The Scary Truth About Dentistry
Earlier this year, I attended a charity function in D.C. where I ended up sitting next to an attorney for the EPA. We got to talking, and soon ended up on the subject of traditional vs. alternative medicine, and specifically the EPA’s role in the matter. One thing I was shocked to hear, was that, according to him, the EPA has known for years that some of the materials used in conventional dentistry pose risks to both the dentist and the patient. But he said there has been enormous pressure from the higher ups to basically just “sit on the data.”
Why would the EPA be told to sit on information that could improve people’s health? My guess is that the makers of these toxic materials are lobbying hard to suppress the truth about them. Firstly, they want to protect their lucrative profits. Secondly, they want to avoid the litigation which could ensue if it was found that their products caused harm. It’s a classic example of the major conflict of interest that inevitably occurs when a federal agency is charged with the dual responsibility of protecting big business and protecting citizens.
This brings me to a story that’s been in the news lately. On Wednesday, a FDA advisory panel recommended that the FDA warn dentists and patients that “silver” dental amalgam fillings containing mercury could be dangerous.
By now, we all know the perils of mercury contamination. We avoid fish with high levels of mercury and call a HAZMAT team to clean up even minor mercury spills. Yet despite this knowledge, the FDA, the American Dental Association, as well as industry groups have, for many years, contended that mercury dental fillings are somehow completely safe. While they acknowledge that mercury is a toxic heavy metal known to cause neurological damage, they claim that mercury fillings don’t release mercury vapor and are therefore perfectly safe.
However, there is much research and anecdotal evidence to suggest that mercury fillings are far from harmless. Dozens of dental patients testified before the FDA advisory panel on Wednesday, explaining how their health had deteriorated as a result of getting mercury amalgam fillings. They, along with dentists and public health advocates, urged the panel to push the FDA to ban, or at least issue strong warnings about, mercury fillings. Many experts agree that when mercury fillings are present in the mouth, mercury vapor is, in fact, inhaled and absorbed into the body where it can cause neurological disorders, headaches, fatigue and other health problems. Some people may write these symptoms off as “normal aging”, but many of us may be dealing with long term exposure to toxins.
One of the most common side effects of mercury toxicity in the body is chronic or recurring headaches, which I myself deal with from time to time. These unexplained headaches have made me wonder if I, like many other people, should have all of my old fillings redone and replaced with the non-leeching, mercury-free composite material that many holistically-minded dentists use today. While I am not certain if my dental fillings are the source of my headaches — long hours at the computer, the stress of running a company and lack of sleep could certainly be the blame as well — I think I might rather be safe than sorry.
To make matters worse, most insurance companies will not pay for you to have your mercury fillings removed and replaced strictly on the basis of your concern about mercury toxicity. So despite the potential health risks, the cost can be prohibitive for many people.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe you have experienced health problems related to mercury fillings? Have you, or would you consider, having your fillings removed? Should insurance companies, or perhaps the makers of mercury fillings, be made to pay for this? Please post your comments below. I am very interested to read your views on this matter.
Joshua Corn – Editor-in-Chief
Josh is a health freedom advocate and veteran of the natural health industry. He has been actively involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years, and has been dedicated to the promotion of health, vitality, longevity and natural living throughout his career. Josh has successfully overcome several personal health challenges through natural means, and believes that sharing information can empower people to take control of their health so they can solve their own problems and live life to its fullest potential. Josh is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now. Additionally he serves as CEO of Stop Aging Now, a company that has been formulating premium dietary supplements since 1995. Josh is currently working on his first book about natural health, and is gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, animal lover and enjoys “living in the now” with his wife and two sons.