Holistic dentistry is an option that is becoming more prominent in the dentistry world. What this means for our patients is forgoing mercury amalgam fillings and restorations which use mixed metals that might react negatively to the body. Mercury-silver amalgam dental fillings emit mercury vapor, which is then inhaled into the bloodstream and lungs and absorbed by the body. Holistic dentists prefer using composite or white dental fillings that are not only healthier for the body but also naturally blend in with the teeth.
While the American Dental Association and official government agencies continue to advocate using amalgam fillings asserting that they only release small and safe levels of mercury, holistic dentists are concerned that mercury is still toxic even in tiny amounts, resulting in adverse conditions to the body. And the concern is valid.
For example, mercury can affect one’s organs, including the kidneys, lungs, liver and brain, resulting in a weakened immune system. Not only that, but forensic autopsies have shown a connection between mercury levels in brain tissue and the amount of mercury amalgam fillings in the body. In fact, Alzheimer’s disease has been connected to the level of mercury in the brain. Another link is that mercury amalgam can cause mood swings and impact one’s personality.
Traditional dentistry initially operated on the premise that mercury was not released into the mouth. It was later determined that the amount was so low that it wasn’t negatively impacting the patient’s health. But one issue lies with tolerance levels. Patients have varying degrees of tolerance to toxins, so what might affect one adversely may not affect the next patient. In effect, holistic dentists support those who might be highly sensitive to their environment and help protect their overall health.
More Metal, More Problems
Another issue with metal fillings, such as gold, is the electrical current produced between it and a nearby amalgam filling. Picture having a battery in your mouth, and your saliva is an electrolyte that helps generate the current. If you happen to be sensitive to electricity, then you may experience health issues such as insomnia, hair loss, exhaustion, lightheadedness or bone pains.
Dentists who still support the use of amalgam fillings point out that they last longer than composites, but the problem is they can also place excessive pressure on the affected tooth. This can, in turn, weaken the tooth’s structure, so sometimes the filling is still going strong but the tooth itself deteriorates. Advocates of amalgam fillings point out that they are easier to place than a composite filling and are often covered by insurance, but this doesn’t help those who have a sensitivity to the metal.
For all these reasons, our holistic team uses mercury-free fillings when treating cavities in our patients. If you have questions about holistic dentistry and how you can better your oral health, feel free to give us a call at our office today!