Dental work is done with the intention of improving the patient’s health, improving their appearance, or easing or eliminating pain. Most dentists are in the profession to make their patient’s lives better and improve or maintain dental health. Some procedures, however, have in some cases shown to negatively affect a person’s health, yet they are still performed, and often without question.
In the truly eye-opening book Whole Body Dentistry by Mark A Breiner, DDS, the connection between problems in the mouth and medical problems elsewhere in the body is proven through countless real life examples. Fatigue, headaches, arthritis, colitis, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, infections, hypertension, thyroid imbalances, migraines, kidney damage, and neurological problems can all be caused by or related to problems in the mouth, according to German physician Dr. Reinhard Voll, who researched the topic for over 40 years.
Dentistry in the US most frequently just focuses on the mouth, with little consideration of how procedures could affect overall health. I don’t believe this is due to negligence or carelessness at all; instead I believe it’s due to what is taught to us from a young age, all the way to what dentists are taught in dental school. The connection between dentistry and overall health just isn’t made on a daily basis. Not everyone will have problems from a root canal or amalgam filling, but others will develop seemingly unrelated ailments from these procedures. The more severe and immediate reactions are the only cases where someone may think one is causing the other. Medical issues that develop slowly over time often have no obvious cause.
To understand how problems in the mouth can affect other areas of the body, one must first understand how teeth function. Most people think of teeth as hard, solid, inanimate objects, but they are living and constantly passing fluid between the mouth and the rest of the body. The tooth enamel, which is the outer layer, has tiny tubules which connect to the inner layers of the tooth, including the dentin and the pulp. The pulp is the center of the tooth, and contains nerve endings, blood, and tissue. The fluids running through the tubules within the tooth provide a constant exchange of nutrients and oxygen between the tooth and the rest of the body. In fact, each tooth is directly linked to an organ or different part of the body.
Anything from misalignment of the teeth through orthodontics, to toxicity from metals present in the mouth from amalgam fillings, to bacteria still present within the tooth from a root canal can cause distress in different parts of the body.
Electrical Currents and Mercury Toxicity
Did you know that there are five types of metals in amalgam fillings? In addition to highly toxic mercury, copper, tin, zinc, and silver are also components of amalgam. Altogether in saliva, these metals create electrical charges in your mouth, and can interfere with proper cellular functioning. Dr. Breiner notes that any number of symptoms like leg or gastric pain can result from the impact caused on the nervous system.
Mercury has been controversial since it was first introduced for dental use in 1833. Even then it was known as a highly toxic metal. Proponents of using mercury insisted that it was safe when hardened together with the other metals. Because it was cheaper than gold, it soon became routine practice to use mercury amalgam for filling cavities.
In the early 1900s, a German physician again raised the issue of safety when he showed that a dangerous vapor of mercury does escape from fillings, and this vapor could cause significant medical damage. The American Dental Association remained adamant that mercury is safe for use in the mouth. Mercury amalgam has never been approved for use by the FDA.
In the 1980s, there was increasing evidence from clinical studies that mercury vapor does escape from fillings. Despite being forced to admit this fact, the ADA proceeded to change its code of ethics to make it unethical for a dentist to recommend removing an amalgam filling.
The American Dental Association has great influence over our dental care.
In reference to amalgam, the ADA specifically mentions in its code of ethics that a dentist should not recommend removal.
5.A.1. Dental Amalgam and Other Restorative Materials. Based on current scientific data the ADA has determined that the removal of amalgam restorations from the non-allergic patient for the alleged purpose of removing toxic substances from the body, when such treatment is performed solely at the recommendation of the dentist, is improper and unethical. The same principle of veracity applies to the dentist’s recommendation concerning the removal of any dental restorative material.
5.A.2. Unsubstantiated Representations. A dentist who represents that dental treatment or diagnostic techniques recommended or performed by the dentist has the capacity to diagnose, cure or alleviate diseases, infections or other conditions, when such representations are not based upon accepted scientific knowledge or research, is acting unethically.
Mercury vapor has been shown to be the deadliest form of mercury. Because it’s in the mouth, it is constantly being inhaled, and passes via the lungs into the blood system, which carries mercury to all the tissues in the body. It will even reach the brain. Next time you’re having a cavity filled, forget about the price! Do not opt to put this deadly substance in your body to save $50 or $100, or worse, to save your insurance company money.