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Natural Awakenings New York City

Some Dental Fillings Carry Mercury Risk

Jul 27, 2018 09:10PM
Anyone who has heard or read about the Flint, Michigan, water crisis is aware of the dangers of mercury, a heavy metal that is toxic at low concentrations and poisonous to the nervous system. Our exposure to mercury usually comes via water. Mercury is a liquid, and when it evaporates into the air, it eventually settles in oceans or rivers, where fish, shellfish, and other animals are exposed to it. We ingest mercury when we eat those fish—particularly Bigeye tuna, tilefish, swordfish, shark and king mackerel. But there’s another, less incidental way we may be exposed to this neurotoxin: through mercury-containing amalgam dental fillings. Anamaria Pontes, a registered nutritionist and Ayurveda therapist with Holistic Dentists, in Tribeca, recommends having a trained biological dentist remove and replace them. “These fillings are approximately 50 percent elemental mercury,” she says. “Swallowing mercury from dental amalgam preparation is not as toxic as breathing it in from its vapor form. Eating hard, crunchy foods and teeth grinding can increase mercury vapors. Lungs absorb up to 80 percent of inhaled mercury vapor, and from there it travels to other tissues and organs, particularly the kidney, liver, and brain.” Pontes says acute or prolonged exposure to elemental mercury inhaled from amalgam fillings has several symptoms, including infertility, neurological issues, tremors, insomnia, headaches, brain fog, fatigue and emotional changes such as irritability, nervousness and mood swings. Holistic Dentists has an environmentally and health-friendly process for removing and replacing amalgam fillings. Location: 17 Park Place, NYC. For more information, visit