I was wondering if you could tell me if an old filling could be leaking mercury into my body. I have over 10 fillings in my mouth that are old and two are cracked a bit. I have suffered from fatigue and other symptoms for over a year and I have read about mercury poisoning from old fillings. I also read there is a certain way of removing these as to not have them crumble and swallow them or breathe the dust from them being drilled on. Could you please tell me if I should be concerned and if so what to do about them?
There are many different school of thought on this mercury issue. In US, as dentists, we are not allowed to say that there are mercury leakage in your body because ADA has not stopped the usage of Mercury fillings yet although some european countries are already doing this. But one thing that is true is that when these fillings are removed out of your mouth, dentists are not allowed to throw them in the trash, because the environmentalists are worried about the fact that it might leak mercury in the dirt! So we have to put them in specific BIOHAZARD boxes to be taken and be treated in a specific way. Also, on the boxes, it specificaly states that it is recommended that it should not be used for children under 6 years on age. So why it is used for kids, I do not know and most dentists would not even know that this warning is there.
The bacteria are micromillimeter in size, so if the filling has a small opening or crack to you, that means there is a huge gateway for bacteria to enter inside your teeth.What this means is that this bacteria goes inside the tooth, under the filling, this creates an anaerobic environment (no oxygen) which these bacteria love and this creates a perfect environment for the growth of bacteria which produces acid, which will eat your tooth from inside out and if not caught early enough, this can cause loss of tooth or need for root canals. So I would not wait. These fillings generally last about 2-5 years.
Also, make sure your dentist takes PHOTOGRAPHS of each tooth inside your mouth(not xrays but photographs as well) so you can take a look at them on a computer screen, to make sure there are no cracks on these teeth. These fillings have more than 55% mercury in them, which just like a thermometer, as you expose them to heat and cold, they expand and shrink. Which will not only cause leakage inside them, but worse, they will act as a wedge and can cause weakness and microcracks on the tooth which would have no symptoms until it is too late and you may end up with root canals or need to remove your tooth due to cracks extending down to the bone.
There is a specific technique to remove these and also what to replace them with and the technique and the material is something that needs to be done by a properly trained dentist. There are 15-20 different types of plastic or porcelain types of fillings that need to be used with specific bonding materials in your mouth that are very technique sensitive. So my recommendation is to find someone who has the proper training for this.
You can also do mercury and poison testing done to see your body's mercury, lead, etc levels. This will give you a great indication.
Your fatigue may also be related to sleeping, snoring, apnea or lack of oxygen in your body at nights. I would look into that as well
I hope this was helpful
If you want to see the dentist's training in each field and find properly trained dentists, you can go to top3dentists.com and get some more information on this as well. There are some more informative things on what you had asked on www.dentalinformationblog.com
Thank you so very much for answering me quickly and with such detail. I appreciate it greatly. I am going to check out the websites you mentioned and start making calls tomorrow to see where I can go to get these taken care of.
If you could answer one more question for me... Do you know if my PCP would be able to do a heavy metals test on me or if I would have to go to a specialist?
I am going to my PCP on Thursday of this week. I plan on discussing this with her at that appt. I appreciate your offer to help me find someone if I run into a brick wall here. Again, thank you very much for your help. I feel better already just having the information you have given me.
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