It has been found that having too many dental fillings at the dentist’s office could actually cause mercury levels to increase in the bloodstream.
Dental filler or amalgam consists of mercury, silver, tin and other metals. It can unfortunately cause mercury levels to rise in the blood of the patients. This in itself is a health hazard. Nearly 15,000 people were observed in the study.
The link between dental fillings and mercury exposure was found to be very real. The results of the study were published online and will be available in the print edition of the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety in December.
Tooth decay or dental caries is a very common problem of our late capitalist civilization. Due to poor oral hygiene and sweet sticky foods, the teeth undergo degradation and destruction.
While many people go to have their teeth filled at the dentist’s, the exact nature of the fillings is not discussed. It is only now that the ingredients of the fillings are being questioned by science and scientists.
Mercury exposure is hardly a new phenomenon. It has been in the news since times immemorial. However, previous studies were limited and not a big help in implementing precautionary measures.
This current study has gone into the nitty gritty details of the mercury exposure and future risk evaluation. Also such factors as age, sex, educational status, ethnic background, racial profile, tobacco use and seafood consumption were taken into consideration.
All these factors contribute to a build up of mercury levels in the body. Also various types of mercury were analyzed. Methyl mercury, the type used in dental fillings, was the most harmful of the lot. The human microbiome may transform this mercury into something altogether different and toxic in our species.
Dental amalgam has always been the preferred material for fillings since the past century and a half. This is because dental amalgam is cheap and sturdy. However, the only issue is that half of the material is pure mercury. This makes it pretty toxic.
The heavy metal form of mercury is harmful for the heart, brain, kidneys, lungs and immune functioning. Even at the lowest levels such a filler may cause untold damage to the organs.
While mercury is definitely a poison, the difference between a cure and a poison depends on the dose. A single dental filling may not be such a cause for worry. However, eight fillings is a cause of alarm.