population grows. As bad as mercury may be for one individual the direct correlation can be seen as a domino effect of ever increasing risk of exposure and environmental mercury poisoning.
Communities routinely face challenges from mercury detected in municipal water supplies, soil and farm lands are testing positive for mercury levels that are concerning and the oceans fish are always exposed to higher and higher levels of mercury. All of which put each of us at an individually increased risk for low, moderate or even high risks of mercury poisoning.
What To Consider
An individual with multiple existing silver fillings (mercury containing, amalgam) will have a higher exposure to toxic mercury than those with few or no amalgam fillings. There are options for reducing individual risks. A trained and qualified dentist can remove the amalgam fillings and with proper instruments, and ventilation equipment, keep your risk and the risk to the environment and dental office at the lowest possible level.
Dr. Marilyn K Jones DDS is qualified and her staff trained to properly and safely eliminate your amalgam fillings and provided safe, long lasting, and strong restorations to your teeth. Please call or contact them today for an appointment.