I’ve never been a health nut, but I stay pretty healthy and active. At my last medical checkup, the doctor told me that I have high blood pressure, and that he wants me to go on medication to control it. I don’t have a family history of it, and, like I said, I’m healthy. I don’t smoke, and I don’t do anything else that could contribute to it. So, I started researching what options I could try before going on a medication and one thing I came across was my fillings. I have a ton of silver fillings, and I read that those can contribute to high blood pressure. I’m considering booking with a mercury-free dentist to have them all removed. What I want to know is whether it’s really worth it to try it, and whether this is a pseudo-science, or if it’s backed by evidence. –Joseph
Most agencies say that amalgam fillings are completely safe. The American Dental Association (ADA) still recommends them for most people, and they provide a listing of other authorities who agree with the long-held belief. The Alzheimer’s Association, The Environmental Protection Agency, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), The Mayo Clinic, and even the American Academy of Pediatrics are listed and quoted on the ADA’s website.
With that said, there is some evidence that seeing a mercury-free dentist may benefit you. Despite the fact that the FDA says they’re safe, they have also printed research that indicates they might not be. “Amalgam fillings have been found to be related to higher blood pressure…” is included in one paper. It also mentions, “The level of mercury released by amalgam fillings is often more than the levels documented in medical studies to produce adverse effects and above the U.S. government health guidelines for mercury exposure.” The very same document discusses how many people who have their amalgam fillings removed feel relief from various conditions afterward.
Taking it one step further, the research also mentions what various agencies believe safe levels of mercury are. The World Health Organization says 300 ug per week or 42 ug per day, the EPA says 2ppb in water is safe, and yet cognitive effects, as well as increases in blood pressure occur at just 1 ug per liter. A standard amalgam filling releases 1-3 ug per day of mercury vapor, though some studies have shown it may climb as high as 27 ug per day.
This is why so many people today are choosing a mercury-free dentist. If you opt to have your fillings removed, there isn’t a guarantee that your blood pressure will drop. There haven’t been enough scientific studies to prove the effectiveness of amalgam removal in regard to blood pressure control. Whether it’s worth a try anyway is truly a personal decision that you will have to make on your own.
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