CFS Nutrition Logo Dental Mercury Detoxification


Glutathione Molecule

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Important : Always consult your physician for recognized medical treatments. The information on this page is for educational purposes, and should not be viewed as a substitute for legally licensed medical/dental professional advice.

Mercury exposure from mercury dental fillings, also known as "silver" fillings and "amalgams", is a life long threat. When a person chews, drinks, swallows and breathes, mercury released from dental fillings is absorbed by the lungs and the linings of the digestive system into the bloodstream. As they corrode, mercury fillings release ionized mercury into the saliva, tooth pulp, and gum tissues leading to the digestive system and bloodstream.

There has been a long running debate over the safety of these dental fillings. Dental industry trade representatives, most notably the American Dental Association (ADA) have long denied that there is any detrimental effects from the use of mercury in repairing dental cavities.

For more than a century, the ADA has contended that once a mercury amalgam filling has "cured", the mercury is chemically bound, and cannot escape the filling. This speculation has always been at odds with the commonplace observation that mercury fillings "wear out"; corroding, eroding, breaking, and falling out of the teeth - requiring replacement with new fillings over time.

Recently, evidence has come forward that soundly refutes the contention/speculation that the mercury "stays put" in the fillings. (Please see our page: Dental Mercury Exposure).

The center of debate over safety has now switched to the question of "how much mercury exposure does it take to become ill ?". Most of the classical work establishing mercury as a potent neuro-toxin has come from acute, that is high dose, short duration exposures. Such exposures demonstrate high levels of mercury in blood and urine, and are the basis of present diagnostic standards for mercury toxicity.

Many current investigators have come to believe that chronic low-dose exposure - small amounts over a long time - such as is received from mercury dental fillings follow a different dynamic.

Because of the strong attraction for molecules containing sulfur, low doses of mercury clear from the blood quickly taking residence in the body in an immobilized and not easily detected state. Traditional diagnostic methods and standards for acute mercury toxicity are inadequate for determining health dysfunctions arising from long term low-dose exposure to mercury via dental fillings.

Recent scientific investigations have shown that persons suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) commonly demonstrate immune T-cells that are programmed to react against mercury and other dental metals. (Please see our page: MELISA and Dental Metals)

Independent researchers have also shown that CFS sufferers have continuously activated immune systems, though a long sought viral cause for this activation still cannot be identified.

Immune sensitization against mercury and other dental metals changes the nature of the discussion regarding the safety of dental metals. Acute exposure criteria no longer apply when the immune system is directly involved. The standard of practice in allergic immunology is to avoid the substance that stimulates the immune system.

Below we outline what we have gathered from various sources, including researchers and those practicing dentistry and medicine, regarding the resolution of dental mercury and/or dental metal caused illness.

1. Diagnosing metal caused illness. Every commonly used method of diagnosing dental metal caused illness has problems. Hair tests can show elevated mercury, but very rarely show enough mercury to meet acute exposure standards. Urine studies are also insufficient to agree with acute exposure criteria. Even with a chelation challenge, persons who are not ill will often show similar levels of mercury as those who are ill and suspecting their dental fillings.

We are left with only two methods of diagnosing dental metal caused illness that appear logical, supported by the objective facts.

Process of elimination. When all other potential causes have been eliminated, then the teeth at long last become suspect. If you have mercury dental fillings in your teeth you have a significantly increased mercury exposure over what you would receive from food, water, and air.

You don't need hair, urine or blood studies to determine that you are exposed to mercury- just count your fillings in the mirror. All dental metals release small amounts of their metal in the mouth under normal conditions. Mercury amalgams are reliably exposing the person to mercury on a near constant basis - the more amalgam surfaces, the greater the exposure.

You are immune exposed to all the dental metals in your mouth. However, that fact alone doesn't mean you are immune sensitized to any of the metals.

People ultimately act on faith and hope to remove their mercury dental fillings when following a process of elimination. After taking that leap of faith many have found relief and certainty of cause by their own progress towards better health. Though it is only seldom that mercury-amalgam removal alone will result in a total restoration of health.

MELISA® Test. Melisa is presently the only objective test in our awareness that provides direct evidence for illness caused by exposure to mercury and other dental metals. Lymphocytes don't lie or imagine, they swell up and multiply when stimulated with the metal or pathogen they are programmed to remember.

2. Detoxifying the teeth. Whether a person is receiving toxicity from a mercury buildup, or immune stimulation from an immune sensitized metal, the first step towards recovering health is to remove the metal sources. This especially includes the mercury and nickel, and possibly other metals found in dental restorations.

Safe removal of mercury fillings is an important consideration. Drilling can cause a large one-time exposure of mercury vapor. Mercury vapor is poisonous, and can cause a worsening of problems if allowed to be added to your other exposures. 80% of mercury vapor breathed into the lungs enters the bloodstream where it freely travels to the brain and other vital organs and tissues.

A rubber dam properly installed during drilling will slow the rate mercury vapor directly enters the tissues of the mouth, will stop amalgam particles from going down the throat, and will funnel mercury vapor out of your mouth.

Suction under the rubber dam will remove mercury vapor that accumulates underneath the dam. A rubber dam doesn't stop mercury vapor, it slows it down so that the vapor produced by the high speed drill doesn't impell directly into the mouth tissues.

Breathing from a respirator becomes essential to reduce exposure since the opening to the mouth is in the immediate area where your nostrils draw air. Using the rubber dam will protect the mouth and throat tissues while increasing the mercury vapor available for nostril breathing.

There are other considerations that don't have a wide consensus, such as the order the fillings should be removed, and how much to do in one sitting. These are important individual considerations for you and your physician(s) to work out.

3. Go to metal-free dental restoration materials. All ceramic systems are now becoming widely available. These have the highly desirable attribute of not corroding and releasing any metals into the mouth.

Metal-free is the standard of care for those suffering "amalgam illness" in Sweden. Even with a MELISA test you cannot determine what metals you will become immune sensitized against. Persons with immune sensitivity to one metal have much higher odds of developing a similar sensitivity to another metal.

If you are acting on a process of elimination and without certain knowledge from a MELISA test, then you are further increasing your odds of a positive outcome by eliminating all metals - since you cannot know which ones or how many you are reacting against. It is very common to be sensitized to more than one dental metal.

Every metal used in dentistry, including gold, titanium, and platinum, has been demonstrated to cause a T-cell mediated immune allergy in some people.

Nickel, a common base metal used in low cost crowns and as a hardening agent in expensive gold crowns, causes immune sensitivity the most often, mercury is the next most reactive metal. Even gold has a 1 in 3 chance of becoming an immune irritant for a CFS sufferer.

We are aware of a case where a person became immune sensitized to gold after having all amalgams removed with nickel-free gold alloy crowns installed for the first time.

Gold sensitivity was demonstrated by bleeding gums in association with the gold crowns, and a ring finger rash from a previously tolerated gold ring. This person was objectively demonstrated to be immune sensitized to gold, nickel, and mercury via subsequent MELISA® testing.

4. Restore normal metabolism. Many of the symptoms arising from "amalgam illness" are believed to result from a persistent immune activation wasting away nutritional resources, and direct disturbances in trace mineral metabolism.

Depletion of intracellular glutathione stores are a common result of extended immune activation and from extended mercury exposure. This depletion can be directly related to symptoms of poor immune response and symptoms of hypothyroidism (low thyroid), among many other problems.

In a healthy state the body's stores of glutathione come to the defense by binding circulating mercury as it oxidizes, and carrying the metal in the waste flow via the liver and kidneys. A slow down in this natural process may be the first step in immune sensitization, allowing mercury levels to build to a level that enrages the immune system.

An activated immune system further consumes body stores of glutathione, possibly leaving the body even more sensitive and with less defense against the continuous exposure of toxic dental mercury.

Restoring intracellular glutathione, antioxidants, B-vitamins, and rare trace minerals are the long term remedy for many of the symptoms of "amalgam illness". Metabolic restoration can begin even when the suspect metals are still in the teeth.

For some people, IV preparations of nutrients will be required at first to by-pass disrupted digestion and absorption.

Others can go straight to much less expensive oral supplements such as "Defense & Replenish" and "Glutathione Precursors" from CFS Nutrition.

5. Reduce the body burden of mercury. There are several drugs and at least one nutrient that seem quite effective in enhancing the body's detoxification rate of extracellular mercury. Each of these are described as a "dithiol" compound.

DMPS is an experimental drug, legally available in the USA only from medical researchers under special FDA license.

DMSA is available for prescription under a general FDA approval, though its primary approval is for eliminating a body burden of lead, not mercury.

Alpha lipoic acid is a naturally occurring compound found in very small amounts in potatoes and other foods, and is available over-the-counter as a food supplement.

In doses able to heavily influence the excretion of mercury, all of these compounds have anecdotal problem reports. One reason that seems likely is the further disregulation of important trace minerals caused by these powerful chelating agents. Dithiols pull strongly on essential minerals and not just heavy metals like mercury and lead.

You should know there is an ongoing controversy regarding the safety of dithiol chelators and the use of DMPS in particular. Visit Jana's DMPS Backfire website for information you may not recieve at a DMPS chelation clinic.

It has been our observation that people wo are on a more sure metabolic footing nutritionally seem to cope with chelation drugs better.

The safest strategy we know for mercury detoxification is to rely upon the body's natural glutathione pathway. This strategy is based on chronic use of 3-5 grams of Glutathione Precursor amino acids per day for periods of months. Glutathione's role is detoxification, blunting the toxicity of mercury, and excretion of mercury out of the body. Glutathione excretion of mercury is slower than with chelating agents, but beleived to be much safer providing a person with the other benefits of increased glutathione in the process.

For more aggressive strategies in enhancing mercury excretion we strongly suggest you consult a physician with a proven record of success in chelating heavy metals while avoiding "backfires", restoring their patients to a more normal health.


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