Food For Thought
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Could Those Silver Fillings Cause
You Health Problems?
February 20th, 2001
by columnist
David Lawrence Dewey

"Reading provides knowledge...
knowledge leads to answers."
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American Dental Association Backs Down From Previous Claims

In the Superior Court of the State of California Case No. 718228, Demurrer (October 22, 1992), the American Dental Association issued this legal statement regarding Hg (silver/mercury) dental fillings.

"The American Dental Association (ADA) owes no legal duty of care to protect the public from allegedly dangerous products used by dentists. The ADA did not manufacture, design, supply or install the mercury-containing amalgams. The ADA does not control those who do. The ADA's only alleged involvement in the product was to provide information regarding its use. Dissemination of information relating to the practice of dentistry does not create a duty of care to protect the public from potential injury."

Scary huh? What is interesting about this statement is that for nearly a half a century the ADA has maintained there was no health risk associated with silver/mercury dental fillings. Why has the ADA taken such an about face? I believe to shift legal burden away from the ADA to individual dentists. Mercury is the most toxic element known to man. It cause can brain damage, birth defects, immune disorders, neurological damage throughout the body. Recent medical research findings show how silver/mercury fillings can cause serious health problems. Dr. D.W. Eggleston published a study refuting these ADA claims. He documented, from brain autopsy specimens, that the accumulated level of brain mercury correlates directly and closely to the number of fillings in the cadaverís mouth. The more fillings, the more mercury. Thereís no stopping mercury. It loves to attach to sulfur proteins in nervous tissue (brain, spinal cord, and nerves). The good news is that there is a compound, di-mercapto-succinic-acid (DMSA). It's that approved for lead poisoning, but removes mercury as well. If you look up in the Physician's Desk Reference, donít be overly alarmed by the potential adverse reactions, since using a lower dose still pulls mercury out, but with less chance of side effects. Email Dr. E.M. Cranton, M.D. for more information about this. His email address is Later on in this column, you will learn how to find out how to get an accurate 24 urine mercury test. However, we need to look first at how these fillings began. Before I begin, I could like to thank "Carole", one of my readers who "jogged" my memory to write about this very important health concern!

How and When Did the Use of Silver/Mercury Fillings Begin?

Beginning in the 7th century, the Chinese used a "silver paste" containing mercury (Hg) to fill decayed teeth. This silvery liquid is extracted from cinnabar ore. At room temperature Hg dissolves powders of other metals such as silver, tin, and copper. By the early 1800's, the use of a Hg/silver paste as a tooth filling material was being popularized in England and France. By 1830, it was eventually introduced into North America. This early mixture expanded after setting. It frequently fractured teeth or it protruding above the cavity preparation prevented proper jaw closure. Even at then, some dentists were concerned about mercurial poisoning. The reason? It was already widely recognized that Hg exposure resulted in many overt side effects, including dementia and loss of motor coordination. In 1845, as a reflection of these concerns, the American Society of Dental Surgeons and several affiliated regional dental societies adopted a resolution that its members sign a pledge NOT TO USE amalgam. Interestingly, during the next decade some members of the society were suspended for the malpractice of using amalgam. But the advocates of amalgam eventually prevailed and membership in the American Society of Dental Surgeons declined. It finally disbanded in 1856. In its place arose the American Dental Association in 1859. The basic foundation is based on the advocacy of amalgam as a safe and desirable tooth filling material. Shortly thereafter, tin, ( yes tin! ) was added to the Hg/silver paste to counteract the expansion properties and problems of the previous amalgam formula. What they saw here was basically a method to use to make money. This formula was cheaper than solid gold used only for the rich. This formula could be used cheaply for the masses, thus dentists could "fill" more teeth making more money.

By 1895, the dental amalgam mixture of metals were modified further to control for expansion and contraction. The basic formula has remained basically the same since. Presently, based on 1992 dental manufacturer specifications, this is the mixture presently being used by dentists for dental amalgam fillings:

Approximately 50% metallic Hg, ( this is mercury)
( Yes...50% mercury in your mouth ) and
35% silver, 9% tin, 6% copper, and a trace of zinc.

Hg (mercury/silver) fillings are used in approximately 92% of U.S. dentists for restoring posterior teeth. Over 100 million Hg, (mercury/silver) fillings are put into consumers mouths each year in the U.S.
Presently, the U.S. organized dentistry has countered this controversy surrounding the use of Hg (mercury/silver) fillings by claiming that Hg (mercury/silver) reacts with the other amalgam metals to form a "biologically inactive substance". They also claim it is safe because dentists have not reported any adverse side effects in patients. Long-term use and popularity also continue to be offered as evidence of amalgam safety. However, dentists are not medical doctors. Dentists have performed no medical tests or studies for certain diseases on patients that could be caused by these fillings.

Are Hg (mercury/silver) Fillings Approved by the FDA?

This is a definite NO! They have approved the components of these fillings separately. The mercury and the metal alloy. The FDA have never evaluated or approved the combined mixture. You are probably asking, "You have got to be kidding?". The FDA is by law suppose to evaluate and classify every medical and dental device to be used on humans. However in this case they have not evaluated this mixture that is used to as fillings in 75-80% of all tooth restorations. The FDA, however, has taken the position that mixed amalgam is a ''reaction'' product manufactured by the dentist when he or she mixes the mercury with the alloy before placing it in your tooth.

These Significant Scientific Findings Refute The Claim These Fillings Are Safe

1: "Mercury Exposure from Silver Tooth Fillings: Emerging Evidence Questions a Traditional Dental Paradigm."
published in the FASEB Journal (April 1995).
Lorscheider, F.L., Vimy, M.J., and Summers, A.O., authors
SUMMARY: Results of the pathophysiologic effects related to mercury leaking from amalgam restorations in humans and animals.
a:) every amalgam daily releases on the order of 10 micrograms of mercury into the body (i.e. 3,000,000,000,000,000 mercury atoms per day),
b:) more than 2/3 of the excretable mercury in humans is derived from amalgams
c:) mercury crosses the maternal placenta into the tissue of a developing fetus
d:) mercury is capable of inducing auto immunity
e:) mercury immediately and continually challenges the kidney's functioning, mercury can enhance the prevalence of multiple antibiotic resistant intestinal bacteria, and people exposed to mercury on a sustained basis are at risk to lowered fertility.

2: "Mercury From Dental "Silver" Tooth Fillings Impairs Sheep Kidney Function"
published in Am.J. Physiol. 261, Regulatory Integrative Comp. Physiol. 30: R1010-R1014, (1991).
Boyd, N.D., H. Benediktsson, M.J. Vimy, D.E. Hooper, and F.L. Lorscheider
It is concluded that amalgam Hg levels in kidney are sufficient to significantly reduce the rate of inulin clearance by non defined mechanisms and that electrolyte patterns in urine are consistent with impaired renal tubular reabsorption.

3:) "Mercury Released from Dental "Silver" Fillings Provokes an Increase in Mercury and Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Oral and Intestinal Floras of Primates",
published in Antimicrobial Agents andChemotherapy (April 1993), pages 825 - 834
Summers, A.O., J.Wireman, M.J. Vimy, F.L. Lorscheider, B. Marshall,
S.B. Levy, S. Bennett, and L. Billard,

THE FINDINGS In a survey of 640 human subjects, a subgroup of 356 persons without recent exposure to antibiotics demonstrated that those with a high prevalence of Hg resistance in their intestinal floras were significantly more likely to also have resistance to two or more antibiotics. While such mercury- and antibiotic-resistant isolates among the staphylococci, the enterococci, and members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, have been described, this is the first report of mercury resistance in the oral streptococci. Many of the enterobacterial strains were able to transfer mercury and antibiotic resistances together to laboratory bacterial recipients, suggesting that the loci for these resistances are genetically linked. Our findings indicate that mercury released from amalgam fillings can cause an enrichment of mercury resistance plasmids in the normal bacterial floras of primates. Many of these plasmids also carry antibiotic resistance, implicating the exposure to mercury from dental amalgams in an increased incidence of multiple antibiotic resistance plasmids in the normal floras of nonmedicated subjects.

* This is how you can get an accurate 24 hour urine mercury test .

4:) "Urinary Mercury after Administration of 2, 3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonic acid: Correlation with Dental Amalgam Score"
published in FASEB J. 6: 2472-2476; (1992)
Aposhian, H.V., D.C. Bruce, W. Alter, R.C. Dart, K.M. Hurlbut, M.M. Aposhian,
THE FINDINGS There is a considerable controversy as to whether dental amalgams may cause systemic health effects in humans because they liberate elemental mercury. Most such amalgams contain as much as 50% metallic mercury. To determine the influence of dental amalgams on the mercury body burden of humans, we have given volunteers, with and without amalgams in their mouth, the sodium salt of 2, 3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonic acid (DMPS), a chelating agent safely used in the Soviet Union and West Germany for a number of years. The diameters of dental amalgams of the subjects were determined to obtain the amalgam score. Administration of 300 mg DMPS by mouth increased the mean urinary mercury excretion of the amalgam group from 0.70 to 17.2 ug and that of the non amalgam group from 0.27 to 5.1 ug over a 9 hour period. Two-thirds of the mercury excreted in the urine of those with dental amalgams appears to be derived originally from the mercury vapor released from their amalgams. Linear regression analysis indicated a highly significant positive correlation between the mercury excreted in the urine 2 hours after DMPS administration and the dental amalgam scores. DMPS can be used to increase the urinary excretion of mercury and thus increase the significance and reliability of this measure of mercury exposure or burden, especially in cases of micromercurialism.

Here are additional medical research studies showing how Hg (mercury/silver) fillings cause health problems.

"Neurobehavioral effects from exposure to dental amalgam Hg: new distinctions between recent exposure and Hg body burden," published in FASEB Journal 12, 971-980 (1998)
D. Echeverria, H.V. Aposhian, J.S. Woods, N.J. Heyer, M.M. Aposhian, A.C. Bittner Jr., R.K. Mahurn, and M. Cianciola,

"Mercury from Maternal "Silver" Tooth Fillings in Sheep and Human Breast Milk: A Source of Neonatal Exposure"
published in Biological Trace Element Research, 56:143-52, (1997). Vimy, M.J., Hooper, D.E., King, W.W., Lorscheider, F.L.

Mercury Associated with Cardiac Dysfunction
"Marked elevation of myocardial trace elements in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy compared with secondary cardiac dysfunction." From: J Am Coll Cardiol 1999 May;33(6):1578-83
Frustaci A, Magnavita N, Chimenti C, Caldarulo M, Sabbioni E, Pietra R, Cellini C, Possati GF, Maseri A. Department of Cardiology, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.

In addition, there are recent human studies that have linked the amalgam mercury issue with Alzheimer's Disease. Recent brain biopsies are finding high levels of mercury in the brains of those that had Hg (mercury/silver) fillings when compared to no levels in Alzheimer patients with no MG (mercury/silver) fillings. As recent as 1998 in the Journal of Neural Transmission, 105:, this study found " Increased Blood Mercury Levels in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease".

How should Hg( mercury/silver) fillings be removed?

The IAOMT Standards of Care, Preferred Procedure, "Reducing Mercury Vapor Exposure for the Patient During Amalgam Removal." published in (September 1992) advises these procedures:
1: Remove no more than two amalgams per appointment, time amalgam removal appointments at least one month apart, administer intravenous Vitamin C before removal (Hg has a greater affinity to Vitamin C that is present in the blood than it does for body tissue), don't remove amalgams from a pregnant woman.
2: Place a rubber dam around the tooth to isolate it from the body
3: Provide an alternative source of air to the patient
4: Place a saliva ejector under the dam to remove mercury vapor that penetrates the latex, use high volume evacuation with isolate attachment, section amalgams and remove in as large pieces as possible, remove and properly dispose of rubber dam and mercury after amalgam removal.
Further information pertaining to proper amalgam removal can be found on the web page

There is also EDTA chelation treatment that can remove mercury from the body.

There are many more studies also, too many to list here that show that mercury/silver fillings are harmful to the human body.

Are Hg (mercury/silver) fillings causing auto-immune diseases and other mystery diseases?

Author/researcher, Mary Davis has written a book, "Solving the Puzzle of Mystery Syndromes" Hot Off the Press Printing Co. 2000. Her book presents patient-reported case histories, where they associate their health problems to dental amalgam mercury. Case histories include: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Seizures, Memory Loss, Migraines, Multiple Allergies, Multiple Sclerosis, Depression, Lupus, Maldigestion, Chemical Sensitivities, Insomnia, Miscarriages, Paralysis, Sinus Problems, Emotional & Mental Disorders, Infertility, Endometriosis, Crohn's Disease, Rashes, Anxiety, Tremors & Spasms, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Universal Reactor and many others. I believe that Hg (mercury/silver) fillings are the catalyst. ( something that specialists have been trying to figure out for years what causes these diseases). It is the slow release of the mercury over time that eventually triggers these diseases in weakened bodies who immune systems have been torn away and destroyed at by hydrogenated oils in the food supply.

There is sufficient valid scientific medical research documentation that clearly shows that Hg (mercury/silver) fillings are causing a myriad of health problems in people. The problem is why isn't anyone doing anything about it? The answer is no different than the tobacco lawsuits, hydrogenated oils in the food supplies, and genetically altered foods that are causing allegies in people. Here again, man invented something out of greed without fully testing and measuring the effects on the human body. This issue of Hg (mercury/silver) fillings is just another class action lawsuit waiting to happen. I wonder how long the American Medical Association is going to ignore the scientific findings? They have ignored the findings on hydrogenated oils, while researcher after researcher has proven how bad these oils are for the human body. When is the established medical community going to finally admit we've done it to ourselves and recognize what we've done to ourselves. Until that occurs, I do not believe you will find the forth coming cures coming from the medical community. Instead they will be found at the grass roots level of the sufferers themselves. Sad isn't it, that so many others though will suffer and die with these diseases when the solutions were right in front of us all the time!

Here is a list of websites you can visit to learn more about the dangers of Amalgam Hg (mercury/silver) fillings:

Mercury Free and Healthy, The Dental Amalgam Issue

Mercury Toxicity

Mercury Fillings and Detoxification


The Edelson Center: Heavy Metal Toxicity


Mercury Amalgam Silver Fillings are Unsafe Viewpoint

Lyn, one of my readers in England emailed me after this column first appeared and asked me to provide a site in England. Here is an excellant site for my readers in England: Pams Helpline

Thanks also to my readers, Ralph and Donna who tuned me onto this next subject. In my next column I will writing about Dr. Roy Swank and his book, "The Multiple Sclerosis Diet Book". Dr. Swank is an MD PhD, retired Chairman of the neurology department at The Oregon Health Sciences University. US News has rate this department as number three in medical research in America. His diet has been ignored by the Mutiple Sclerosis Society for all the wrong reasons. And I will tell you why or why it does not work and why they don't want MS patients to know of it. Part of the answer is hydrogenated oils in foods. If you have not read my column, "Hydrogenated Oils-Silent Killers", then please do. Over 125 medical research studies how these oils cause coronary heart disease, diabetes type II, auto-immune disorders. I will also give you my thoughts on why hydrogenated oils, amalgam, Hg (mercury/silver) fillings are all tied together in causing many of our diseases.

Please share this column with your friends and family.

PostScript 6-6-2001

Dental Researchers at Columbia University recently completed a study of 550 healthy adults whose ages were 30 to 49. They were given a number of tests including neurological tests and the study says found no relationship between neurological functioning and the number of fillings people had in their mouth. Dr. Irwin d. Mandel, D.D.S. professor of dentistry emeritus and formerly associate dean for research and director of Centre for clinical Research in Dentistry at Columbia further stated, "To date, studies have ruled out any link between mercury amalgam, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, cancer, kidney disease, immune and reproductive impairments, cognitive decline or Alzheimer's disease.

What I find interesting about this study is that it was not a controlled double study. A double study is where the same number of people having neurological immune diseases are studied as well. To have an accurate scientific study such as this, one must study two groups, a healthy group and a group that is experiencing health problems possibly due to the source being studied. They did not examine 550 people that had developed auto-immune diseases to see if they had high levels of mercury in their urine, tissues, organs or hair. Until medical researchers do such a combined study of two control groups to prove once and for all that there is no association of amalgam fillings causing diseases, I do not think it is prudent for any researcher to say exclusively that there is no association between the two. I leave it up to you to decide what you think.

~ God Bless ~

~ David Lawrence Dewey ~

Click Here for a list of food companies that manufacture oils and foods
that do not contain hydrogenated oils.
Get your local grocer to start stocking these foods,
many of the companies you can order direct from the company.

In the United States, medical diagnosis and treatment is constrained by law to be the exclusive purview of state licensed practitioners. The diseases discussed on this site are serious, sometimes life threatening matters. Neither the content nor the intent of this column may or should be construed as the giving of medical advice or as recommending any treatment of any kind. The purpose of this column is to support informed discussions, to provide medical research links and and to help the patient identify the doctors who keep up with advances in their field.
© All Rights Reserved. Use of these articles is for personal use only. Any other use is strictly prohibited. Newspapers, syndicates or publications wishing to print his columns, email your request with details to Mr. Dewey's agent. Email Contacts for DL Dewey. For any other use, DLDEWEY for permission to use column or columns, detailing your request to use which column or columns and for what purpose.

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Updated October 28th, 2004