Dental Fillings Linked to High Mercury Levels
Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions—the average adult in the U.S. has three dental fillings, and 25 percent of people have 11 or more. For more than 150 years, fillings have been primarily composed of dental amalgam, which is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, and other metals. A recent study confirmed earlier research that raised concerns about mercury exposure from dental fillings.
According to the study, which involved 15,000 people, having more than eight fillings raises mercury levels in the body over time—possibly to toxic levels. Results show that people with more than eight fillings had about 150 percent more mercury in their blood than those without dental fillings.
High blood levels of mercury can damage the brain, heart, kidney, lung, and immune system. In people with numerous fillings, exposure to mercury from other sources, such as seafood or certain work environments, increases the risk even further.
Image Credit: Thinkstock