The book, The Mercury in Your Mouth–The Truth about “Silver” Dental Fillings, (Quicksilver Press), is another excellent source for learning about the effects of mercury toxicity. It contains the results of some of the most important scientific studies that have been done in relationship to dental amalgams. It is unfortunate that knowledgeable dentists are unable to openly write about this information without fear of losing their license and most people are quite unaware of the extent to which mercury may be the underlying cause of their health complaints. Therefore, the public needs to share this information.
The book describes mercury as a “cytotoxin.” It is poisonous to all living cells and can bind with any molecule called a “sulfhydrl”–which is found in most proteins–the building blocks for all tissues. As a result–mercury can interfere with virtually any process or organ in the body. Mercury has a long history of being reported as a poison. 2,500 years ago, the Greeks used it as a murder weapon by pouring it into the victim’s ear–thereby paralyzing the brain and causing almost instant death. It has been marked an extremely toxic poison in every encyclopedia description. In a widely-respected toxicological manual–The Pharmacological Basics of Therapeutics (Eighth Edition, Pergamon Press, 1990)–it states that:
Short term exposure to elemental mercury vapor may produce symptoms within hours; these include weakness, chills, metallic taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dyspnea, cough, and a feeling of tightness in the chest. Pulmonary toxicity may progress to an interstitial pneumonitis with severe compromise of respiratory function. Recovery, although usually complete, may be complicated by residual interstitial fibrosis.
Chronic exposure to mercury vapor produces a more insidious form of toxicity that is dominated by neurological effects (Friberg and Vostal, 1972). The syndrome is referred to as asthenic vegetative syndrome and consists of the following findings (Goyer, 1985): goiter, increase uptake of radio-iodine by the thyroid, tachycardia, labile pulse, gingivitis, dermographia, an increases mercury in the urine. With continued exposure, tremor becomes noticeable and psychological changes consist of depression, irritability, excessive shyness, insomnia, emotional instability, forgetfulness, confusion, and vasomotor disturbances (such as excessive perspiration and uncontrolled blushing, which together are referred to as erethism. ) Common features of intoxication from mercury vapor are severe salivation and gingivitis.
To add to this scenario, dental office staff are carefully instructed about the careful handling of amalgam material as it is classified by OSHA as “hazardous.” Remarkably–once it is put in your mouth–it becomes safe? In 1992, the World Health Organization declared that mercury is so poisonous that no amount of mercury absorption is safe!
A study done by publisher, Sam Ziff and his son, Michael Ziff, DDS published in 1993–“A Consolidated Symptom Analysis of 1569 Patients”— compiled the changes in health that occurred with the removal of amalgams in people from Sweden, Denmark, Canada and Colorado. Here are some of the results:
- Chronic fatigue –45% reported this problem–86% of those reported cure or improvement
- Headaches–34% reported this problem–87% of those reported cure or improvement
- Vision Problems–29% reported this problem–63% of those reported cure or improvement
- Depression–22% reported this problem–91% of those reported cure or improvement
- Dizziness–22% reported this problem–88% of those reported cure or improvement
- Skin Disturbances–20% reported this problem–81% of those reported cure or improvement
- Memory Loss–17% reported this problem–73% of those reported cure or improvement
- Lack of Concentration–17% reported this problem–63% of those reported cure or improvement
- Gastrointestinal Problems–15% reported this problem–83% of those reported cure or improvement
- Allergies–14% reported this problem–89% of those reported cure or improvement
- Insomnia–12% reported this problem–78% of those reported cure or improvement
- Ulcers and Sores in the Oral Cavity–12%reported this problem–86% of those reported cure or improvement
- Irregular Heartbeat–10% reported this problem–80% of those reported cure or improvement
- Muscle Tremor–8% reported this problem–83% of those reported cure or improvement
- Gum Problems–8% reported this problem–94% of those reported cure or improvement
- Irritability–8% reported this problem–90% of those reported cure or improvement
- Multiple Sclerosis–7% reported this problem–75% of those reported cure or improvement
Dr. Ziff states that, “You wouldn’t take a leaky thermometer, put it in your mouth, and leave it there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Yet that’s exactly what happens when an amalgam filling is installed in your mouth.”
The book also discusses these important research studies:
- In animal experiments of Murray Vimy, DMD and Fritz Lorscheider, PhD, the presence of amalgam fillings in the mouth caused a decline in kidney function of 54% within 30 days and 60% within 60 days. These changes are considered sub-clinical as there are no “overt” symptoms.
- The research of Dr William Markesbery and Dr. Willaim Ehmann determined that there is a higher level of mercury in the brains of persons who died of Alzheimers–and a lower level of two major minerals which protect against mercury–zinc and selenium.
- The research of Drs. Vasken and Mary Aposhian at the University of Arizona, showed that two-thirds of the body-burden of mercury comes from amalgam dental fillings, with only one-third coming from food and the environment.
- Lastly, research by Dr. Anne Summers, a molecular biologist at the University of Georgia, determined that “the presence of mercury in the body stimulates antibiotic resistance among bacteria in the GI tract–that dental amalgam is an identified factor in the widespread development of antibiotic resistance.“
A summary of how mercury interferes with basic metabolic processes is eloquently described by Alfred Zamm, MD, FACP in this statement from his research:
Mercury poisoning is impaired oxidation. It’s like having an invisible cord around your neck that’s strangling you, but you can’t feel the cord is there. [The strangulation] is biochemical, but the principal is the same: mercury reduced the amount of oxygen you get. The body keeps adjusting, but with every adjustment it gets sicker and sicker. And ultimately you will die from this.
I realized that when you were at this level of impaired oxidation, then everything else would follow: autoimmunity, inability to deal with infections, bizarre illnesses that don’t make sense otherwise. These environmental illnesses are due to a lack of energy packages required for the detoxification process.
Therefore mercury toxicity deprives the body of oxygen-and any process in the body requiring oxygen will be less efficient in the presence of mercury.
Learning about the effects of mercury toxicity can alert us to the shocking evidence of how many epidemics in illnesses may have a relation to this issue. Besides personally taking steps to find a biological dentist who can assist us in the safe removal of these poisonous substances from our bodies, we can become a help to others by sharing this information.
Best in health,