On the dangers of dental amalgam (mercury) "silver" restorations
Considering the large amount of research done in this field, there can be little doubt that dental amalgam fillings (consisting of c. 50% mercury) are a menace to health - and the environment.
In addition to a number of books written on the subject, there are likely thousands of articles and websites addressing the issue. Here is a listing of some of the dangers associated with mercury amalgam, including brain fibre damage, Alzheimer's, periodontal (gum) disease, Leukemia, and Hodgkin's disease, complemented by a little all-clear signal: Are all amalgam carriers "doomed"?.
Note: The very important general risks and side effects of dental fillings (there are many of them!) are discussed at Drilling & filling teeth: an unwise choice? On risks, damages and dangers as well as numerous reasons for avoiding conventional invasive dental treatment, incl. the question "Does dental treatment kill teeth?".
Dr. Max Daunderer (1943-2013), eminent professor of clinical toxicology and author (among other works) of the 14 volume "Handbuch der klinischen Toxokologie" (German-language) was a foremost expert on the subject of toxins.
His website www.toxcenter.org, in addition to providing abundant documentation in German, also features numerous articles in English on the subject of amalgam mercury dental filling toxicity for humans such as
If you read German, you can download for free Dr. Daunderer's book Handbuch der Amalgamvergiftung at
Amalgam fillings leach mercury
This is particularly so with new amalgam fillings. Chewing, ingesting hot food and drinks, brushing teeth and using fluoridated toothpaste (which according to Dr Daunderer is to be strictly avoided by amalgam carriers) will exacerbate mercury abrasion and/or seepage from fillings. Also compare below "Videos showing mercury vapour escaping from amalgam filling".
Amalgam fillings expand
"Typical amalgam fillings will expand with age and crack the tooth" and "all amalgam-filled teeth are cracked; no exception", write Drs. Munro-Hall in their book "Toxic Dentistry Exposed". This book features a photograph of a cracked tooth where the filling has stayed in place but expanded, forcing one complete side of the tooth to break.
Dental amalgam treatment and some types of cancer
See the examples for leukemia and Hodgkin's disease and dental amalgam fillings featured on On the link between toxic dentistry (root canals, amalgam, nickel etc.) and cancer.
Dental amalgam restorations and periodontal disease
Dental amalgam and candida yeast overgrowth
A complex and apparently not fully understood relationship seems to exist between intractable candida issues and the fact that a person is constantly exposed to mercury such as via amalgam fillings.
Mercury pollution found in sewage sludge and air emissions from crematoria and health-care facilities
According to the Swedish Dental Material Commission (who recommended that dental amalgam be banned), "The use of amalgam has been identified as the single largest source of mercury in sewage sludge, and crematoria are a large source of emissions to air in Sweden.". Of course for mercury to be excreted in people's faeces, it has to pass through their body in the first place.
The US EPA reported in 1997 (www.epa.gov/ttncaaa1/t3/reports/volume2.pdf) that medical waste incinerators may have accounted for ten percent of all mercury released into the air. "Environment Canada" estimated at least one-third of mercury pollution found in sewage sludge to come from untreated wastewater from dental practices.
As early as 1991, the World Health Organization (WHO) described dental amalgam fillings as the most important source of mercury vapour in non-industrialized settings, which exposes the affected population to significantly higher levels of the toxin than are set for food and for air.
Videos showing mercury vapour escaping from amalgam filling
Video: how mercury causes brain fibre damage as in Alzheimer's disease
Dental amalgam fillings, cell phone use and cell phone towers
Dental amalgam fillings and schizophrenia
While likely rare in its extremity (but well illustrating the neurotoxicity of mercury), the highly recommended book Toxic Dentistry Exposed reports the case of a man "in his early twenties who had been diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic for three years and who had been in and out of residential establishments since the age of 15. He had only one pinhead-sized amalgam in a premolar that was put in when he was 14: a year before his mental illness took hold. No treatment tried so far had helped him at all.
Removing this one amalgam filling and going through the supplementation and vitamin C infusion programme was enough to change his life. He was able to re-enter society, went to university and graduated with a maths degree as well as finding a partner. This tiny amalgam filling had pressed the button which turned on his mental illness making him hyper- and over-reactive."
Dental amalgam fillings and blindness
Yes, there can be a connection, see Eyesight restored after amalgam removal: when the blind see again.
Dental amalgam fillings and trigeminal neuralgia
See "The Shocking Tooth about Trigeminal Neuralgia" at www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM200006293422619 published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000: oral galvanism (electrical currents created by dissimilar metals, here in the vicinity of the trigeminal nerve) likely were the cause of excruciating pain attacks when consuming certain acidic foods. The neuralgia attacks stopped after the mercury amalgam was replaced with a porcelain filling.
Banning the use of amalgam
Some countries such as Norway, Sweden and Denmark have already prohibited the use of mercury-based dental fillings, a complete EU-wide ban within a maximum of five years is currently (2014) under discussion.
The WHO itself has been calling for a ban of mercury-containing devices and the promotion of mercury-free alternatives for a number of years, see its Policy Paper published at www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/medicalwaste/mercurypolpap230506.pdf .
Of course not! Indian yogis reportedly can even swallow poison with immunity (because they have trained themselves to effectively use the power of their minds), and some maintain that amalgam fillings can be "healthfully" tolerated as long as nutrition is optimized.
It is certainly true that optimising one's health via a health-promoting diet and lifestyle will go a long way towards protecting one's body from the numerous toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis, and they come from many sources, not just our mouths.
But whatever the case may be, numerous observations point to human health having more decisive determinants than could be reduced to a simple input = result equation. We do have a mind that can strongly influence our body (see eg Stress reduction induced by meditation benefits teeth and gums) and we do have an inbuilt defense system against toxic intruders that can help us stay well (and typically does) even under the impact of toxic onslaughts.
"All dental materials are potentially toxic with a broad individual variety of reactions", notes Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD, and top clinical toxicologist and amalgam researcher Dr. Max Daunderer adds that "[o]bviously, not everyone experiences acute toxicity effects from the mercury in amalgam fillings. However, virtually everyone does have mercury build-up in their bodies from the implantation of such fillings."
Dr. Daunderer also gives a warning as to too high expectations regarding the removal of one's amalgam fillings. While many tremendously benefit and some experience healing of their illnesses, not everyone will. He still recommends having your mercury amalgam removed, in order to at the very least discontinue your constant (fresh) exposure to a highly toxic agent, thus preventing it from building up in your body and conceivably causing eventual health problems down the line.
Also compare The importance of safely removing (mercury) amalgam "silver" fillings (as you will see, it may be much better to keep them than having them badly removed) and Can you keep your amalgam fillings without doing harm to yourself, others or the environment? which inter alia shows that there are likely genetic factors influencing your capacity to tolerate (or not) mercury from dental amalgams.
One rule of thumb however will be wise to follow: if you do have amalgam fillings, make sure to optimise your diet and lifestyle to the best of your ability. While this advice would apply to anyone in today's toxic world, it would seem to apply even more to those challenged by continual toxin exposures such as from dental amalgams.
... and for the record: in January 2021, someone wrote to me that they had mercury fillings that have lasted 50 years and some that were going on 30+ years, with one filling falling out after 50 years (which just goes to show how different this kind of matter can be for different people. It may also be a question of the skill and care the dentist took when doing the original filling.
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1 For other / similar ways in which intractable trigeminal pain has been resolved see The cure for trigeminal neuralgia? Removing trigger factors in the jaw has permanently stopped excruciating pain attacks.
2 For other possible "dental" triggers of serious mental illness, see the several case studies reported under Dental interference fields and focal infections - on potential health effects.