Monday, April 25, 2011

Old Silver Fillings, Mercury Poisoning & Fibromyalgia

I'm currently experiencing an unpleasant (as if it could be pleasant) metallic taste in my mouth and have been for quite some time actually. At the end of a teleconference I recently participated in with others interested in learning more about Fibromyalgia treatments, we were given the opportunity to ask questions. Naturally, I asked about the possible causes of metallic taste in ones mouth. One of the doctor's hosting the teleconference said the three main causes of metallic taste or ringing of ones ears (which I have as well) are:

  1. Nerves over-firing
  2. Metal toxin exposure
  3. Medication effects

Initially I was inclined to believe the horrible taste stemmed from my nerves over-firing because I experienced the same thing shortly before the onset of Bell's Palsy in 2006. I ruled out side effects from medications because my doctor hasn't changed them in a very long time or at least not coinciding with the onset of my new symptom. I highly doubted metal toxicity too.

A few days ago my friend, Kim, suggested old silver fillings. Apparently, she had the same experience and after her dentist removed her old silver fillings, the metallic taste went away. She also said, “I have seen the cons of silver fillings. At my office and many other dental practices, amalgam fillings aren't even offered to patients. 60 minutes did an episode on mercury fillings about 10 years ago. Scary stuff!!” Considering she's worked in the dental field for over 20 years, I took her suggestion seriously and began my research online.

The very first website I researched set off my alarms bells because it listed signs and symptoms of mercury poisoning (in relation to old silver fillings) that are all too familiar for so many of us with Fibromyalgia and not only that, it listed Fibromyalgia itself!

Symptoms and Signs of Mercury Poisoning
Memory loss
Difficulty Concentrating
Difficulty Making Decisions
Burning hands or feet
Muscular or arthritic aches
Yeast Syndrome
Loss of Sexual Interest
Food Sensitivities
Sensitivity to perfume or chemicals
Frequent Sore Throats
Problems with Vision
Gastrointestinal problems

According to Dr. Robert F. Kidd, “Amalgam dental fillings may be a health hazard to some people. Although a great deal of controversy still exists about this subject, even those who consider dental amalgam safe agree that the health of at least some people is affected by amalgam fillings.”

There is no agreement that enough mercury vaporizes from fillings to cause problems. And to make matters more difficult, there is no laboratory or other test that can prove that there is a toxic level of mercury in the body.”

He goes on to say, “Toxicology, or the study of the effect of poisons, is a more complicated subject than one might first think. Poisons do not always affect people the same way. Some people are affected by very small doses, and the type of symptoms may vary from one person to another. Also if the poisoning takes place over a long time and affects many people, the symptoms may be accepted as a part of everyday life.”

If mercury poisoning is from dental amalgam (the most common source), no simple lab test will help. The reason for this is that mercury from amalgam enters the body as a vapour. Mercury vapour can penetrate and bind to the body tissues and for the most part does not circulate in the blood. This is in contrast to mercury from other sources, which comes in the form of salts, circulates in the blood and does not penetrate the tissues as easily.

Your doctor’s physical examination may pick up clues to help in the diagnosis. Patients with chronic mercury poisoning often are pale and have dark circles around their eyes. They may seem prematurely aged, may appear depressed or vague in their response to questions. Despite normal thyroid tests, their body temperatures are always low. “Tattoos” are sometimes visible where mercury has leaked from a filling into the surrounding gums. The gums adjacent to amalgam-filled teeth may appear irritated, pale or swollen. A fine tremor of the tongue, the mouth, or muscles anywhere else in the body may be present. The onset of high blood pressure, especially after dental work, should raise suspicion, as should irregular heart beat in a person without heart disease.”
Routine laboratory tests are usually normal, but if unexplained protein is found in the urine, mercury poisoning could be a cause. As mentioned above, blood, urine and hair analyses are of little help in chronic mercury poisoning from dental amalgam.There are only two everyday methods of “testing” for excessive levels of mercury in the body. One is called the “DMPS Provocation Test”; the other is “Autonomic Response Testing” or ART.”
I also came across Marie's story on the internet and I highly encourage you to read it from beginning to end. She says, “Don't rush out and have your mercury fillings removed before doing research and getting educated about the dangers involved. If you allow a regular dentist to remove the fillings, you could be worse off than leaving the fillings in your mouth. The dentist should believe mercury is dangerous and toxic. An alternative source of air must be provided for the patient to breathe while the old fillings are drilled. Large amounts of water should to be used to cut down on the vapors being released. A dental dam, a piece of latex, should be placed in your mouth to catch the mercury particles as he is drilling it out. This will keep the mercury from falling under your tongue, where you might swallow it. A large high powered vacuum hose is used near the head of the patient to remove vapors while the mercury is being drilled out.”

And encourages, “everyone to thoroughly research the links on this site before having an emergency situation. For example, a crown should not be placed on top of mercury. Dentists usually use crowns made from porcelain, but inferior quality porcelain crowns may also have metals like nickel in them. When the nickel is placed over a mercury filling, it may start a chemical reaction in your mouth. It causes mercury to start leaching out of your fillings faster. Some dentists use gold crowns over mercury. This also causes mercury to start leaking. You do not need different types of dental metals -such as gold, copper, nickel, and mercury, in your mouth. They interact with one another and cause much illness. When the metals are interacting is when you taste metal in your mouth. That is why you need a biological dentist to remove the mercury before you have crowns added. Many persons start becoming mercury poisoned when crowns are first introduced into the mouth.

In her final paragraph, she states, “If you are seriously ill with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, neurological diseases, or other chronic conditions or allergic reactions in your body, you will need to do dental biocompatibility testing to see what materials would be safe to put back in your mouth after the mercury is taken out. Do not take the mercury out and just put anything back in. Dr. Huggins calls this "jumping from the frying pan into the fire." If you are sick, you need to find an alternative doctor to help you build up your immune system BEFORE you start the dental revision. A good place to start getting educated about this dental issue is to read the book It's All in Your Head by Dr. Hal Huggins. And if you are fighting periodontal disease you need to know that mercury in your fillings is one reason people have periodontal disease and bad breath.

Like my friend, Kim, said, “Scary stuff.”


  1. Excellent post, Britta. I have heard of amalgam fillings being a problem, but had never taken the time to read anything about it. "Scary stuff" is right!

  2. Thank you, Tamara!

    You should also read Celeste Cooper's, author of Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection, latest blog entry. EXCELLENT POST!

    She comments on Dr. James Whiteside's article about amalgam fillings and crowns as well as other perpetuating factors in fibromyalgia. Here's the link to her blog:

  3. you should contact me at

    I had mercury poisoning from amalgam fillings and lost over 2 years of productivity. No doctors would help me or believe me. There is a book by a physicist that explains how to cure yourself. it is called Amalgam Illness Diagnosis and Treatment by Andrew Hall Cutler

    also, i took this metal test (, that confirmed that I had mercury levels that were significantly high.

    if you need a good dentist - I have THE BEST.