Many dental professionals don’t consider the side effects of mercury fillings. These have also been referred to as silver fillings, but this type of filling consists of nearly 45% to 55% metallic mercury. Mercury is a toxic material that can be harmful to almost every organ in our body. Since it is a neurotoxin, mercury can cause side effects to the digestive, respiratory, nervous, and immune systems.
Side Effects of Mercury Fillings
The adverse health effects associated with mercury exposure include impaired vision and hearing, tremors, paralysis, emotional instability, insomnia, and developmental delays. Recent studies have shown that regardless of the amount consumed, mercury exposure may lead to a wide range of adverse effects. Discussed below are common side effects of mercury fillings.
Mercury fillings tend to expose our body to mercury for a long period of time. It can be a potential source of mercury absorption, which can damage different organs of our body, usually the lungs. Organs like the kidneys, brain, and intestines and the oral cavity (mouth) can also face some degree of damage through mercury consumption.
Too many dentists don’t test their patients for mercury allergies. This leaves these patients at risk of mercury exposure when they undergo the procedure of getting mercury fillings. The allergies associated with mercury can affect oral health. Furthermore, patients may face general health issues after being exposed to mercury consumption.
The mercury exposure through amalgam fillings may also cause a genetic predisposition to other conditions. This is the most adverse effect that researchers have noticed in various studies. The issue of neurobehavioral consequences is one of the side effects of mercury exposure, which usually results in a specific type of genetic polymorphism.
The mercury consumed by a body can accumulate in almost any organ. According to certain estimates, almost 80% of the mercury absorbed through dental amalgam fillings can affect the lungs. In addition, it may also pass to other organs like the kidneys, the gastrointestinal tract, and the liver. The mercury exposure can affect the overall functioning of the organ, which may lead to serious illness.
Below are symptoms that relate to the consumption of mercury through amalgam fillings.
- Loss of appetite, general weakness, or skin changes
- Acrodynia, such as emotional instability
- Decrease in mental function, cognitive/neurological impairments, or memory loss
- Enlargement of thyroid or endocrine disruption
- Psychological issues like mood swings, irritability, anger, or depression
The toxic effects of the mercury may vary from person to person. This personalized reaction depends on a variety of co-existing factors. For instance, the presence of a particular health condition may trigger the symptoms of mercury absorption.