I was shocked at my last doctor’s appointment to discover I have high blood pressure. This has never happened to me before. I’m healthy. I’m active. I eat right. I don’t have any family history of high blood pressure. Yet, my doctor still wants to put me on medicine to control it. I told him I’d like to wait a bit and decided to do some research. I’ve read there are some studies that said silver fillings contribute to high blood pressure. I’ve got such a huge mouthful of silver fillings. Would it benefit me to get rid of them and get mercury-free fillings?
There’s some disagreement about this. The American Dental Association, as well as the FDA, still say the levels of mercury in fillings are safe. That being said, there are studies which show that the mercury vapors released contribute to both high blood pressure along with other complications.
The World Health Organization says 300 micrograms per week (42 per day) is safe. However, cognitive effects, as well as increases in blood pressure occur at just 1 microgram per liter. A standard amalgam filling releases 1-3 microgram per day of mercury vapor, though some studies have shown it may climb as high as 27 per day. Understandably, this concerns many dentists and patients.
So, can we say conclusively this is affecting your blood pressure? Not really. Is it worth replacing them? Probably, especially if they’re starting to age. They could start leaking. Plus, many patients have noticed they generally feel better overall after getting rid of their amalgam fillings.
If you do decide to have them replaced, it’s important that you go to a dentist with knowledge of how to do sanitary amalgam removal. This protects you from inhaling the mercury vapors. A mercury-free dentist would be more likely to know how to do this, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Newkirk.