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Are Mercury Fillings Poisoning Your Heart?

When you think of mercury, what comes to mind? Perhaps breaking open a thermometer in science class and letting blobs of liquid silver play across your hands as you listened to your teacher lecture about this unique metal. 

Though this “hands-on” approach to learning might have caught your attention back in grade school, the general public and health organizations now recognize the potential harm of long-term mercury exposure. As such, it has been banned from most household goods in the United States. 

Yet, it continues to pop up somewhere you might least expect it. Even if you haven’t touched liquid mercury since you were a child, you might still be inhaling the toxic vapors into your body. Not from a science project decades ago but from your supposedly harmless dental fillings. 

Types of mercury

Mercury is a naturally occurring heavy metal found in the earth’s crust. It exists in three separate forms, elemental, organic, and inorganic. 

  • Elemental mercury, also known as quicksilver, liquid silver, or metallic mercury is the most well-known and talked about form of mercury. It is liquid at room temperature.

It is used in dental fillings, thermometers, and even lightbulbs.  Mercury is unlikely to cause health issues in small amounts in liquid form, as it absorbs through the skin very slowly. However, when it is at room temperature or hotter and uncontained, it will start to evaporate and release colorless, odorless vapors that can prove toxic.

  • Organic mercury is mercury combined with carbon to form organic mercury compounds. Mercury can be converted naturally in the environment into organic mercury when it is exposed to certain microscopic organisms in water and soil. Methylmercury is the most common byproduct of this conversion and can build up in fish or shellfish. 
  • Inorganic mercury is another mercury compound. However, unlike organic mercury, which occurs when the mercury combines with carbon, inorganic mercury occurs when the mercury combines with other elements like sulfur or oxygen. It can irritate the digestive system and is used in certain industrial processes to make other chemicals.

History of mercury amalgam fillings

 
In the early 1800s, dentists were on a quest for an effective means of filling tooth cavities and preventing decay. Enter mercury and dental amalgams to the scene. At the start, amalgams contained metals like silver, copper, zinc, and mercury and quickly became popular due to their low cost and longevity.

However, this growing practice received backlash in 1844. The American Society of Dental Surgeons became concerned about possible mercury poisoning and required all members to sign pledges not to use amalgam fillings in their dentistry. Certain dentists ignored these warnings and received suspensions for malpractice after using amalgam fillings. 

Eventually, the low-cost overruled the controversy, and The American Society of Dental Surgeons was replaced by the American Dental Association, a group of dentists who supported mercury fillings. Soon, these fillings became standard and have remained popular for over 150 years.

But what about the safety concerns?

Remember the American Society of Dental Surgeons? Their concerns regarding mercury fillings were very legitimate. Throughout history, inhalation of mercury vapor has been linked to poor health and illness. 

Mercury miners and people in occupations that required regular mercury exposure experienced poor mental health, headaches, brain fog, and confusion. In fact, “mad hatters disease,” chronic mercury poisoning of hat makers who used mercury to stiffen felt, is thought to be the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Unfortunately, this has been the filling of choice for over 150 years. Millions of people walk around with this metal mixture in their mouths, potentially experiencing adverse health effects without realizing it. 

Why mercury fillings are dangerous

The great amalgam controversy

Today, amalgam fillings contain powdered silver, tin, and copper, combined with 50 percent metallic mercury. Dentists mix these to form a putty and then press it into the cavity, where it hardens and fills in the affected area, keeping it from further decay. 

The amalgam filling controversy is significant. With strong advocates on both sides of the argument, it can be hard to discern truth from lies. The American Dental Association and mainstream dentists still support mercury fillings. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says, “Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on developing children and fetus nervous systems.” 

Mercury vapor is toxic. Yet advocates of these fillings claim the mercury used to fill cavities is stable and doesn’t release any vapor. Except, of course, when the filling ages and starts to degrade or when the patient chews food. 

A filling that is designed to last for 10-15 years will undoubtedly degrade, meaning that mercury exposure is inevitable. Essentially, mercury vapor is continually released from fillings into the body. 

Even if you are willing to accept a small level of mercury exposure (which is still dangerous), do you really want something in your mouth that releases a toxic vapor every time you bite into a carrot or grind your teeth in your sleep?

Mercury toxicity from fillings increases with: 

  • Age of the filling
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Carbonated soda
  • Lots of fillings
  • Aggressive chewing 
  • Brushing teeth
  • Removal or placement of filling
  • Hot drinks like coffee and tea

Mercury in fish 

As mentioned above, mercury can build up in the water, creating toxic fish that contain mercury levels above the “recommended safe” amount. But aren’t fish healthy and full of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids? Absolutely! Fish are an integral part of a heart-supportive diet. 

However, avoid eating larger, longer-living fish with high methylmercury levels, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish, to protect yourself from potentially harmful mercury exposure. 

How mercury affects your heart


Mercury vapor from fillings and other sources can leach into your bloodstream, brain, and organs, contributing to various cardiovascular conditions. 

Other effects of mercury toxicity

Mercury is bioaccumulative, meaning it can remain in the body for long periods, building up over time and becoming more toxic the more you are exposed. Continued exposure may result in:

  • Vision impairment
  • Coordination issues
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Mental health issues
  • Memory loss
  • Headaches
  • Behavior change
  • Respiratory problems
  • Weight loss
  • Kidney problems
  • Hearing loss
  • Sleep problems or insomnia 
  • Tremors

What you can do

Millions of people have “silver” fillings currently nestled in their pearly whites. You might never feel any adverse effects, but you could also remain sick for years.

Speak with your holistic dentist about your next steps. They can advise the best course of action and recommend removing the fillings and replacing them with something less toxic or leaving them in. Sometimes, mercury fillings are best left alone once in the mouth as they can release toxic vapors when removed. 

If your filling is older (over ten years), in poor condition, or is causing health issues, most holistic dentists will recommend removal. Studies have shown a subjective improvement in health conditions following amalgam removal. 

Alternatives to amalgam fillings

If your dentist has recently found a cavity in your mouth and you are waiting for a filling, consider asking them about alternatives to amalgam. Other options can help protect your heart (and the rest of your body) from possible mercury poisoning. 

Alternative fillings include:

  • Tooth-colored (composite) resin
  • Porcelain
  • Gold
  • Glass ionomer

Note: Children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with neurological impairment, kidney dysfunction, or mercury allergies could be at a higher risk of toxicity from dental amalgam placement or removal.

Next steps

Those shining “silver” fillings from years of poor childhood brushing habits and candy consumption could come back to bite you, leeching toxic mercury vapors into your body and making you sick. Order our Heavy Metals Test to give you a glimpse into the toxic metal buildup in your body and assess your risk of illness from high mercury levels.

Don’t let your 100 Year Heart slip through your grasp — speak to your holistic dentist today about your mercury toxicity risk and consider taking steps to remove this toxic metal from your body.

Eat Well · Live Well · Think Well 


Medical Review 2022: Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD

In order to live well, one must eat well.

Get the Natural Heart Doctor approved Diet and discover how to eat for your 100 Year Heart.

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About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

Dr. Lattanza Office Visit with Patient

As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

Dr. Wolfson Office Visit with Patient

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

He has been named one of America’s Top Functional Medicine Doctors and is a five-time winner of the Natural Choice Awards as a holistic M.D. Dr. Wolfson’s work has been covered by more than 100 media outlets, including NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post. His book “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health” was an Amazon #1 best-seller.

Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.

Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

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Acupuncture

Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

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Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

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Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

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Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.