Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Removing Amalgam Fillings + Heavy Metal Detox 101

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We all know what amalgam is, but most of us have only ever heard of it referred to as a "silver filling". Yes, those hideous gray fillings that make it obvious that we have cavities. I started getting amalgam fillings by the time I was 8, and had a whopping 12 by the time I was 18! Needless to say, I was very self-conscious about my teeth. The reason why I had so many cavities is a totally different story, which I will address in a later blog post. As I began learning about health and nutrition, I kept hearing the word amalgam. So, I eventually started to research it, and wow- I was blown away, disgusted, and incredibly scared.

Amalgam is a type of metal alloy that was first developed in 1819 by a British chemist. It was originally made by filing down silver coins, and then mixing the filings with mercury to make a paste. 
Before the invention of amalgam fillings, the only other options were gold fillings or extraction of the affected tooth. Obviously, only the very wealthy could afford gold fillings- so amalgam was a very promising option at the time.  So why have we been using this material in dentistry for over 150 years? It's cheap and it works well. Once placed in a cavity, the mixture of metals undergo a chemical reaction that causes it to harden. 

What's unfortunate? Amalgam hasn't changed much. The amalgam we use today is 50% mercury, and also contains other harmful metals like tin, copper, and zinc. What's bothersome? There are cheaper, safer options available now- yet we still frequently use mercury amalgam in dentistry.

Are There Safe Forms of Mercury?

NO WAY. Mercury is a known toxin; it's more toxic than lead or arsenic. There is NO safe dose of mercury, especially since it accumulates in our body. Unlike other toxins that can be processed and eliminated, mercury can be caught in our tissues for over 25 years. The American Dental Association (ADA) has published several different statements on the matter.  
"When Mercury is combined with the metals used in dental amalgam, it's toxic properties are made harmless."
Sadly, there is no known evidence to support this statement. The ADA even requires dentists to store unused amalgam in an air-tight container, and dispose of it as a hazardous waste. The truth is, the mercury in amalgam is not "locked-in"; it escapes easily with any agitation (brushing, flossing, EATING). Furthermore, we know for a fact that the mercury from amalgam DOES escape the filling. One way we know this is through animal testing. A research team at University of Calgary studied sheep with amalgam fillings, and learned that not only did they have high concentrations of mercury in their tissues- but their babes did as well. The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that an average of 3.8-21 micrograms of mercury are released from each amalgam filling per day. Again, there is no safe dose of mercury; it is extremely toxic in any amount.  For more information about amalgam fillings and how mercury escapes from them, read Dentistry Without Mercury by Sam Ziff.

What Mercury Does To Our Body

There is a non-exhaustive list of the symptoms mercury toxicity can cause. When mercury vapors from fillings escape into our bodies, they get stuck in the tissues of several different vital organs, glands, and lymphs. Mercury disrupts every function in our body, and can severely weaken our immune system. It is so toxic to humans, that exposure to it can lead to cell death or irreversible tissue damage. Some common symptoms of mercury toxicity are:

  • irritability
  • nervousness/anxiety
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • loss of memory
  • bleeding gums
  • loosening of teeth
  • Gingivitis
  • mouth ulcers
  • constipation AND diarrhea
  • colitis and other gastrointestinal problems 
  • irregular heartbeat
  • pain in chest
  • dizziness
  • ringing in ears
  • emphysema
  • persistent cough
  • asthma
  • allergies
  • muscle weakness
  • joint pain
  • fatigue
  • etc.

The above symptoms were all derived from evaluation  of people who suffered from either chronic or acute industrial or ecological exposure to mercury. It's an extensive list that goes on and on. 

Why And How I Got Mine Removed    

After learning how toxic mercury amalgams were, I immediately wanted mine out. However, I was pregnant at the time, so that wasn't an option. I also breastfed my daughter for 16 months, so that delayed the removal even more. Having mercury amalgams removed while pregnant or nursing is not recommended; it can cause mercury toxicity in your child. Anyhow- before I was able to have them removed, I began having some serious problems. I don't know if all of the problems were/are related to mercury toxicity, but it definitely made matters worse. I began getting recurring kidney infections, and severe chronic kidney pain. I also began struggling with digestive problems and depression. For more about my health journey, check out my About Me page. Financially, having my amalgams removed was near impossible. I actually had to go back to college so that I could receive a scholarship refund in order for me to have them removed! Silly, I know. However, I had no other choice. 

So, where do you go to have these things removed and replaced? Unfortunately, not just any dentist can safely remove and replace amalgam fillings. In order to have them removed, without having tons of mercury dumped into your body, you'll need to locate a biological dentist. Click here for a site that has a database of biological dentists with contact information. If you don't see any that are nearby, don't get worried! I actually found a biological dentist only twenty minutes outside of the small town I live in! When you do find one, be sure to talk with them about their method of extraction. The dentist that removed my fillings took every precaution possible to prevent further toxicity. If not done right, you can have a large mercury dump and become very ill. Having mercury fillings removed is a serious matter, and should only be done by an experienced biological dentist.

How to Detox Mercury

Once you begin having your amalgams removed, you can start taking the steps to detox and heal your body. Some simple things you can do to prepare your body for detoxification would be cutting out processed foods, a liver/gallbladder cleanse, lots of healthy fats and plenty of water. Here are 5 things you can use to help your body rid itself of mercury:

1. Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay works to detox the body of heavy metals by attraction. Bentonite clay has a negative electrical charge, and heavy metals and toxins have a positive charge. Bentonite clay literally pulls heavy metals from the tissues in your body so that they can be eliminated through the bowels. Check out my blog post on bentonite here. Redmond Clay offers the purest, most effective and affordable bentonite clay; find it here.

2. Spirulina & Chlorella 

Spirulina and chlorella are both micro-algae organisms, which have existed on Earth since the dawn of time. Spirulina, like bentonite, bonds to mercury so that it can be eliminated; this is referred to as chelation. Chlorella is also a heavy-metal chelator. Furthermore, chlorella  not only binds to heavy metals, it helps to usher heavy metals from the entire body. Both spirulina and chlorella are high in chlorophyll, with is also a powerful detoxifier. Earth Shift Products offers a wonderful blend of these, compressed into tablet form. Not to mention that they're raw AND organic! Find those here

3. Zeolite

Zeolite, like bentonite, is a naturally occuring alkaline volcanic ash.  Like bentonite, it also works to detox through method of attraction. Zeolite has been shown to attract heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, and arsenic. Studies in normal volunteers have shown a 5-7 fold increase in urinary excretion of heavy metals within a week of using zeolites. Health Force Nutritionals offers a safe and affordable zeolite here.

4. Glutathione

Nope, you can't just buy this in a capsule form. Glutathione is something your body produces! In the words of Dr. Mercola
"The glutathione “supersystem” is your body’s main detoxification system. Glutathione binds to heavy metals, but it doesn’t do it alone — it requires the assistance of enzymes, antioxidants, and transport proteins."
Essentially, exposure to toxins impairs our ability to make glutathione. However, there are an array of foods we can add into our diet that can help boost glutathione production. There are no foods that directly produce glutathione, but they contain the precursors we need for our body to make more of it. Foods rich in cysteine are particularly helpful in boosting glutathione. Foods rich in cysteine are: poultry, broccoli, red peppers, garlic, and egg yolks. Eating a variety of fruits & vegetables, raw goat's milk, and organic organ meat can also help to give your body what it needs to make glutathione. 

5. MSM

MSM is an organic sulfur that naturally occurs in fruits, vegetablse, soil, poultry, eggs, and milk. MSM is essential for optimal health, and is necessary for over 150 functions in our body. Of the many functions MSM has in our body one of those is to maintain cell membrane flexibility and permeability. Sufficient levels of MSM promote a healthy exchange of nutrients and waste products. When detoxing from heavy metals, MSM helps to release the toxins from the affected tissue. OJIO offers a super-natural and affordable MSM powder; see it here

For more information about heavy metal detoxification, check out this article by Dr. Mercola. 



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  2. I recently read Dentzzblog and they had pros and cons of all dental fillings.Good information!the various types of fillings that people generally avail of. Obviously, considering only the aesthetic value is not important or just the economic value is not enough and hence, your dentist should be able to advise you best as to which kind of filling to opt for.

  3. I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet people, its really really nice paragraph on building up new blog.Amalgam Fillings

  4. Is there any other material other than amalgam for fillings if it so explain about that materials.

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  5. There has always been a
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    This has increased over the past 25 years and
    there has been much research into the health
    effects of amalgam over this time. Click here to visit our dental clinic website.

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  7. A very nice guide. I will definitely follow these tips. Thank you for sharing such detailed article. I am learning a lot from you.

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  10. I just took my amalgam out last 2 months it was going into my glands and killing me. Made me sick everyday, bad nausea, vomiting, migraines and headaches. I was 13 years old when I had this.

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  12. I went to a dentist who said my fillings were too deep to be removed? Is this possible or did he just not want to remove them?

  13. Hi - its been a while now, and i'm keen to know how you felt after the fillings were removed, and what was used to refill the holes?


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