Everything we put into contact with our bodies can have some kind of effect on our overall health. Likewise, what we put in our mouths will do the same—especially when it’s in there for long periods of time! The effects of silver fillings (amalgams) are becoming more and more uncertain as dental development increase. So, the question arises: should I remove the silver fillings in my mouth?
What is wrong with silver fillings?
In general, fillings aren’t dangerous. Silver fillings have recently gained attention because of one ingredient in particular, Mercury. Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin, which can cause all sorts of negative effects. Neurological issues, mental disorder, or many other chronic illnesses have been seen with high levels of mercury. Many scientists in the US are currently researching to see if the mercury found in silver fillings can cause these same health risks with extended exposure.
With the mercury in your fillings, there generally aren’t too many risks. Some dental habits can dramatically increase risks though! Grinding your teeth, chewing gum, and drinking carbonated drinks all produce mercury vapors that expose you to his neurotoxin.
What do we currently know about silver fillings?
Unfortunately, studies aren’t sound enough to make any sound enough claim regarding the possible dangers behind silver fillings. Studies outside the US have found that 78% of individuals reported improvements to their health after these fillings were removed. This primarily included a decrease in chronic fatigue. Within the US, the NIH stated that “the current data is insufficient to support an association between mercury release from amalgams and the various complaints that have been attributed to this restorative material.” So, for now, we remain undecided. There still isn’t enough data to show causation.
Should silver fillings be removed?
With so much uncertainty, the choice is left to the patient. Even today, nearly 50% of all dentists are still using silver fillings. In fact, if a dentist recommends getting these fillings removed due to mercury health concerns, he or she could have their license taken away because of the lack of evidence. After all, the greatest amount of mercury exposure we experience may be from having these fillings removed.
For those considering having these fillings removed, it is recommended to do research before making this decision. If your fillings are irritating you, have been in your mouth for over 20 years, or they are preventing you from properly flossing, you should have them replaced regardless of them being silver fillings.
With everything considered, there still isn’t enough data to show action is required. Still, there are many ways to read your own body to make sure you are doing what’s best for your personal health.
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