Silver dental fillings, also known as amalgam or mercury fillings, contain a mixture of metals including silver, tin, and copper powders bound together by liquid (elemental) mercury.  This elemental mercury is about 50 percent of the amalgam filling by weight.  Although they have been used for over 150 years to fill holes in the teeth caused by decay, we now know that mercury is not good for health and that it does cross the placenta during pregnancy.  Avoid mercury exposure in dental fillings before getting pregnant, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Mercury is a chemical that can cause serious health problems in any person, but it is especially dangerous for pregnant women and children; even small amounts can interfere with brain development.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency conservatively estimates that more than 75,000 babies are born each year with an increased risk of learning disabilities because of in utero mercury exposure.

I would have considered this information controversial 20 years ago.  Although the American Dental Association remains an advocate of amalgam fillings, I have changed my mind based on the mountains of research and what I have learned in my Medical School Masters Program.  Mercury vapor can be released from the fillings in teeth while chewing or brushing.  These vapors can readily pass through cell membranes as well as the blood brain barrier.  Because mercury can disrupt normal enzymes and their reactions, there can be psychological, immunological and neurological problems.  Some hormones don’t work well when mercury is present.  

Things to consider before getting pregnant:

  • Make sure your mouth is healthy.  If you have dental decay, get it restored with a monolithic CAD-CAM material.
  • If the above involves removing an old amalgam filling, wait six months before conceiving.
  • Read my blog post yesterday about the mercury contamination of some fish.  
  • If you must have dental care during pregnancy that requires anesthesia, the second trimester is considered the safest time.
  • Be aware of how your mouth feels.  Dental care must be a priority before pregnancy.

Thanks for stopping by.  Avoid mercury exposure in dental fillings for better health.  No dental restoration is as good as strong tooth structure but some materials are safer than others.  START SOMEWHERE learning about better options.  You can do it.  I will help you.

Avoid Mercury Exposure in Dental Fillings

Avoid Mercury Exposure in Dental Fillings