Mercury poisoning symptoms can occur as a result of human exposure to this highly toxic element, which is known for its capability to cause harm to the human body even at low doses. It is important to remember that the type of mercury used in amalgam fillings is elemental (metallic) mercury, which is the same type of mercury used in certain types of thermometers (many of which have been banned). In contrast, the mercury in fish is methylmercury, and the mercury in the vaccine preservative thimerosal is ethylmercury. This article focuses on the mercury poisoning symptoms caused by elemental (metallic) mercury vapor, which is the type of mercury released from dental amalgam fillings.
All silver-colored fillings are dental amalgam fillings, and each of these fillings is approximately 50% mercury. Mercury vapor is continuously emitted from dental amalgam fillings, and much of this mercury is absorbed and retained in the body. The output of mercury can be intensified by the number of fillings and other activities, such as chewing, teeth-grinding, and the consumption of hot liquids. Mercury is also known to be released during the placement, replacement, and removal of dental amalgam fillings.
Mercury Poisoning Symptoms Most Commonly Associated with Elemental Mercury Vapor Inhalation
Properly diagnosing “adverse health effects” related to mercury in dental amalgam fillings is complicated by the intricate list of potential responses to the element, which include over 250 specific symptoms. The table below includes the mercury poisoning symptoms most commonly associated with elemental mercury vapor inhalation:
[table id=13 /]
Understanding the Mercury Poisoning Symptoms from Dental Amalgam
One reason for the wide-range of symptoms is that mercury taken into the body can accumulate in virtually any organ. An estimated 80% of the mercury vapor from dental amalgam fillings is absorbed by the lungs and passed to the rest of the body, particularly the brain, kidney, liver, lung, and gastrointestinal tract. The half life of metallic mercury varies depending on the organ where the mercury was deposited and the state of oxidation, and mercury deposited in the brain can have a half life of up to several decades.
Toxic effects of this mercury exposure vary by individual, and one or a combination of symptoms can be present and can change over time. An array of co-existing factors influence this personalized reaction to dental mercury including the presence of other health conditions, the number of amalgam fillings in the mouth, gender, genetic predisposition, dental plaque, exposure to lead, consumption of milk, alcohol, or fish, and more.
In addition to the fact that individual response to mercury varies, the effects of these exposures are even more insidious because it can take many years for symptoms of mercury poisoning to manifest themselves, and previous exposures, especially if they are relatively low-level and chronic (as is often the case from dental amalgam fillings), might not be associated with the delayed onset of symptoms. It is not surprising that just as there are a wide-range of mercury poisoning symptoms, there are also a wide-range of health risks related to dental amalgam fillings.
This video, related to dental amalgam and mercury poisoning symptoms, shows Alzheimer’s type nerve degeneration.