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Mercury toxicity and the American Dental Association

Do you have mercury fillings in your mouth? Considering the evidence supporting mercury toxicity, it would seem prudent to choose alternate dental restoration materials - such as composite - and consider an effective mercury elimination strategy if mercury toxicity exists.
mercury amalgams

Mercury is highly toxic to human beings. In addition, having toxic metals in your body increases the activitity and the damage done by free radicals, as is discussed in more detail here.

A single dental amalgam filling with a surface area of only 1/2 square cm is estimated to release as much as 15 micrograms of mercury per day primarily through evaporation and mechanical wear.(1-4)

The average person has 8 amalgam fillings in their mouth and could absorb up to 120 micrograms of mercury per day from their amalgams. These levels are consistent with reports of 60 micrograms of mercury per day collected in human feces.(5) By comparison, estimates of the daily absorption of all forms of mercury from fish and seafood is 2.3 micrograms and from all other foods, air and water is 0.3 micrograms per day. (6) Currently, Sweden, Denmark and Germany severely restrict the use of mercury amalgams.(1)

The mercury vapor from the amalgams is fat soluble and passes readily through cell membranes and across the blood brain barrier. (7) The VAPOR serves as the primary route of mercury from amalgams into the body. The evidence is clear that amalgam mercury transfers to human tissues, accumulates over time, and presents a potential threat to health. The mercury escapes continuously during the entire life of the filling, primarily in the form of vapor, ions but also abraded particles.(8-9) Chewing food or gum, brushing, and the intake of hot fluids stimulates this release.(10-12)


Mercury and the American Dental Association

The American Dental Association (ADA) continues to remain in denial about the toxicity of mercury.

A news release by the American Dental Association (ADA) on June 13, 2001 contains a significantly erroneous statement. The American Dental Association (ADA) President Dr. Robert M. Anderton is reported as saying,

"There is no sound scientific evidence supporting a link between amalgam fillings and systemic diseases or chronic illness''.

However, it is a well known fact in the published, peer-reviewed dental journals that mercury leaks directly from amalgam into adjacent oral tissues causing periodontal disease (gum disease).
mercury fillings

Dr. Murray Vimey is one of the top mercury researchers in the world and he has provided a detailed chronology documenting how mercury has been clearly established as a contributing factor for periodontal disease. Dr. Vimy is one of the leading mercury researchers and his rebuttal to the ADA press release is most informative:

Fact #1: In 1957, Zander (JADA, 55:11-15) reported "materials used in restorative dentistry may be a contributing factor in gingival disease."

Fact #2: In 1961, App (J Prosth Dent 11:522-532) suggested that there was greater chronic inflammation around amalgam sites than non-amalgam areas.

Fact #3: In 1964, Trott and Sherkat (J CDA, 30:766-770) showed that the presence of mercury amalgam correlates with gingival disease. Such disease was not present at contralateral amalgam-free sites.

Fact #4: In 1969, Sanches Sotres et al (J. Periodo. l40: 543-546) confirmed Trott and Sherkat findings.

Fact #5: In 1972, Turgeon et al. (J CDA 37:255-256) reported the presence of very significant erythema around amalgam restorations which was not present at control non-amalgam sites.

Fact #6: In 1973, Trivedi and Talim (J. Prosth. Dentistry, 29:73-81) demonstrated that 62% of amalgam sites have inflammatory periodontal tissue reaction.

Thus, as early as 1973, a case can be made that the presence of dental mercury-amalgam results in chronic inflammation and bleeding in the gingival tissue adjacent to it; in other words, 'in situ' amalgam
produced chronic Gingivitis.

Fact #7: In 1974, Freden et al. (Odontol. Revy, 25: 207-210) showed that gingival biopsy material from sites not adjacent to amalgam had 1-10 µg mercury/gram of tissue (mean=3); whereas, gingival biopsy sites near amalgams contained 19-380 µg mercury/gram of tissue (mean=147).

Fact #8: In 1976, Goldschmidt et al (J. Perio. Res., 11:108-115) demonstrated that amalgam corrosion products were cytotoxic to gingival cells at concentrations of 10-6; that is, micrograms/gram of tissue.

Fact #9: In 1984, the year of the NIDR/ADA Workshop, Fisher et al (J Oral Rehab, 11:399-405) reported that at amalgam sites alveolar bone loss was very pronounced and statistically significant as compared to control non-amalgam sites. In other words, 'in situ' amalgam produces chronic Periodontitis.

Source: Murray J. Vimy DMD Clinical Associate Professor Faculty of Medicine, University of
Calgary. Calgary, Canada, July 4, 2001


Therefore, for the American Dental Association (ADA) to conclude "There is no sound scientific evidence supporting a link between amalgam fillings and systemic diseases or chronic illness'' is not correct.

Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in man, and mercury fillings contribute significantly. Such statements by American Dental Association spokespersons suggest that the American Dental Association and its advisors may be knowingly disinforming the public through the media or that they may lack an understanding of the scientific research about mercury release from amalgam published in their own journals.

Mercury is a highly toxic substance which the EPA will tell you cannot be legally disposed of in land fills, yet it's ok to have this material sit in your mouth for 20-30 years!


How to detoxify from mercury

The most important part of systemic mercury elimination is to remove the SOURCE of mercury.

For most of us, this means having your mercury amalgams removed. People should seek a dentist who is specially trained in this area because improperly removed amalgams may result in unnecessarily high exposure to mercury. The following is a summary of the most effective chelating agents. They are discussed in more detail on other pages in the Chelation section of this web site.
mercury amalgam


High doses of chlorella have been found to be very effective by German researchers for mercury elimination.(13)

Chlorella is an important part of a good systemic mercury elimination program, because approximately 90% of the mercury is eliminated through the stool. Using large doses of chlorella - chlorella is actually a food - helps fecal mercury excretion. Once the intestinal mercury burden is lowered, mercury will more readily migrate into the intestine from other body tissues from where chlorella will effectively remove it.


Dr. Omura, a Japanese researcher, discovered that cilantro could mobilize mercury and other toxic metals rapidly from the central nervous system. (14-15)

Cilantro mobilizes mercury, lead, aluminum and tin stored in the brain and the spinal cord and moves it into the connective tissues. The mechanism of action is unknown. Cilantro alone often does not remove mercury from the body. It often only displaces the metals form intracellularly or from deeper body stores to more superficial structures.

Cilantro will help mobilize mercury out of the tissue so the chlorella can bind to it and allow it to be excreted from the body. Cilantro is available in most grocery stores. I simply add mine to the vegetable juice I prepare in my juicer. My favorite source for organic cilantro in 1 pound bags is here.


MSM is organic sulfur. Adequate sulfur stores are needed to facilitate mercury's binding to sulfhydryl groups. Sulfur-containing natural substances, such as garlic and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), may also serve as effective agents to supply organic sulfur for detoxification.(16)


Mercury is eliminated through the stool mostly

Maintain 2 to 3 bowel movements per day during your mercury detoxification program. Do not attempt to fast during a mercury detoxification program. You want to make sure your protein intake is adequate.

N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC)

N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) is a chelator of mercury. N-Acetyl-Cysteine is discussed in detail here.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is helpful for many reasons. It is a helpful supplement for mercury elimination as it will tend to mobilize mercury from intracellular stores.(17-18)



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(1) Toxicological Profile For Mercury. U.S.Department Of Health & Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, March 1999 Published by Division of Toxicology/Toxicology Information Branch, 1600 Clifton Road NE, E-29, Atlanta, Georgia 3033

(2). Harrison IA; Some electromchemical features of the in vivo corrosion of dental amalgams. J Appl
Electrochem 1989;19: 301-310

(3) Marek M. Dissolution of mercury vapor in simulated oral environments. Dent Mater 1997

(4) WHO. Inorganic Mercury. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, International Programme on Chemical Safety. 1991 Vol 118.

(5). Skare I, Engqvist A., Human exposure to mercury and silver released from dental amalgam restorations. Arch Environ Hlth 1994;49:384-394

(6). World Health Organization. Environmental Health Criteria. 118, Inorganic Mercury (Friber I, ed) WHO Geneva 1991.

(7). Lorschider, F, Vimy MJ, Summers, AO: Mercury exposure from "silver" tooth fillings: Emerging evidence questions a traditional dental paradigm. FASEB J 1995; 9:504-508

(8). Lorscheider F, Vimy MJ: Evaluation of the safety issue of mercury release from dental fillings. FASEB J 1993;7:1432-1433

(9) Bjorkman L, Sandborgh-Englund G, Ekstrand J. Mercury in salvia and feces after removal of amalgam
fillings. Toxicol Apply Pharmacol 1997;144:156-162.

(10). Svare CW, Peterson LC, Reinhardt JW, Boyer DB,; The effects of dental amalgams on mercury
levels in expired air. J Dent Res 1981;60:1668-1671

(11). Vimy MJ, Lorscheider F; Intra-oral air mercury released from dental amalgam. J Dent Res

(12). Aronsson AM; Lind B, Nylander M, Nordberg M; Dental amalgam and mercury. Biol Metals 1989;

(13) Klinghardt, D: Amalgam/Mercury Detox as a Treatment for Chronic Viral, Bacterial, and Fungal Illnesses Explore! Volume 1997;8, No 3

(14) Omura Y, Beckman SL Role of mercury (Hg) in resistant infections & effective treatment of Chlamydia trachomatis and Herpes family viral infections (and potential treatment for cancer) by removing localized Hg deposits with Chinese parsley and delivering effective antibiotics using various drug uptake enhancement methods. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1995;20(3-4): 195-229

(15) Omura Y, Shimotsuura Y, Fukuoka A, Fukuoka H, Nomoto T. Significant mercury deposits in internal organs following the removal of dental amalgam, & development of pre-cancer on the gingiva and the sides of the tongue and their represented organs as a result of inadvertent exposure to strong curing light (used to solidify synthetic dental filling material) & effective treatment: a clinical case report, along with organ representation areas for each tooth. Acupunct Electrother Res. 1996 ;21(2): 133-160.

(16) The Miracle of MSM The Natural Solution for Pain. Jacob, S., Lawrence, RM, Zucker, M. Penguin Putnam, New York, NY 1999.

(17) Hill, CH. Interactions of vitamin C with lead and mercury. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1980;355:262-6

(18) Yamini B, Sleight SD. Effects of ascorbic acid deficiency on methyl mercury dicyandiamide toxicosis in guinea pigs J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol 1984 Jul;5(4-5):139-50



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