COMMENTS BY DR. TED HERRMANN:
We know that mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive chemical on Earth (i). We know that this chemical vaporizes under pressure and heat. We also know that, when vaporized, this chemical is tasteless, odorless, and easily inhaled without notice. Why, then, does it make sense to have such a chemical in your mouth?
The human mouth is naturally one of the warmest regions of the body. Used for chewing and breaking down food, the mouth also has the ability to clench and exert pressure on its teeth. The natural warmth of the mouth, combined with the pressure its jaws can force onto teeth, make teeth one of the worst places to put a toxic chemical like mercury. Chewing, unconscious jaw clentching, and nighttime teeth grinding all contribute to the health hazards of amalgam (silver) fillings.
Cavities and Mercury Fillings
To better understand the dangers of silver fillings, let’s examine how fillings work. When you have a cavity, your dentist will remove the plaque and bacteria from your tooth. Depending on the amount of plaque and the extent to which it has damaged your tooth, this process will leave a hole in the enamel of the tooth. A solution of metal is then prepared, consisting of 50-60% mercury and varying levels of silver and tin. This solution is called amalgam. The mercury rich amalgam is then shoved into the hole in your tooth.
Contrary to popular belief, this filling is not bound directly to the tooth. Instead, it is forcefully stuffed into the cavity until the entire space is filled. The cavity is sealed as the filling corrodes naturally over time. This corrosion process, however, creates problems down the road.
Mercury Toxicity and the Mouth
The corrosion process that seals a silver filling into a tooth never stops. The continual corrosion of the filling eventually creates micro fractures along the surfaces of the tooth. Over time, these fractures accumulate and eventually crack the tooth. In some cases these fractures may lead to the tooth being broken altogether. As this happens, amalgam fillings are exposed to two very bad forces: pressure from natural chewing, and heat from the mouth. The combination of pressure and heat vaporizes the mercury content of the filling, creating an odorless, tasteless, highly toxic gas. Since the gas emits from a filling in a tooth, it is easily inhaled at levels 10-50 times the level considered safe by the U.S. Public Health Service (ii).
As a Miami dentist and holistic wellness professional, I cannot understate the harmful effects that mercury can induce. Simply put, no amount of mercury is safe. A proposition in California, enacted in 1994, requires dental professionals that the use of silver fillings “causes birth defects and other problems”(iii). Assure a Smile Miami Dentistry offers safe mercury removal to help patients replace silver fillings with much safer composite, or white, fillings.