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Amalgam or Mercury: A Sense Of Confusion and How it May Affect Meniere's Disease Sufferers.


In my daily Internet life, I am constantly being reminded of dental problems. In my opinion they are indicators of underlying health conditions. I want offer you some ideas on amalgam (silver) fillings or “mercury”. They are also known as silver alloy. I don’t pretend to be anything of an expert, but what I would like to do is share some of the information and confusion I have discovered in my research.


As always, please use this information to help yourself think and challenge your beliefs. You will see I am as confused…or was, as anyone else. Follow your own intuition. Do all your own research. This will give you some links to start with.  I will include a section (incomplete) on resources that I used both for this article and for answers to other people’s questions. Some of this information might create more questions in your mind as it did for me. It might also raise your anxiety levels. Please read it all and don’t jump to any conclusions.


It is my practice that once I get several questions on one particular topic, I investigate further. Then I start some in-depth research of my “regular” medical sites and my text books. (Each health column I write comes about this way.) But the mercury issue seems to be following a different pattern. I have questions and find a tremendous amount of “diversity” in the “answers” I found. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for!!! So I will share some of my findings.


First I will discuss the body’s reaction to any intruders and then a bit about mercury itself. Then I want to share some interesting experiences. I am also including a partial list of signs and symptoms plus several phrases from interesting web sites. In the last segment, I will list some of the links I used for this article and make some comments. I do have to admit to a bias. I am now leaning toward no mercury after all I have learned and personally experienced. Again, please do not use this information for any class project or medical opinion. There is too much confusion and lack of direction. You HAVE to make your own intuitive decisions. My gut feeling is that these mercury fillings are not healthy or health promoting.


If you have read a few of my other articles, you will understand that I promote health, and try to help you to see how you can do a lot of it yourself…without chemicals. I also try to get you to think differently. I want you to ask yourself “what if?”


My purpose here is to help you understand how your body tries to get rid of any unwanted visitors by having a defense mechanism called the “inflammatory process”. This response is automatic. Your body doesn’t want foreign things in it, and that can include drugs or chemicals: bone plates or hip replacements or a new heart.


Scientists have tried very hard to find materials that don’t set off the natural inflammatory responses of the body, as in the case of bone prostheses or cataract implants. Drugs are given to lessen this response, but in many cases the response happens anyway. This is the case of heart and kidney transplants when they reject the new organ. Your teeth are very much part of your living body. Teeth are special bones and have their own way of reacting to “intruders”. I just mentioned bone plates and hip replacement prostheses.  Would they set off this inflammatory response? Yes. If you had a splinter would it do the same? Yes. Many surgeons remove bones plates and screws after they feel the body has healed. Many hip replacement prostheses have to be left in place, but we all hear about people with sore hips and arthritis later on. Could this be the body’s response to an intruder? I honestly believe it is. So why shouldn’t the mercury react if it goes into a living body? Decay is a common problem. It is a  symptom of breaking down the protective coatings of the teeth.  If you would like to study this a little more, research the terms “oxidative stress” or “oxidation”? Anything that is not natural to your body will raise this process. 


So if this defense process is “activated” it will bring all sorts of “healing agents” to get rid of any problems. The most common healing component is extra fluid and white blood cells.


Mercury was thought to be harmless. It is a very inexpensive material, it lasts a long time, and is very easy to form into the shape of your tooth for easy chewing. Controversy about its use has been brewing from the start. Because of its  low cost, ease of use, and the fact that many dentists thought it was safe, it has been in constant use ever since. I saw several references to the World Health Organization (WHO) as saying no amount of mercury should be in your body. You might agree when you read the signs and symptoms shortly. I couldn’t find a direct link to this idea, but it makes complete sense to me. There are now additional choices. We know so much now about the harmful effects of mercury. Some dentists tell us they don’t need to use it at all. Someone actually told me that their dentist said it would be malpractice to use it! However that is not my experience nor that of many other readers.


I thought I would share a few of these experiences with you. All have happened in the last few months. A friend of ours bit down on a piece of soft fruit and immediately knew it wasn’t as soft as she had anticipated. She was soon trying to locate pieces of broken tooth and metal. In her dentist’s office, her file has a big yellow sticker saying she doesn’t want any mercury or amalgam in her mouth. She restated this to the technician. But out of the corner of her eye, she saw the dentist start to pick up the scoop filled with what looked like silver material.  So she very politely told the dentist that she specifically had made everyone aware that she didn’t want any mercury in her mouth again. He tried to tell her that it was perfectly safe and he had never had anyone complain. She explained that it was listed as a neurotoxin and therefore she didn’t wish to have it anywhere near her body. Recently, I spoke with a lady whose dentist had actually put in the mercury filling despite her asking him not to. She is having that tooth out shortly.  She has many symptoms that would make her suspect the mercury. And these symptoms are not fun to live with! They are very debilitating and frustrating. I hear back from people who asked their dentists about mercury and were told that “it is much less costly, is the best, and wears the longest. And not to listen to “naysayers”.


Mercury is not only found in dental fillings but it is also a by-product of “fossil fuels”. It is also found in agricultural fungicides, plus a few cosmetics and hair bleaches. (More about that at the end.) Industry uses mercury compounds.  Their waste products are considered hazardous.


The message seems to be pretty loud and clear. This potentially harmful product appears in several industries.  Its exposure can be very problematic.  But what is adding to the confusion is the lack of specific signs and symptoms in much of the documentation. They seem a bit vague and could relate to most of the body’s systems. So they could easily be misinterpreted for other conditions. I only pulled out the ones that I hear about daily for our Meniere’s visitors. Please use the links to get a lot more insight.


“Mercury has been associated with a number of emotional and psychological problems, such as memory loss, mood swings, anxiety, and depression, to name a few. The earliest, and most common, symptoms resulting from chronic mercury poisoning are neurological……….. Mercury can also cause a great deal of cellular and tissue damage by generating an excessive amount of harmful free radicals, known to be the major cause of all degenerative diseases….


“The BIG problem of course is to know if you actually have vapors “discharging” or leaking. But now we do have technology to measure that if it suspected.”


I tried to discover some of this technology. I suspect it might be the same as the PET scanners or a version of this magnificent tool, which can see all sorts of activity in the brain and its chemicals, but I can’t find direct links to anything right now. All the sites I checked out, either felt “mercury was safe and what was the all the fuss about” or it was totally unsafe. It is classified as a neurotoxin. (A neurotoxin is a poison that acts directly in the tissues of the central nervous system and affects the motor skills. A “neuron” is a basic “brain” cell and a “toxin” is a poison.).


This was one of the very few sites that gave me the most signs and symptoms. If you suspect mercury could be a part of your life: internally or externally, I urge you to do some in-depth research on your own. I am only listing a few, but they are the ones that are easy to find “in yourself”. Other results or “complaints” may require sophisticated testing. Here are the signs I hear often when trying to help Meniere’s Disease sufferers…Irritability, Nervousness, Memory Loss, Lack of Attention, Depression, Low Self Confidence, Anxiety, Drowsiness, Insomnia, Metallic Taste, Abdominal Cramps, Colitis, Crohn's disease, Gastrointestinal Problems, Diarrhea, Changes in Blood Pressure, Headaches, Dizziness, Ringing or Noises in Ears, Fine Tremors (Hands, Feet, Eye Lids, Tongue), Allergies, Asthma, Rhinitis, Sinusitis, Swollen Lymph Nodes in Neck, Cold Clammy Hands & Feet, Excessive Perspiration, Muscle Weakness, Fatigue, Hypoxia, Edema, Loss of Appetite.


How do you know you might have mercury vapors in your body? How do you know what to do about them? This is where the confusion hits home! Let’s think this through a little… If you don’t have any of the above symptoms, you should be fine. If you don’t even have mercury, you will be really fine! But also recognize that mercury comes with at least two additional names:”silver alloy” and “amalgam”. So if someone tells you this is not “mercury” but a “silver alloy”, you will know it’s the same.


Let’s think about what you might do if you do have some of these symptoms. Here is a link to a site that has information on what stimulates the vapor and it then gives ideas to eliminate the stimulations until you can get the mercury out, if that is what you plan to do. At least this way, you have some choices and immediate actions to take. That is really helpful and hopeful and practical.


If you think you have severe symptoms, you should discuss this with your dentist. If he or she does not share your concern, you need to be very diplomatic, but also firm. They may feel your symptoms come from something else. Maybe so and maybe not. You NEED to ask their opinion as to where these come from. Just making such a general statement of coming from “something else” isn’t going to help you find the source of your symptoms.


Dr. Tom McGuire on page 311 of his excellent book called “Tooth Fitness”, says “It’s also interesting to note that dentists who say mercury fillings in your mouth are 100% safe, nevertheless take every precaution to avoid any contact with the leftover amalgam.  All leftover amalgam particles are stored in containers and quickly disposed of.” Sometimes actions speak louder than words.


What do you need to do next? Think about what you have read and how this pertains to your own life and situation. Do a lot of research. It is very easy for someone to suggest you change dentists and find one that practices “mercury free dentistry”, but if the room is spinning and the noise in your ear is deafening, it’s very difficult to be hopeful and motivated! Once things are better, do visit this site.


There seem to be two distinct steps to take control of your own dental health in this situation. But they can only come after some serious thinking and consulting. First you have to remove the actual mercury. Then you have to remove the mercury out of the rest of your body. This is called detoxification. Safe mercury removal is a specialty. It needs to be done in such a way so it doesn’t bring any additional harm both to you and the dental staff. Therefore one very important step is to find that dentist who practices “mercury free dentistry”. And you can find listings in many places. I would start with the links in this article. Here is also where the testing for this suspected mercury can be done. This has got to be one of the most frustrating parts of all of this. I hear about saliva tests and blood test and hair analysis. Each person disputes the efficiency of the other’s test results! How can the ordinary layperson compare all these conflicting ideas and instructions??? Recently, I heard of an regular blood test that also has the capability of checking for mercury levels. You need to ask specifically to have your mercury level done, but this seems like a good place to start.


The Sanoviv Dental Clinic brochure states: “The amount of mercury that is released from amalgam fillings is dependent on a number of factors. Obviously the number, size, and length of time these fillings have been present are important considerations. The type of amalgam used is also significant, with the newer amalgam fillings releasing 10 times as much mercury as those placed 10 to 15 years ago. The amount of mercury released is also increased by such routine procedures as eating, drinking hot liquids, and tooth brushing. In addition, teeth grinding (it is estimated that at least 50% of the population grind their teeth) and chewing gum can dramatically increase the release of mercury from amalgam fillings…. Its ultimate effect will be determined by the above factors, the overall state of your health, and your body’s ability to naturally detoxify itself of mercury.”


I want to raise another bit of awareness. Think through some of the symptoms you have read about here. Would you ever connect dizziness with any chemical going into your body? Would you connect it to your teeth? Most likely you would visit your doctor, be prescribed a drug to reduce the dizziness. Would you ever connect the ringing in your ear or the metallic taste in your mouth or allergies or stomach problems to anything “dental”? I doubt it very much. So I want to encourage you to think a little differently from now on. Don’t simply grab the obvious drug off the shelf. Look at other possible causes. Recently I spoke with a lady who had all her mercury fillings removed, but never had the gone through a detox process to rid her body of the leftover mercury. As the conversation progressed, I found out that she also had allergies. So here we have at least two possible symptoms to do with mercury poisoning. But no one had ever connected these symptoms as having to do with mercury. She is now on a great detox program! But for her, the obvious next treatment step was for the specialist to cut her inner ear nerve because her discomfort was so great. Yet all she may need to do is to detox her body. It is so important for you to learn to ask different questions! If this information about mercury has grabbed your attention at all and you have had the fortitude to read all the sections, I salute you and invite you to share your thoughts with me anytime. It is the way I can help others.


Here are some of the resources I used and some of sites I visited in order to understand mercury/amalgam a little better. For some links, I reserved comment. It could well be that I felt it would give more objective point of view. When you visit them, the information will be very clear and educational. For others, I introduced them for the reason I want you to check out the site. These first four sites are ones I found most helpful and easy to understand.


First: This is the site which has the wonderfully helpful list of things to do to prevent the mercury vapors to be raised or stimulated unnecessarily. You HAVE to spend some time reading it. Their books are at the printers right now, so bookmark the site and purchase them as soon as they become available.


Second: Dr. McGuire’s site is also very helpful. I would like you to consider buying his book. Although it was first written in 1996, the information is so valuable and easy to read, that it should be another basic resource for you. Dr. McGuire injects a lot of fun and humor into the rather serious subject.


Third: the Sanoviv site has many stories of successful resolution of health problems. Dentistry is only part of the overall health restoration, but as Dr. McGuire said on his website, you can’t have health without healthy teeth.  Why is dental health so important?


Fourth: Dr. Huggins’s site was the very first site I visited when I first started to work with Meniere’s sufferers. I gained a lot of insight and courage to ask more pointed questions as I realized many people would never connect dental problems to Meniere’s symptoms. I encourage you to spend time in his site and to buy whatever books catch your interest. This is the very best way to get professional support.


I felt it was important to include this short article and website. It spells out the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s position as it seems to differ from other, more traditional points of view. “Consumer Product Safety Commission Mercury Vapors Are Hazardous CPSC Document #5057 “Because some herb-selling shops or "botanicas" sell mercury for use in homes, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is alerting consumers that mercury vapors (which have no odor) are hazardous. CPSC recommends that consumers avoid breathing mercury vapors. Most uses of mercury that expose consumers to fumes are banned. However, some ethnic traditions encourage the sprinkling of mercury around the house for religious reasons. This is hazardous because people - especially young children - could breathe the mercury vapors. Mercury can cause serious and permanent nerve and kidney damage. Mercury poisoning (acrodynia) has these symptoms: rapid heartbeat, sweating, irritability or hostility, withdrawal or shyness, memory loss, peeling of hands and feet, leg pain, slight hand tremors, difficulty with fine motor control (such as handwriting), sleeplessness, and headaches. Young children and children born to women exposed during pregnancy may be especially sensitive. If you believe you have mercury poisoning, see a doctor. If mercury has been sprinkled in your home, open all windows so the mercury vapors can escape. It may take several days of ventilation to eliminate the mercury. If you have questions about how to clean up and dispose of mercury, call your local health department. To avoid mercury poisoning, do not sprinkle mercury around the house or expose people in the home to mercury vapors.”


Google search: “amalgam fillings” 22,300+ listings! No shortage of information to review.


American Dental Association: a different point of view. I spoke with one person recently who told me that the ADA has now agreed to mercury being a problem. I couldn’t see it on this site, but it might be there now.


I urge you to visit and study this site. I was surprised at the honest answers.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Amalgam


Dr. Weil’s response surprised me. I respect his knowledge.


This is a good article to read and get another overview. It is a “Seattle Times“ article: “Debate Over Mercury Rising: Scientists Are Trying To Get To The Root Of The Controversy Over The Silver Fillings”

By Carol M. Ostrom, Seattle Times staff reporter 


This was one of the few sites that listed the “tangible” signs and symptoms.  By tangible, I mean those that you can readily recognize and know you have them. They are more defined than just saying “stress caused this”. “Mercury poisoning symptoms: Signs & Symptoms of Mercury Vapor Exposure from Mercury Amalgam Dental Fillings”


This is the National Health site and its information is very interesting.

Methylmercury poisoning is neurological damage caused by methylmercury


I wanted to end with an organization that acts as a registry for hazardous products. ATSDR stands for “Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry”


April 1999 “

ToxFAQs” for Mercury




CAS# 7439-97-6


What is mercury?

Mercury is a naturally occurring metal which has several forms. The metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white, odorless liquid. If heated, it is a colorless, odorless gas.

Mercury combines with other elements, such as chlorine, sulfur, or oxygen, to form inorganic mercury compounds or "salts," which are usually white powders or crystals. Mercury also combines with carbon to make organic mercury compounds. The most common one, methylmercury, is produced mainly by microscopic organisms in the water and soil. More mercury in the environment can increase the amounts of methylmercury that these small organisms make. Metallic mercury is used to produce chlorine gas and caustic soda, and is also used in thermometers, dental fillings, and batteries. Mercury salts are sometimes used in skin lightening creams and as antiseptic creams and ointments.


 HIGHLIGHTS: Exposure to mercury occurs from breathing contaminated air, ingesting contaminated water and food, and having dental and medical treatments. Mercury, at high levels, may damage the brain, kidneys, and developing fetus. This chemical has been found in at least 714 of 1,467 National Priorities List sites identified by the Environmental Protection Agency. ToxFAQs™ for Mercury 


About Dr. Tom McGuire

Tom McGuire, DDS, is a leading authority on mercury detoxification, mercury amalgam fillings, chronic mercury poisoning and holistic dental wellness. Dr. McGuire is president of the Dental Wellness Institute, founder of the International Association of Mercury Free Dentists (IAMFD) and author of a number of books on holistic dental wellness, including: Mercury Detoxification: The Natural Way to Remove Mercury from Your Body, Tooth Fitness: Your Guide to Healthy Teeth and The Tooth Trip. To learn more about him Click Here.

Visit his Websites at & He is available for consultations regarding mercury detoxification, second opinions, and other oral health issues. For scheduling call toll free at 800-335-7755. You can email him at


Please use this information to educate yourself about the different points of view regarding amalgam mercury or the silver alloy. My purpose was to get you to ask different questions and to think about your symptoms if you have any. If you wish to know more about detoxing, please contact me directly by using this link.  You will be taken directly to our Contact Us Form, where you can leave a detailed message.  We will get back to you as soon as we get your message.


If you would like to try this system for yourself, or if you just want more information, please give us a phone call at 604-463-8666 (Pacific Time Zone). We will be very happy to talk with you, or help you to get started.


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