Mercury Fillings Affecting Dentists

Once again more research has surfaced regarding the health concerns associated with silver dental restorations.

In the May issue of The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Scottish researchers studied 180 dentists. The investigators found the dentists had up to four times the normal level of mercury in their urine and nails and had more kidney disorders and memory lapses than the general public. The results of psychomotor skills, response times, word recall and health problems of the 180 dentists was significantly different than the equal number of non-dentists.

Silver dental fillings, also called amalgams, have been used in dentistry for over 100 years. They contain 50% mercury, 35% silver and 15% mixed other metals. Some dentists, doctors and researchers believe that fillings can give off harmful vapours, which are inhaled, swallowed and absorbed into the body. These vapours are measurable with specific instrumentation. Recent research has also shown that the nerves of the teeth and face can also wick up the mercury directly into the brain in a process called “retrograde axonal nerve transport”. Critics of the fillings claim the mercury can lead to significant health problems affecting virtually any organ in the body.

Opponents to this view of thought say that there is no proof that relates amalgams to any health problem. They also refer to the 100 plus year history of use and claim that the mercury remains bound in the teeth. The durability of amalgams is also highlighted as a major benefit for its use.

The whole mercury issue regarding dental amalgams and health has been fraught with controversy, bias and denial. It is a scientific fact that mercury is toxic to humans. A majority of all mined mercury goes into the dental field. Many countries and dentists are moving away from the use of this restoration material in favour of more biocompatible alternatives such as pure gold, porcelain, ceramic and plastics. Unfortunately, no material is perfect as compared to the normal dental enamel.

This issue is most likely a liability problem for dental associations than a public health one. It is time that this topic be fully evaluated and changed for the good of the dentists’ health and their patients too.

 

Copyright © 2003 by Dr. Garrett G. Swetlikoff

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    We are all surrounded by electromagnetic fields (EMFs).  The sun and earth produce their own natural forces which we cannot escape.  But modern lifestyles and technologies have now chronically exposed humans to fields much different.  For example, AC electric fields from house wiring and corded appliances, power lines and radio frequencies are part of everyday living.  Cellphones, cordless phones, Wi-Fi routers, baby monitors, smart meters and Bluetooth devices are everywhere.  The real fact is that these EMFs are unavoidable and exposure now starts during pregnancy and infancy, right until death.  We are living in an environment of electro smog….

    There is huge controversy over what health risks EMFs may or may not produce.  Most international health organizations, scientific bodies and pro-technology groups state that EMFs, at current levels and forms, do not significantly harm humans or animals.  Specific correlations with diseases like cancer, immune dysfunction or cognitive decline have not been shown statistically to be relevant.  So the general viewpoint is that all this exposure is safe.  These conclusions are readily available on the internet, if one wants to read the data presented.

    However, there are many other researchers, physicians and anti-EMF groups that disagree with these conclusions.  They point out that most studies have not been done for long enough periods of time and that the layering of multiple different types of EMF exposure simultaneously, have not been taken into account.  The frequency, power density, strength and duration of exposure are felt to alter the health risks and need to be factored in with more relevance.  Also, the sensitivity to EMFs may be varied form person to person, based on their own individual constitution and age.  Kind of like the old saying, “One man’s food is another man’s poison”.

    Some research has shown that EMFs alter voltage gated calcium channels in the outer membrane of cells, resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative free radical stress and possibly DNA damage.  The result being that some people report a variety of health issues from both long and short EMF exposure.  Ringing in the ears, dizziness, heart palpitations, headaches, insomnia, foggy thinking, chronic fatigue, anxiety, depression, pain syndromes and hormone imbalances are some examples.  More serious conditions like brain cancers, neurological defects, auto-immune disease and dementia are also being discussed by the anti-EMF groups.  The jury is out on all of this, but certainly, the sides are very polarized.

    So what does one do?????  Well…. the cat is out of the bag.  EMF technologies are not going away.  You cannot hide anywhere from EMF exposure.  Whether you believe that EMFs are safe or harmful, here are a few basic tips…..Try replacing wireless devices with wired versions.  Reduce cellphone use and don’t wear it in your bra or pocket.  Use the speaker in the phone and keep it in Airplane mode most of the time.  Reduce laptop use and use wired equipment.  Get as much electrical junk out of the bedroom and far away from your bed.  Try not live near cellphone towers.  Shut Wi-Fi routers off at night.  It is not clear if the advertised shielding devices out there actually work.  Have lots of houseplants, eat a diet rich in anti-oxidants, get outside in nature and get grounded, sweat, stay well water hydrated, and smart phones are not toys for the kids.  There are many other tips available if one researches them.  May the force be with you……

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