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
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
“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
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
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. http://www.dentalwellness4u.com
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
April 1999 “
ToxFAQs” for Mercury
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
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.
learn more about him
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.
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