Click the player below to listen to this episode of Let’s Talk Dentistry or scroll down even further for a transcription of this week’s show with San Diego holistic dentist, Dr. Marvin.
In this episode Holistic Dentist Dr. Godes joins us bringing with her a topic that is truly evolving and really important in in your life and your ongoing health, that’s right were talking about mercury fillings (silver fillings). Its one of the most toxic substances on earth and one that truly is important and needs to be addressed. You need to hear what Dr. Godes has for you today because it truly is THAT important. All this and more on this week’s episode of Let’s Talk Dentistry!
——– Transcript Of Today’s Show ——–
Good morning all of you listeners out there in beautiful San Diego this early Saturday morning. This is Let’s Talk Dentistry with your host, not Dr. Marvin, but Dr. Stacy Godes. For those of you who don’t know me already, I am one of the holistic dentists at The Center for Natural Dentistry, along with Dr. Marvin Pantangco. We’re located at 317 N El Camino Real, ste 106, in Encinitas, California. We’re a holistic dental practice in that we believe that the mouth is the gateway to your total health of your body, mind and spirit, and that there’s a connection between dentistry and systemic disease. We believe dentistry is not only confined to the oral cavity. We help patients feel an overall felling of well being using safer, less intrusive practices and products in our office. Our passion is our holistic approach to your dental health. In our office we focus on total body health. That includes not just your mouth but the rest of your body including your medical history, your nutritional habits, your oral hygiene regimen, genetics, family history, lifestyle, and systemic health. We will be taking phone calls today, so please feel free to call in and ask me any questions you may have on our topic today. It is a hot topic in dentistry, not only in our practice but in dental practices around the world. That topic is silver amalgam or mercury fillings. The number that you can reach me here is 1-866-KPRAISE or 1-866-577-2473. I welcome any questions as I’m going along with this show this morning.
Most recently on television– everyone has heard of Dr. Oz, right? He had a show a few months ago showing viewers the dangers of mercury vapor omitted from silver fillings just by brushing alone. He used model of teeth with some mercury fillings in it in closed space. Then he measured the amount of mercury vapor released. It was astounding. It was way above the levels of mercury vapor that is safe for humans. We all know that there are many other ways that vapor gets out, like drinking hot liquids or chewing or eating acidic foods or beverages. Those are some other ways that the silver fillings in your teeth can be stimulated. It’s when they’re stimulated that they release most of their vapor. It was a very, very interesting show; it definitely opened the eyes to a lot of viewers to check out their own mouths for any silver fillings that they may have. Really it’s about opening awareness to the subject, because a high percentage of Americans do have these silver fillings in their mouth. They think that they’re safe because their dentist put them in a long time ago, and they really don’t know the dangers about them. That’s what we’re here today to talk about. You can find out more about the Dr. Oz show on the internet if you just Google Dr. Oz and mercury fillings.
We’re talking today about mercury and silver fillings. It truly is a hot topic of discussion amongst our patients at the Center for Natural Dentistry on an ongoing basis daily. Whether patients come in already knowing that they want them out of their mouths or people that just have heard it in the media and they want to know real information about why they should take them out of their mouths or the dangers of them. What’s the scoop on that? So it’s probably on a daily basis that we talk to patients, because a high percentage of patients that come in have them in their mouths.
The controversy over mercury amalgam fillings really continues to rage at this point. There are really two sides that claim the high ground of scientific accuracy. There’s one on one side suggesting that mercury dental amalgams pose no health threat at all. The other maintains that mercury, whether in dental amalgams or any other form, is to be avoided. That it’s one of the most toxic substances on Earth. I can tell you that as a practicing dentist for over 15 years I know of really no other chronic dental health issue more important than the poisonous effects of mercury amalgam.
It’s really amazing. Before I did this show, on a side note, I do know a lot about mercury fillings and I’ve always been against them. You always find new information that comes out in doing your research and I’m just astounded every time I pick up a book and read more about it. It just fills my knowledge and really supports how I feel about them. I really have remained opposed to them since I first started practicing. I understand and see daily the harmful effects these toxic fillings have to patients’ overall health.
First and foremost, it’s really important to get educated and learn about what you have in your mouth. That is, what kinds of fillings do you have? What are they made of? What kinds of crowns and materials do you have? I remember asking my mother, who lives one the east coast, she had a new crown placed, or a knew filling. I said, “What kind is it?” She said,
“Well, I don’t know. The dentist just put it in there and I have no idea.” It makes me really kind of irritated that the dentists aren’t telling their patients what their putting in their mouths. Also, as laymen and consumers we need to understand the materials that are going into our mouths. It’s important to ask lots of questions. Remember, whatever your dentist is putting in your mouth, you do have a choice. Don’t think that just because they want to put a certain filling or crown in that it’s good for you or your body.
Mercury fillings contain about 50% mercury, about 30% copper, 14% tin and silver and about 1% zinc, approximately. It’s not only the mercury that’s poisonous; all five of these metals are. They react with each other and they form a lot of corrosion products which are extremely toxic as well. The mercury in these fillings does stay in there. There’s a lot of hype about that. People think that it’s released over time, and it does. There’s a lot of studies and I’ll talk about that in a few minutes.
There is a mercury vapor meter that you can measure the vapor released from them that’s placed over fillings and can detect toxic amounts of mercury vapor within ten seconds. Not all dentists have it; it’s called a Jerome Mercury Vapor Analyzer, and this is how it works: It’s all about having the mercury filling stimulated. The patient avoids stimulation of any of the silver fillings for about two hours before testing. There’s a pre-stimulation oral air sample that’s taken, and usually this sample has a low reading because generally fillings release much smaller amounts of mercury when they are not stimulated. Then the patient is asked to brush the surface of the amalgam fillings for ten seconds using a soft bristled tooth brush, no toothpaste, then we test the vapor immediately following stimulation. They have done so many studies on this. They’ve recorded oral mercury vapor levels as high as 400 to 900 micrograms per cubic millimeter. When amalgam fillings are at rest and they are not stimulated, they can be as low as 36 micrograms per cubic millimeter. When you chew food, or eat sweets, or eat and drink acidic foods, or brush your teeth, or polish a filling after a dental cleaning, wet polishing. The highest amount that mercury is released is when you dry polish an amalgam filling. So if you have nothing on that filling and, you go to the dentist, and they do something to the filling to polish it, and there’s no moist substance on it. There’ve been studies that it’s been over 4,000 micrograms per cubic millimeter. In conclusion, the evidence is presented that it definitely is release and more is released when it’s stimulated.
There are a lot of different ways that mercury can be released in addition to it being undisturbed. We just talked about that. You need to understand that there are things that will make it worse and make it release faster over time. The bad thing about mercury releasing is that it’s cumulative. It’s then absorbed through the lungs and intestines and it enters the blood stream. The primary target of mercury vapor is the brain and the central nervous system, so it does pass the blood-brain barrier. Once it reaches its destination tissue, it has numerous ways that it expresses its toxicity. It can alter the genetic code, it gets in every cell and every tissue of your body, alteration of the cell membranes, nerve impulses, it effects your endocrine function which can contribute to auto-immune diseases and digestion and absorption issues.
One of the big areas that we focus on in our offices is the safe removal of silver fillings. I cannot stress to you how important this is. A safe removal protocol is crucial, especially if you’re allergic to mercury or have a depleted immune system or have symptoms of mercury poisoning. The safe removal procedures can actually reduce your mercury exposure by as much as 90%. That’s a fact in many, many books. We have a lot of existing and new patients coming in, asking a lot of questions and educating themselves about what kinds of fillings they have in their mouth and if they’re silver. Why do they have silver fillings? Why did the dentist place silver? They didn’t know about it and the dangers about them and how to take them out properly. I do encourage you, if you decide to have them removed, that you go to a dentist that removes them properly under high volume evacuation. They need to have ionizers in the office, they 100% need to be using a rubber dam. You can support your immune system nutritionally or by I.V. They need to be wearing proper masks, giving the patient 100% oxygen to breath during the removal. Make sure you’re asking the right questions to your dentists if you decide to have that done. We do offer free consultations in our office for any questions or concerns that you may have. Just give our office a call. Our number is 760-536-1199, that’s The Center for Natural Dentistry. You can also reach us on the web at www.trynaturaldentistry.com. A little special this morning: for the first ten callers after the show that call our office, you’ll get $50 off our exam and x-ray fee if you mention that you listened to the show today.
I will say that there are a lot of philosophies, a lot of opinions and studies out there about the potential harmful effects of mercury and amalgam fillings. There are a lot of tests you can have to check the mercury vapor in your mouth, like the one I just mentioned earlier, the Jerome Mercury Vapor Analyzer. We know that mercury is a poison and they’re still being placed in people’s mouths every day without any proof of safety. In fact, if you were to ask your dentist, “Are my fillings safe?” They may say something to you like this,
“Well, not when combined with other metals, such as tin, copper, et cetera.” Or, “Recent advances have allowed researchers to detect extremely low levels of mercury in patients, but no evidence exists that associates this minute amount of mercury vapor with any toxic effects.” Or they will say, “Unless you suffer an allergic reaction, it is not advisable to get them removed.” Most state dental boards forbid dentists to tell their patients about the toxicity of mercury in their amalgam fillings. I think that’s just crazy.
There is published, experimental evidence dating back many years (there’s some dating back to 1926) indicating that mercury is released from amalgam fillings, and researchers have recently revealed intraoral mercury levels 30 to 100 times higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum allowable concentration for air that is safe for us to breath. That is crazy. There is no dispute that mercury is poisonous, or that it comes out of amalgam fillings. No dispute at all. The primary dispute involves the toxicity of the mercury coming out. The American Dental Association insists that it isn’t. There are published scientific studies that report that allergies to mercury occur in about five percent of the population. It’s estimated that amalgam tooth fillings are in the mouths of about 85% of Americans, so there are a lot of mercury fillings out there. I really encourage you to have your dentist check it out, preferably one that believes that they are a harm to you. They’re in your area; there are a lot of websites that can help you search out different holistic dentists in your area as well. That’s why the big dental professions like the American Dental Association has taken a really illogical and I think indefensible position regarding the use of mercury amalgam fillings.
We know, according to the world health organization that there’s no safe level of mercury for humans. None at all. We know it’s a poison, we know it’s toxic; it shouldn’t be in our bodies at all. We know that it is toxic in small amounts. Each atom of mercury that enters the body will inflict harm. It is the most toxic non-radioactive heavy metal on the planet, more poisonous than lead, arsenic, or cadmium.
Mercury is absorbed from these fillings in several different ways. From our lungs, of course. About 80% of the mercury vapor is absorbed by the lungs and passed into the bloodstream. It’s also absorbed by our nose. Also, the roots of our teeth. When you have mercury filling in your teeth, it’s forced by expansion in to the roots and into the bones and gums, due to the contraction and expansion of the material with hot and cold. It causes tooth cracking over time, so the vapors really push down toward the root system. It’s also absorbed by the stomach. Due to its expansion qualities over time, broken bits of fillings can be chewed and swallowed and then absorbed by the stomach into the blood stream. It’s also absorbed by the gums, of course.
It’s important to understand that mercury leaves dental amalgam continuously throughout the lifetime of the filling, but most of it is when it’s first placed. They do continue to leak with these cracks that I was talking to you about over a period of time. Symptoms of mercury toxicity are varied, since mercury can both reach and effect nearly every cell in the body. Systemic effects can occur for this reason. It tends to accumulate in all tissues, but especially the brain. Like I said before, it does cross the blood brain barrier. It is one of the substances that can cross this barrier. In fact, the brain levels of mercury are directly proportional to the number of amalgam filling surfaces in your mouth. Symptoms of mercury toxicity can actually range anywhere from behavioral, cardiovascular, blood, central nervous system. People come in to our office with headaches, tremors, muscle twitches, numbness, tingling in their extremities, dizziness, hearing and vision difficulty, digestion problems, endocrine problems, chronic fatigue, immune systems, joint, muscle and kidney problems, reproductive skin, on and on and on. In fact I see patients every day coming to the office with different kinds of symptoms. I had one patient with severe twitching and muscle tingling. I opened her mouth and there was a mouthful of silver fillings. I just said, “We have to start a protocol to get some of this out.” We have done that, and she has been better over time.
At our office we want to use our office as an educational place to come. We have a ton of books, not just about mercury fillings, but obviously about holistic dentistry and the relationship between overall health and toxicity in your mouth. Some of the books that I love that are in our office: one of them is called “Uninformed Consent: The Hidden Dangers in Dental Care”. It’s by Hal Huggins and Thomas Levy. Hal Huggins is kind of the guru of the dangers of root canals. There’s a lot of information in this book about mercury toxicity as well. A good friend of mine and colleague who runs the Center for Advanced Medicine here in San Diego has written a couple of books called “Detox and Disease: Choosing Your Path to Better Health” and also “Surviving the Toxic Crisis.” This is by Bill Kellas. He’s on the radio show as well, after our show. Just amazing information. I refer to these books all the time; I always refer patients to these books because there is just an enormous amount of information, an enormous amount of references and phenomenal information about this subject. Another book I love is called “A Mouth Full of Poison: The Truth About Mercury Amalgam Fillings” This is by Dr. Myron Wentz. He’s a medical research scientist and a doctorate of microbiology and immunology, fantastic book. The last one is called “Rescued by my Dentist.” A lot of our patients love this book, it’s got new solutions to a health crisis by Douglas Cook. He’s also a dentist. A lot of great information there. Please feel free to come by our office for a free consultation or an exam by either myself or Dr. Marvin. You’re more than welcome to hang out there. We have a lot of documentaries at our office, a lot of great books, so just hang out. We want to educate the public about these topics that we’re talking about.
Another great resource is a professor named Boyd Haley, who many people have heard about. He’s a professor of chemistry at the University of Kentucky, has many youtube videos out there debunking the claims that the ADA and FDA have made about the safety of dental amalgams due to their estimations that dental amalgam is safe. He’s conducted many studies himself proving them wrong by doing experiments with dental amalgam in distilled water and found that the mercury vapor they release is astounding. That is without all the acidity and the sulfur compounds and all the grinding and all the stimulation. Check out Boyd Haley for more information.
The experiments the ADA conducts, and many others, you’ll need to look at the sources and understand how they’re getting their information. Make sure that you’re looking at who’s doing the experiment and what kind of experiment it is and who is spear heading that. Some studies test the urine of individuals for mercury toxicity, but we know that 90% is excreted fecally. If you’re just testing the urine, it’s not going to be accurate. We also know that females excrete mercury more than males due to testosterone and estrogen levels, so you need to make sure that the studies don’t just include males. There is a lot of information about that too. That can give you a false interpretation of that. So you do need to look at the facts that surround all of these studies.
There are many avenues for environmental and occupational exposure to mercury, including food sources like contaminated fish, work places that use mercury, products containing mercury, and living near facilities that release it through the air, water and soil. Metals can be found in a lot of different places. Some of the places that metals can be found are the fillings, obviously, that we talked about, crowns, cooking utensils, old paint, antiperspirants, cigarettes, batteries, auto exhaust, insect-asides. There are so many sources.
However, according to the World Health Organization, mercury released from amalgam fillings is by far the primary source of exposure, with it being six to seven times the intake from other food sources and 400 to 500 times the level of environmental intake. In fact, mercury is so soluble that it can be absorbed through the roof of your mouth, which is less that an inch from posterior pituitary gland, which regulates the lower endocrine system.
In summary, millions of people are exposed to mercury in many different ways, but the main way is through amalgam fillings. Simply put, if you’re walking around with mercury fillings in your mouth you are definitely at risk of exposure, and I’d recommend having you check them out. Like I said before, please make sure that you go to the right dentist about that. Again, check out our website at www.trynaturaldentistry.com. Please call our office; the number again is 760-536-1199 for a free consultation. Remember the first ten callers receive $50 off the regular exam and x-ray fee. It was a pleasure being with you this morning. Please make your health a priority; please get these checked out, and I look forward to many more radio shows talking about this very subject. This is Dr. Stacy Godes. Have a great weekend, everybody. Take care of yourself.