For years, the standard line of argument for mercury has been something like, “Mercury has been used for more than 150 years without any problem.” Of course, this notion has, over and again, been proven false, most recently by the FDA’s own expert panel, which has urged FDA to bar the use of mercury amalgam in vulnerable populations. So a new tactic is needed to try to defend the indefensible: placing large quantities of a highly potent neurotoxin in people’s mouths, where the normal mechanisms of chewing and swallowing ensure constant, gradual erosion that allows mercury vapor and particulate matter free entry to the circulatory system, where the poison can wreak havoc on any number of organs, including the brain.
One possibility that we’ve been hearing more frequently: Maybe mercury is bad, but white fillings (composites) are bad, too, because they contain BPA.
Of course, BPA is a concern. We’re constantly exposed to this known endocrine disruptor through a wide array of consumer products – including some composites, as well as dental sealants. You can read a full summary of its health effects here.
That said, acknowledging BPA’s toxicity doesn’t make mercury any safer. Mercury, after all, is one of the most toxic elements on earth. It damages the brain. It has been implicated in autoimmune disorders, as well as conditions such as autism, asthma, fibromyalgia, MCS and chronic fatigue. That there are other poisons in the the world does nothing to reduce the toxicity of any single one, such as mercury.
But more importantly, while all amalgam fillings contain mercury, not all composites contain BPA, and there is concentrated effort now on creating even more BPA-free restoration materials, even as research continues to be done on the effects of those that do contain the substance. Those concerned about all toxicity issues with respect to their dental work – especially important for those with long-term, chronic, “enigmatic” illnesses – we encourage to seek the services of a qualified and conscientious biological dentist. Such a specialist will be aware of toxicity issues and can provide biocompatibility testing to help ensure that whatever restorative materials are used in your mouth will support your health, not subtract from it.
For a brief outline of the BPA issue in dentistry today, we point you to this article from Dr. Bicuspid (registration may be required). While it somewhat downplays concerns about BPA, it does give a fair overview of the state of the issue in current dentistry.
Image by marcospozo, via Flickr