Those silver fillings in your mouth are mercury in disguise

Dental WorkAs a kid, I was among those who didn’t really get it about great oral hygiene. Consequently I ended up with a lot of fillings in my mouth. Over the years, I’ve wondered about how safe these “silver” fillings really were, especially with all the media attention about mercury. An article today brought the seriousness home.

A lawsuit was filed yesterday in Washington D.C.’s U.S. District Court claiming that despite growing evidence of harm caused by dental amalgam, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to delay its decision to protect public health against the dangers of mercury tooth fillings.

James M. Love, the attorney who filed the lawsuit, said American consumers and dental professionals are being misled by the American Dental Association (ADA)—the largest and most powerful advocate for continued amalgam use.

“The ADA has misrepresented FDA’s lack of regulation as proof of safety, and continues to use this toxic dental filling, despite scientifically demonstrated risks,” said Love. “Most individuals remain unaware that those ‘silver’ fillings, prevalently used as a dental restoration and covered by insurance policies, consist of 45 – 55 percent metallic mercury, and that there are health and environmental risks associated with those fillings.”

Dental fillings“We have banned mercury in disinfectants, thermometers and many other consumer products,” said Griffin Cole, DDS, president of the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT). “There is no magic formula that makes mercury safe when it’s put into our mouths. It’s inexcusable to use mercury in dental fillings when there are much safer alternatives.”

A February 2014 study, New science challenges old notion that mercury dental amalgam is safe, uses the same studies cited by the FDA in 2006, demonstrating that children are particularly at risk for mercury poisoning.

There’s more to what we’re being told by our dentists about this traditional “fix”. It behooves us to ask more questions and do our homework before deciding on what kinds of material will be going into our mouths. And it’s time we spoke up to pressure the FDA to get its act together and do it’s job – you know, protecting American consumers from harmful chemicals? Wonder what that would look like if they did?

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