Q: What are some concerns regarding mercury fillings?
A: First, mercury fillings are not stable and react to hot or cold temperatures. So, every time you drink something hot, the filling will expand and every time you drink something cold, the filling will contract. This can eventually crack the enamel of the tooth. In addition, when you drink a hot beverage, mercury can vaporize and this material is ingested. The body changes mercury from a non-toxic to a toxic substance in the cellular membrane to eliminate it from the body.
Q: How can one determine if they have mercury toxicity from their fillings?
A: Some people process mercury effectively and others don’t process it well at all. Hair, urine and blood analysis can be checked for toxicity. If mercury is passed through the urine and not stored in the hair, then we know that individual can process mercury. If we find mercury in a hair sample, then we know they are not eliminating it.
Q: Should individuals with mercury fillings have them removed?
A: That is up to the individual, but in my opinion mercury doesn’t belong in the human body. It may depend on how many mercury fillings they have, however. If a mercury filling needs to be replaced because of deterioration, it should be replaced with another material.
Q: What other materials are options for dentists to use besides mercury fillings?
A: There are numerous bonded materials that dentists can use to fill cavities. However, they are harder to work with, about 20-40% more expensive and typically insurance does not cover these types of materials. One type is crushed quartz and an epoxy binder which is the same color as your teeth and doesn’t expand or contract or release toxins into the body.
Q: What are the symptoms of mercury toxicity?
A: Some of the symptoms include a metallic taste in your mouth, bad taste after eating, lethargy, frequent headaches, and fever. However, be aware that there are probably 50 or 60 symptoms that a person may exhibit. ON THE SUBJECT OF PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Q: Is it normal for your gums to bleed while flossing or brushing your teeth?
A: No, this is not normal and it typically signals gum disease. This can result in loss of bone support around your teeth and the formation of pus pockets. It may also be a cause of bad breath.
Q: What can I do to stop my gums from bleeding?
A: Some initial things to do would be to use a baking soda type toothpaste and/or rinse with a warm salt-water solution. The salt content will kill any bacteria by changing the pH of the mouth. Have your dentist check for healthy gum attachment to your jaw. There should be no more than 2-3 mm pockets; otherwise the bone may be dissolving from around the teeth. The next step would be a cleaning under the gum with a special solution that your dentist would perform. Your dentist will flush the pockets, remove any tartar and bacteria and the gums should tighten up.
Q: Is this a hereditary problem?
A: It can be genetic. However, sometimes it happens in smokers or other individuals who are prone to a fast buildup of tartar.
Q: What else can be done to prevent this from happening?
A: Some individuals can benefit from taking certain supplements as described below:
Vitamin C. 4-6 g/day (but cut back if develop diarrhea)
Coenzyme Q10: 30 mg dose, open the capsule and sprinkle half in mouth and rub on gums. Take the rest internally.
Vitamin E: 400 IU/day
Garlic: 6-8 capsules/day
Flossing is essential and one can benefit from having more frequent cleanings performed by your dentist. If you have tartar buildup, you might benefit from getting your teeth cleaned every 3-4 months.
Dr. Thomas Livingstone
Canaan Gentle Dental Care
Canaan, CT 06018