The FDA has updated their recommendations regarding potential risks associated with mercury-containing dental amalgams in high risk individuals. It is unusual for regulatory bodies to acknowledge variable levels of vulnerability in our population. The high-risk groups the FDA recommends avoiding dental amalgams include:
- Pregnant women and their developing fetuses;
- Women who are planning to become pregnant;
- Nursing women and their newborns and infants;
- Children, especially those younger than six years of age;
- People with pre-existing neurological disease such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease
- People with impaired kidney function; and
- People with known heightened sensitivity (allergy) to mercury or other components of dental amalgam.
Plenty of research has linked mercury amalgams to systemic diseases and conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, infertility, and many more conditions.
In Functional Medicine we recommend EVERONE should avoid mercury dental amalgams. Mercury amalgams leach low levels of mercury vapor into the bloodstream and mercury vapor release may be highest during placement or removal of a mercury filling. We often recommend a thorough dental workup as part of our functional medicine approach and consider oral mercury poisoning as an underlying contributor to illness. It’s important to find a dentist well-versed in safe mercury amalgam removal and replacement with safer alternatives, such as composite resins. The Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique from the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology is great resource for understanding the steps involved with safe mercury amalgam removal and also to assist with locating a dentist.
Does this now pave the way for a more nuanced understanding of other kinds of environmental factors that affect some people more than others – such as food additives, other environmental toxins, etc? We sure hope to see regulatory agencies acknowledge and respond to the growing body of scientific evidence in these areas.