Toxic Dentistry: How Fillings and Braces Can Harm Your Health

Dental treatments such as amalgam fillings and braces can induce toxic reactions in the human body. Mercury, a metal that is toxic to human and animal life even in small quantities, is the primary ingredient in dental amalgams, comprising about half of the content of the fillings. While amalgams are likely the biggest toxic metal risk you can find in dental care, metal allergies to components of stainless steel, particularly nickel, also cause some people to become ill. It’s important to avoid the use of dental amalgams and to be aware of the possible symptoms and sources of metal toxicity from other dental procedures.

If you are pregnant, nursing, or have children, for the safety and long-term health of your kids you must be particularly careful to avoid exposure to mercury and other toxic heavy metals. Dental amalgams account for the vast majority of mercury exposure in people who have them, estimated at two to three times the amount of mercury as all other dietary and environmental sources combined. Failure to get the dental amalgams out of your mouth and keep them from ever being put into your children’s mouths can result in your children developing a lifetime of medical problems that could have been avoided.

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Dental Amalgams: Mercury Poisoning Inside Your Mouth

Possibly the most hazardous use of mercury might be inside of you in the form of the common dental filling. Dentists for decades have used mercury alloy fillings, known as dental amalgams, to repair cavities in teeth. These fillings contain roughly 50% elemental mercury. The remainder is a mixture of silver, copper, and tin.

All of these metals can cause adverse reactions in some people, but they are generally viewed as far less hazardous than mercury. While elemental mercury is less toxic than the organic methylmercury contamination in seafood products, dental applications are ill advised given the availability of safer composite resin fillings.

You should strongly resist getting any new fillings using dental amalgams. If your dentist insists they are safe, find another dentist. The American Dental Association’s positions on safety of dental amalgams appear to be biased in favor of denying liability for harm caused by decades of widespread dental amalgam use than to preventing future harm to patients. It’s all about putting the money ahead of patient well-being. Any dentist who says otherwise is being dishonest to you or is treating your health with negligent disregard.

Fillings are in your mouth 24/7. They are constantly releasing small amounts of mercury vapor. The typical seafood diet might have you consuming 2 or 3 micrograms of mercury per day. The typical dental amalgam filling could be releasing as much as 15 micrograms of mercury per day into your lungs! Multiple that by a few fillings. Multiply it again if you have any anxious teeth grinding problems such as bruxism. You could be rapidly getting overloaded with toxic mercury, courtesy of your archaic toxin-spewing dentist.

Studies show that the mercury vapors levels in the mouths of people with dental amalgams are several times higher than those with amalgam fillings. Chewing, hot liquids, and teeth grinding (bruxism, a common problem that often goes undiagnosed) all increase the mercury vapor release rates.

Especially worrisome are fillings that cover chewing surfaces in the mouth. If you’ve got a few amalgam fillings, the ones with chewing surfaces are likely the biggest contributors to mercury contamination in your body. They are particularly problematic as chewing and other normal activities of life accelerate the release of mercury vapor inside the mouth cavity. While methylmercury such as from tainted fish is best absorbed by the GI (gastrointestinal) tract, elemental mercury is best absorbed by the lungs. From there, it makes its way into the rest of the body.

Poison in Your Teeth: Mercury Amalgam (Silver) Fillings…Hazardous to Your Health!

Dentist Tom McGuire’s book explains why amalgam (silver) fillings are hazardous to your health. These fillings continuously release mercury vapor, the more poisonous, naturally occurring, non-radioactive substance on earth. Mercury contributes to over 100 health issues, including heart disease, chronic fatigue, depression, memory loss and autism. Written for the layperson, it’s informative, easy to read and understand.

Dr. Tom McGuire has been a mercury free, holistic dentist for over 30 years and is one of the world’s leading authorities on mercury amalgam fillings, chronic mercury poisoning and mercury detoxification. Dr. McGuire founded the Dental Wellness Institute in 1997 and in 2004 he founded the International Association of Mercury Free Dentists (IAMFD).

Finding Mercury-Free Dentists

If your current dentist is still using dental amalgams, you should strongly consider switching dentists and letting him or her know why you’re doing it. Even if you don’t have dental amalgams installed in your own mouth, dental practices using amalgams are handling and exposing their staff and patients to toxic mercury metal and vapor.

Some doctors believe that simply walking into the office of a dentist using amalgams is a health risk equivalent to temporarily having a dozen or more dental amalgams in your mouth. You really should not be taking risks like this with your health or that of your children.

To find a dentist not using amalgams and who is familiar with proper amalgam removal techniques to minimize the health risks, check out Consumers for Dental Choice: Lookup Mercury-Free Dentists by State.

FDA Hides Mercury Toxicity Risk of Dental Amalgams

The US FDA on August 4, 2009, reclassified dental amalgams as “moderate risk” class II medical devices. While you’d think that would mean they would require dentists and amalgam suppliers to warn the public there are risk from using amalgams, that’s not the case. Instead, they ruled that no warnings are necessary.

Dr. Joseph Mercola is among the many outraged by the FDA’s actions:

(from FDA’s Mercury Ruling Defies ALL Scientific Reasoning)

FDA’s rule, published August 4, says there will be no warnings to patients, not even young women and parents of young children, that the mercury from the amalgam fillings is a reproductive toxin and a neurotoxin.

FDA even gives the amalgam industry the green light to sell and place amalgam without disclosing to consumers that the fillings are mainly mercury, even though the agency is aware of the industry’s long-time deceptive practice of marketing amalgam as “silver fillings.”

As a further step to conceal the mercury and its risks, the FDA even pulled from its website a warning that dental mercury can cause neurological damage to children and fetuses — despite signing a contract in 2008 with Consumers for Dental Choice, a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to educate the public about the health and environmental dangers of mercury fillings, and to ensure more effective government oversight on amalgam.

Every scientist in the world knows that mercury is a virulent neurotoxin that can kill unborn children and cause permanent neurological harm to a child’s developing brain. But the FDA doesn’t want patients to know any of this.

Stung by consumer reaction to its new amalgam rule, the FDA immediately added a warning to its website stating:

“High levels of mercury vapor exposure are associated with adverse effects in the brain and the kidneys.”

But they failed to take the more important step of having the warning issued to dental patients and especially parents. The small change also still allows the nation’s #1 distributor of mercury amalgam, Henry Schein Inc., untrammeled rights to market amalgam for everyone, even pregnant women, without even disclosing the mercury to patients.

The FDA’s Web site also still fails to inform consumers that young children and unborn children are especially susceptible to the effects of mercury. The FDA does not want parents to know about this danger to children even though it admits that this information is true (buried deep in the labeling intended for dentists in the new rule’s special controls, the agency writes that “The developing neurological systems in fetuses and young children may be more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapor”).

Dr. Mark Stengler of Bottom Line Natural Healing has this to say about mercury fillings:

(from December 2009 issue of Bottom Line Natural Healing, page 6)

It is interesting to note that the FDA recommended that manufacturer labels warn dental professionals about the use of adequate ventilation when handling dental amalgam. Why? Because dentists might need to protect themselves from amalgam vapors. What about patients? In my opinion, the FDA is years behind other countries in protecting the public against amalgam fillings. Canada has advised that nonamalgam fillings be used for children and pregnant women since 1966. British dentists were advised in 1998 not to give pregnant women amalgam fillings, and the fillings have been banned altogether in Sweden and Norway. In fact, there is simply no need to use amalgam fillings, since white composite or porcelain fillings are readily available. While these newer filling materials may be slightly more expensive now, as technology improves and dentists become more proficient at administering them, costs will become comparable.

(Note: You can get 3 free samples of Dr. Stengler’s Bottom Line Natural Healing newsletter by clicking here. It is an advertising-free monthly publication usually of 8 pages in length containing helpful health tips focused on holistic and natural healing methods to prevent and treat disease. They also have a free daily health e-newsletter to which you can subscribe by clicking here.)

FDA, ADA, and State Dental Boards Dupe Public

The ADA colluded with state dental boards to shut down dentists who pioneered the use of alternative materials for fillings. Some governments saw the risk to their citizens and acted. The State of California ordered its dental board to prepare a pamphlet to warn consumers of the risks. But they refused direct orders from the legislature by simply failing to prepare the pamphlet for nearly a decade. As a result, in 2001 the State of California scrapped its dental board in response.

The FDA and ADA have also conspired to keep quiet the risk of mercury amalgams. The FDA makes its money from “regulating” companies that pay it fees and has an inherent conflict of interest in its operations. The ADA apparently was taking money from dental amalgam manufacturers and also had or has a conflict of interest:

(from Consumer Choice for Dental: Banner Year 2001-2002)

4. Three reasons have been offered: One, that dentistry was created by a craft who used mercury in direct competition with physicians who forbade it, and is therefore wedded to it as its foundation stone. Two, that the ADA receives yearly payments from amalgam manufacturers (a point the ADA finally admitted in court), and is doing the bidding of manufacturers instead of its members. (The AMA, in direct contrast, considers taking money and endorsing products to be unethical.) Third, the ADA, like the Tobacco Council, is now too deep into promoting a toxic product that it risks all by changing its position.

Mercury Poisons the Sea, Land, and Air

Although dental amalgams are probably the #1 source for mercury poisoning for most people, mercury contamination and pollution are widespread problems. There are many sources for mercury entering the environment in amounts high enough that it could adversely affect humans and animals. Perhaps surprisingly, many of these paths occur because of the intentional use of mercury in products or failure to switch to environmentally safer mercury-free alternatives, often for nebulous cost reasons.

In recent years there has been widespread alarm over mercury in vaccines, seafood, and the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) used throughout the US food industry in common items from bakery goods to soft drinks. In some parts of the United States, industrial companies even marketed their heavy metal waste as “fertilizer” and dumped it on farm fields as described in the 1997 Seattle Times article Fear in the Fields. Such blatant pollution can contaminate the soil and food supply for decades.

Evidence shows that mercury and other heavy metal contamination may be tied to autism, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and a variety of other health problems. Lead, arsenic, cadmium, uranium, and other heavy metals can have similar or more adverse health consequences.

Meanwhile, heavy metals continue to be used widely in industrial and consumer products. In particular, mercury continues to be used in a wide variety of products used in healthcare and your home. Many flu vaccines, including most of the H1N1 flu vaccine supply, use mercury based preservatives such as ethyl mercury. Fluorescent lighting products, cold cathode backlights in watches, computer monitors, and televisions, batteries used in hearing aids and watches, and various kinds of thermometers and thermostats still widely use mercury. You can find a relatively complete listing of classes of products containing mercury at EPA: Mercury in Consumer and Commercial Products.

Business and consumer products that use mercury often release toxic mercury vapors into the air and deposit toxic microparticulates on the floor when they are physically damaged. Accidentally drop a CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulb and you’ll likely release one or two milligrams of toxic elemental mercury into your home or workplace. While LED (light emitting diode) bulbs remain cost prohibitive today, perhaps if the full cost of mercury toxicity were included they would become more economically attractive.

The burning of fuel used to power your light bulbs may also be pumping mercury into the environment. Coal-burning power plants are found around the world. Many put significant amounts of mercury into the air we breathe, particularly if they have not installed systems to clean up their exhaust air. Even though coal-burning plants may be far away, winds can carry airborne mercury vapors into your home.

Finally, back to the dentists. Every one of them still using dental amalgams is polluting the environment with mercury. Not only do they put mercury into your mouth, but the vapors escape into the air in their offices and they flush waste mercury into wastewater sewers. From there it may spread further into the environment if the pipes leak or the treatment plant doesn’t do a sufficient job of removing the mercury from the water.

(from Consumer Choice for Dental: Banner Year 2001-2002)

1. A 2001 study by the City of Palo Alto said mercury from dental offices constitutes 83% of all mercury in the wastewater. California’s top EPA official in this area said the average dentist puts one-half GRAM of mercury PER DAY into the water supply, equivalent to the average person dumping a mercury thermometer down the sink daily.

Health Effects of Metal Toxicity

The effects of metal toxicity vary by the person and the metal. While mercury is probably the biggest heavy metal health hazard today, lead used to be a very common hazard in old lead-based paints and leaded gasoline. Among the most common toxic reactions to metals that don’t belong in the body are those due to mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic. Dr. David Quig in his article Cysteine Metabolism and Metal Toxicity cites the following common reactions:

  • Mercury: chronic fatigue; depression; poor memory and cognitive function; emotional instability; peripheral numbness or tingling; decreased senses of touch, hearing or vision; hypersensitivity and allergies; persistent infections including chronic yeast overgrowth; compromised immune function; cardiovascular disease
  • Lead: fatigue; loss of appetite; headaches; poor memory; inability to concentrate; ADD/ADHD; aberrant behavior; decreased coordination; irritability; pain in abdomen, bones and muscles; gout; anemia
  • Cadmium: hypertension; fatigue; muscle and joint pain/osteomalacia; anemia; lumbar pain; atherosclerosis; kidney damage with associated urinary loss of essential minerals, amino acids and protein
  • Arsenic: malaise; muscle weakness; eczema; dermatitis; increased salivation and strong “garlic breath”

Dental Amalgams May Explain Skyrocketing Autism and Behavioral Disorders

Dr. Williams and Dr. Davis of the Toxic Studies Institute in Boca Raton, Florida, believe that mercury poisoning by dental amalgams is widespread and may explain the rapid increase in hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, low IQ, autism, and other health problems in children since widespread use of the amalgam was started around World War II.

(from Mercury Amalgam Toxicity: Your next visit to the dentist may not be as innocent as you think)

Dr. Williamson says that the toxicity results in disorders primarily of the central nervous system; the head, neck and oral cavity; the gastrointestinal tract; the cardiovascular, renal and immune systems. “Exposure to mercury fillings results in a chronic toxicity, not acute poisoning,” he noted as an aside.

According to Dr. Williamson, the toxicity can manifest in irritability and anxiety, restlessness and emotional instability, loss of memory, inability to concentrate, mental confusion, depression, anti-social behavior, suicidal tendencies, muscle weakness and loss of coordination; bleeding gums and loosening of teeth; abdominal cramps, chronic diarrhea and/or constipation; abnormal heart rhythms and blood pressure (high or low) and unexplained elevations of cholesterol and triglycerides; repeated infections or cancer; and generalized complaints such as chronic headaches, allergies, dermatitis, cold and clammy skin or excessive perspiration, ringing in the ears, joint and muscle pain, unsteady gait, wheezing, heart palpitations, sinus congestion, allergies, loss of appetite or chronic obesity.

Dr. Davis explains that these symptoms have inexplicably been on the rise in the past 50 years, without any unifying explanation. But findings in the past 10 years indicate that mercury toxicity may be the common link between these seemingly unrelated symptoms.

It’s critical to understand that these symptoms are common to many health disorders and that mercury poisoning is not the only possible cause. But it is a cause that can be evaluated by medical testing usually involving one or more blood, urine, and hair tests.

However, one possible problem with the most widely used tests is that mercury levels may be low in blood and urine while being higher in critical organs such as the brain. Of particular concern is chronic low-level exposure that can cause accumulation in organs while showing only low levels in blood and urine. Some doctors advocate the use of DMPS or DMSA challenge tests. In such tests, a patient is first tested (either urine or fecal samples) to establish a baseline. Then a dose of DMPS or DMSA is administered. These are chelating agents that bind to mercury and help the body excrete it via urine or feces. Then a retest is performed. Looking at the difference between the pre-challenge and post-challenge test results can show whether heavy metals are bound somewhere in the body yet would not be detected accurately by simple non-challenge tests.

You can find more information on determining what kind of testing may be appropriate for a suspected heavy metal toxicity problem on the web page Porphyrins in Urine Serve as a Functional Fingerprint of Toxicity.

Neurodegenerative Disease Risk Increased By Mercury Exposure

Researchers have been uncovering links between mercury exposure and a variety of debilitating neurological diseases. These include some of the most feared diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s that literally make you lose your identity, knowledge, and/or control over your own body. While it’s not “proven” that excessive mercury exposure leads to neurodegenerative diseases, it is reasonably well established that it can lead to symptoms that look like such diseases.

(from Mercury Amalgam Toxicity: Your next visit to the dentist may not be as innocent as you think)

Many researchers have reasoned as much over the years but they never had the scientific ammunition to overcome the arguments of organized dentistry in favor of mercury amalgam. But in 1991, Boyd Haley, Ph.D., a research toxicologist at the University of Kentucky in Lexington discovered some hard evidence that changed the mercury debate for good.

“It was almost accidental,” Dr. Haley told Life Extension. “I found out how damaging mercury amalgam is to the brain while studying tissue affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

“The basic research I conducted shows the difference between normal and diseased tissue. My own examination of Alzheimer’s affected cells told me there had to be a toxicant—a toxic substance that causes it. So I went searching for one. I identified two environmental sources that could be responsible: Cadmium, mainly found in cigarette smoke, and mercury.” Dr. Haley published his results. Then, the anti-amalgam lobby got in touch with him and told him that dentists were putting “stuff” in people’s mouths that leaks mercury.

“Frankly, I thought they were nuts,” says Dr. Haley. “No way would anybody, let alone responsible health care professionals, put people at serious risk by putting a toxic substance in their bodies, I reasoned.

“But I did an experiment. I put mercury amalgam in water. Then, I placed a sample of brain tissue in that water and checked on it over time. After a period of several weeks, I noticed that the exposure to mercury had suppressed the secretion from the brain tissue of tubulin—a major enzyme that performs critical functions in the brain. This finding was consistent both with mercury toxicity and with brain tissue as affected by Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dr. Haley continues: “From that, I concluded that there’s clearly leakage from mercury amalgam—and that there’s a strong probability that people who have such fillings in their teeth are being exposed to chronic, low-dose mercury leakage.” According to Dr. Haley, having a mouthful of mercury from age 14 until age 65 and beyond would greatly increase risk in anyone susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease.

Needless to say, dentists do not welcome Dr. Haley’s views. “They insist mercury amalgam is safe, non-toxic and that it doesn’t leak. [But the fact of the matter is that] mercury is a neurotoxin. It leaches out of dental fillings, of that there is no doubt. Anybody can measure it. It heightens the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as well as other neurolgical disorders. Dentists defend their use of mercury amalgam, but it’s unjustifiable. I feel like I’ve been arguing with the town drunk for eight or nine years. My conclusion is simple and direct: mercury is the toxicant behind Alzheimer’s disease. It may not be the only one, but mercury’s role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease is clear.”

Since Haley’s research many years ago, other researchers have continued to find links between mercury levels and neurodegenerative diseases.

(from Mercury and Alzheimer’s Disease)

Mercury levels in brain tissues are 2 – 10 fold higher in individuals with dental amalgam. Persons showing a genetically determined subgroup of transportation protein for fats (apolipoprotein E4) have an increased AD risk. Apoliprotein E (APO E) is found in high concentrations in the central nervous system. The increased AD risk through APO E4 might be caused by its reduced ability to bind heavy metals. Latest therapeutic approaches to the treatment of Alzheimer disease embrace pharmaceuticals which remove or bind metals from the brain. Preliminary success has been documented with chelation of synergistic toxic metals (Fe, Al, Zn, Cu) and therefore also Hg. The available data does not answer the question, whether mercury is a relevant risk factor in AD distinctively. In sum, the findings from epidemiological and demographical studies, the frequency of amalgam application in industrialized countries, clinical studies, experimental studies and the dental state of Alzheimer patients in comparison to controls suggest a decisive role for inorganic mercury in the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease. Other factors currently discussed as causes (e. g. other metals, inflammations, dietetic factors, vitamin deficiency, oxidative distress, and metabolic impairments) may act as co-factors.

Video Showing Brain Neuron Rapid Degeneration Due to Mercury

The following video was produced by the University of Calgary to illustrate how immediately toxic small amounts of mercury are to neurons. Time-lapse photography shows how introduction of a tiny amount of mercury in solution with a growing neuron causes it to be severely damaged in just tens of minutes. Consider what this may mean to your brain if it is continuously exposed to very small levels of mercury coming from dental amalgams or other sources for years at a time.

How Mercury Causes Brain Neuron Damage (University of Calgary)

Dentists and Their Families and Employees at Grave Risk

Some say that the main reasons for the American Dental Association and dentists who are still using amalgams to be claiming they are safe has to do with money. They claim that amalgams procedures are quicker to perform and therefore dentists can pack in more patients and make more money.

However, amalgams pose very large risks for the dentists, their office staff, and their families. It’s hard to imagine why any sane dentist, even if greedy, would be willing to risk his or her own health and that of his or her family given the many statistical observations that show dentists are among the worst affected by the use of mercury in their practices.

(from Mercury Amalgam Toxicity: Your next visit to the dentist may not be as innocent as you think)

“In case anyone still wants to defend the safety record of mercury, let’s consider the harmful effects in has on dentists, dental office personnel and their families—it’s overwhelming,” said Dr. Davis.

“Dentists and dental personnel who work with amalgam are chronically exposed to mercury vapor. Mercury levels in urine of dental personnal average about two times that of controls. Walking into the average dental office can result in a mercury exposure that’s approximately equivalent to having 19 amalgam fillings.”

Dr. Davis points out that mercury’s burden on the body increases with age, and older dentists have median mercury urine levels about four times those of controls, as well as higher brain burdens. Dentists and dental personnel experience significantly higher levels of neurological, memory, mood and behavioral problems, which increase with years of exposure. Female dental technicians who work with amalgam have significantly reduced fertility and lowered probability of conception—and their children have significantly lower average IQ compared to the general population.

Further, the homes of many dentists have been found to have high levels of mercury contamination, probably caused by the dentists bringing it home on shoes and clothes. Autopsies of former dental staff have found levels of mercury in the pituitary gland that averaged more than 10 times greater than that of controls—and also found higher levels in the occipital cortex, renal cortex and thyroid.

And it gets even more grim. Dentists have the highest rate of suicide of any profession. They also suffer a high incidence of depression and memory disorders. According to Dr. Davis, “A large number of dentists wind up being placed on permanent disability—and frequently carry a nebulous diagnosis of non-specific ‘neurological disorder,’ which we believe is mercury toxicity, plain and simple.”

If you’re working for a dentist still installing dental amalgams, find another employer. It’s not worth the risk to the health of you and your family to be exposed to toxic mercury at high levels on a daily basis.

It’s All in Your Head: The Link Between Mercury Amalgams and Illness

If mercury is one of the most poisonous substances known to man, why, then, do dentists routinely use it in amalgams to fill our teeth? That was the question asked by Dr. Hal Huggins over thirty years ago — and is the same question being asked today. Now, however, there is a growing chorus of dentists, researchers, and citizens adding their voices of concern. In this ground-breaking book, Dr. Huggins examines this question and more. What he finds may shock you, for in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence, the dangers of mercury exposure can no longer be overlooked.

It’s All in Your Head: The Link Between Mercury Amalgams and Illness looks at past research on mercury toxicity and dental amalgams — research that the dental establishment has systematically ignored — and at current scientific findings that can no longer be ignored. It details the link between mercury poisoning and the deteriorating state of the public’s health. And it describes the possible effects of mercury toxicity, include multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Hodgkin’s disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and virtually all autoimmune disorders.

Written in non-technical, easy-to-understand language, It’s All in Your Head: The Link Between Mercury Amalgams and Illness explodes the claim that mercury amalgams are safe. If you think your worries are all in your head, you may be right.

Dr. Hal Huggins is one of the pioneers in the campaign to eradicate the use of dental amalgam fillings.

Mercury in Vaccines: Risk Uncertain, But Largely Avoidable

Vaccines using mercury-based preservatives are another major source for mercury exposure, especially for children and people receiving flu vaccines. While being injected with toxic mercury as part of a vaccine is alarming, much research suggests the risks from mercury in vaccines is smaller than in foods. The amounts are small and the exposure usually infrequent as aside from children few people are administered vaccines more than one or two times a year. The risk from not being vaccinated may outweigh the risk of being exposed on a one-time basis to a small amount of mercury. Furthermore, most mercury-preserved vaccines have been phased out in many countries with a major exception being flu vaccines.

High risk people such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children can request mercury-free flu vaccines. If they can’t obtain them, they can avoid the vaccine and instead use a variety of immune-boosting methods, especially increasing your vitamin D intake, to prevent serious flu infections and their complications as we’ve previously described in our articles Preventive Measures for Swine Flu, H1N1 / Swine Flu Risk Increased by Low Vitamin D, and Life Extension Advice on Cold/Flu Infections Including H1N1.

Braces: Watch Out For Metal Allergies!

You’ve kept your kids from getting tainted by mercury contaminated HFCS, fish, and dental fillings. You’re careful about their diets, making sure fruits and vegetables are washed well. You live in a new house with no lead paint. You stay away from playgrounds that have old CCA (Copper Chromated Arsenic) treated wood. You’ve avoided all vaccines with mercury preservatives. Have you eliminated all the toxic metal risks for you and your kids?

Unfortunately, the answer may be no. At least one more metallic hazard may lurking in your health care future: Dental braces!

Although dental braces are likely less common sources for health problems than dental fillings, they contain metals to which some people are allergic. Stainless steel is one of the most common materials from which dental braces are constructed. It is an alloy of steel with nickel and chromium. Nickel is a heavy metal which can cause toxic reactions in the human body. While stainless steel is relatively inert, some people are highly sensitive to material that may be introduced in trace amounts by braces. See the following alarming reports from people who have seen such reactions.

(from Metal Poisoning from Braces)

From Unregistered on July 18, 2007

Hello. My brother is 16 years old. Around February, he went completely nuts. His girlfriend had broken up with him two months before. He was [OK] until feb. but then started calling her, stalking her, and leaving her threatening messages. You would have to know him to know that this is NOT him. My parents took away his car, phone, and internet access. That mainly worked to keep him away from her. He started losing weight rapidly. As this progressed, he went from being a healthy sized teenager to skeletal within a month and a half. My mother caught him wandering through the house on several occasions dazed and confused not knowing where he was. He started talking about killing himself, and saying really off the wall things. That is kind of odd for a boy that just a month and a half before was wanting to be a youth pastor.

My mother researched metal poisoning because she noticed that this all happened since he had gotten his braces. The doctors said she was crazy for awhile, and then finally did blood and hair tests. Sure enough, his metal levels were ridiculously high. His braces were IMMEDIATELY removed. The orthodontist did it for free, he felt really bad (although it’s not like it was his fault). Jim has since returned to normal. He eats again, no more amnesia, rage, depression, he has even gotten most of his friends back.

The only side effects that he still has are occasional half-body numbness.

Anyways… I just wanted to post this in case anyone else ever goes through a similar experience and can’t find anything on it.

Do you think that the numbness could be a result of metals still left in his system?

From kae ds on November 29, 2008

Thank you for this message!

I am a 37 year old woman and I decided to get braces at 36. Early on I started getting sick after the braces; sore throat, coughs and colds. I did not connect this sickness with the braces. However, these symtoms are getting worse. I now have a terrible cough. I am on meds- and I have always been a pretty healthy person. However, my health is declining and I know it’s from the braces.

Thank you again for the info on your brother.

I know he will be fine!

God Bless…


From kitty01 on March 3, 2009

My journey in 2006 at age 42 with orthodontic braces became a nightmare. About four months into my treatment, I developed chronic neck and back pain and got no relief from chiropractic or physio. Then I developed chronic nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blurred vision and facial flushes. This ended up taking over my life and no doctor could diagnose my condition. In Dec of 07 my braces were removed and my health improved in two weeks and I no longer suffer with these symptoms. I never associated my braces with my ill health untill my daughter aged 11 was four months into her braces treatment. She has been afflicted with the the same symptoms that I experienced. My suspicions grew as I searched back through my diary notes and there was too much of a coincidence. We have completed a hair follicle test which has confirmed “metal poisioning.” She is having her braces removed ASAP.

I have placed my daughter on charcoal capsules at night to soak up the residues in her gut relieving her from some of the unpleasant systoms of nausea, abdominal cramps and vomiting, but these are not recommended for long term use in children. In our experience orthodontic braces had totally ruined our intestinal health, giving us digestive complications.

I would encourage anyone to do a hair follicle test prior to the fitting of braces and monitor their health as the months progress. If complications become apparent, repeat the hair follice test to determine metal toxicity.

Although the health risk from dental braces inducing metal toxicity appears to be vastly smaller than for dental amalgams, I wanted to at least mention it to our readers as it is also much less well known.

Additionally, there are some options that can get some of the metal out of dental braces. One is to request ceramic brackets, eliminating much of the metal from the mouth.

At least one company, Invisalign, is selling a dental realignment product that is claimed to correct teeth positioning without the use of traditional stainless steel dental braces. Being a skeptic about safety claims by anybody with a dollar at stake, I’d certainly want to investigate this further for possible hazards from the plastics they are using. But at least it is another option to investigate for people who know there is a family history of susceptibility to toxic reactions to metals.

Further Reading

Mercury Amalgam Toxicity: Your next visit to the dentist may not be as innocent as you think

Life Extension Mercury Detoxification Protocol

Life Extension Heavy Metal Toxicity

Disease Prevention Begins in the Mouth

Norway Becomes First Country to Ban Amalgam Fillings

Invisalign Offers Alternative to Metal Dental Braces

Review: 1FAST400 N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) Bulk Powder

Nutritional Problems May Lead to Higher Risk of Autism

FDA Incompetence and Bias Lead to Poor Ratings & Results

High Fructose Corn Syrup is Dangerous for Many Reasons

FDA Issues Final Regulation on Dental Amalgam: Reclassifies Amalgams As Moderate Risk

FDA: Dental Amalgams

1997 Seattle Times article Fear in the Fields

Cysteine Metabolism and Metal Toxicity, by David Quig, Ph.D.

Wikipedia: Dental Braces

MELISA: Metal Allergy Test

Unraveling the history of the vaccine-autism scare

Mercury Toxicity and Systemic Elimination Agents

Do you have Mercury Poisoning?

Heavy Metal Poisoning

Mercury Releases and Spills – Cleanups and Proper Disposal

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