Mercury is extremely toxic to the body. Although the safety of dental filling material containing mercury has been debated in dental circles since the 1800’s, the official opinion of the American Dental Association has been that when mercury is combined with other metals and used in dental amalgam fillings, the toxic properties of mercury are rendered harmless. There exists a growing awareness among health care practitioners and researchers that this is not the case and that a significant amount of mercury is released by these fillings to cause health problems, especially in susceptible individuals. Research has demonstrated that mercury vapor is continuously released from amalgam fillings in measurable quantities from the moment fillings are inserted into teeth. Mercury is inhaled, swallowed and absorbed directly in the mouth. [See: Vimy, MJ & Lorscheider, FL. J. Trace Elem. F rper. Med 3:111(1990)] In his book, “It’s All Your Head Diseases Caused by Silver Mercury Fillings “, Hal Huggins, D.D.S. describes his breakthrough work establishing that mercury is released from compounds that are toxic and that these compounds can produce illness. Sequential amalgam removal can result in remission of the illness.
Studies have linked mercury exposure from the environment with a number and variety of illnesses including allergies, chronic fatigue, depression, GI disorders, immune system suppression, endocrine disorders, periodontal disease, neurological problems, reproductive disorders, birth defects, kidney disease, heart problems, hypertension, respiratory disorders, cancer and skin disease. Mercury can interfere with any process or organ in the body, since it is poisonous to all cells, but it has a marked effect on both the immune system and the endocrine system. This has been shown by research indicating the presence of mercury amalgam fillings in the mouth reducing the immune system efficiency by one third to one half. If a person has a chronic health problem for which a cause has not been found and mercury fillings are present in the mouth, mercury toxicity may be a contributing factor.
To test whether an individual’s mercury levels may be the cause of the problem, one can use the compound 2.3 Dimercaptosuccinic Acid (DMSA) to chelate (bind to) mercury in a provocative oral dose. Analyzing mercury in a collection of urine over the subsequent 6 hours can give an indication of the mercury burden of the body tissues. Additionally, chronic exposure to mercury can be detected in the hair
Care must be given during the process employed in the removal of the mercury containing fillings and should be done by a dentist well trained in amalgam removal protocols. Large scale unprotected removal can generate new illness or make the chronic condition worse if these precautions are not followed. For example, rubber dams should be placed in the mouth to prevent mercury released during the drilling from entering the mucus membranes of the mouth. Amalgams should be removed according to a sequence determined by their electrical potential. The physical removal process must also guard against exposure of the patient (as well as the dentist) to the mercury dust and vapors of the drilling process. Remember that the American Dental Association is very reluctant to acknowledge the toxicity of mercury amalgam fillings and that many dentists may not be fully aware of the special handling steps’ necessary in the removal process.
Along with replacing the fillings, it is important for the patient to work with a physician who can help in the process of removal of mercury from the body. The chelating agent, DMSA, can be administered orally to facilitate the removal of mercury from tissue (organ) storage sites. It is best used in conjunction with the removal of mercury amalgam fillings. Additionally, nutrient supplementation is an integral part of the recovery process, providing the body with the tools needed to correct and compensate for the toxicity of the metal in the body.
What is the Urine Mercury Test?
A provocative dose of DMSA is provided by the lab along with a container for a 6 hour urine collection. Following instructions given by our laboratory, a sample of this urine should be sent to Doctor’s Data Laboratory. Doctor’s Data Laboratory will measure mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum and several other toxic minerals. When the analysis of the urine indicates high levels of mercury or other minerals, it is a signal that the body tissue levels are also high.
What happens if the test result indicates high levels of mercury?
If the mercury level is high, a prescription for DMSA can be given to help remove mercury and other toxic metals. such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and nickel. This should be done in conjunction with the removal of the source( s) of the toxic metal contamination. The dosage of DMSA generally prescribed is between 100 and 500 mg., taken on an empty stomach, three times per week, for 5 weeks. None is then taken for 2 weeks and then the process is again repeated for 5 weeks. At this point, the test should be repeated again. This cycle may be repeated as often as necessary to reduce the toxic metal load in the body.
Intravenous D.M.P.S. is alternate treatment of choice to remove excess of Mercury. Both treatments must be followed by Intravenous Vitamin “C” mineral drip.
What about removing the major source of mercury from the body the silver amalgam fillings?
It is recommended that a dentist knowledgeable in the proper procedure of amalgam filling removal be consulted within one month and mercury amalgam fillings be replaced with porcelain, composite, gold or some other suitable material.
What happens if mercury amalgam fillings are not replaced?
Although it is emphatically recommended that mercury amalgam fillings be properly replaced, if this is not done or is postponed, it is predictable that tissue levels of mercury in the body will build up again as mercury is constantly released from the teeth. In such cases, periodically repeating urine mercury testing and a course of DMSA chelation therapy is recommended.
Can DMSA be taken the day of and day after dental work involving mercury amalgam in order to remove any “stray” amalgam (mercury) from the body?
Yes. It is generally recommended taking an extra DMSA tablet or capsule one hour prior to the amalgam removal procedure. Following the removal of amalgam, a vitamin-C mineral intravenous drip may be beneficial.
Are there any side effects to using DMSA?
There are usually little, if any, side effects to DMSA at the recommended dose. However, in some cases, as the body rids itself of the mercury, there could be some detoxification symptoms that might occur. If this occurs, the dosage of DMSA can be decreased to 250 mg or less. In general. the temporary ill effects of those symptoms are far less of a problem than the permanent ill effect of high levels of mercury in the tissue.
What kind of improvement should be noted using the DMSA?
Most commonly, as the mercury is removed from the system, often people will notice an improvement in short term memory, sharper concentration and a decrease in “foggy” thinking. Additionally, any symptoms or signs that have been aggravated by the presence of mercury should improve.
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