Mercury amalgam fillings and nutrient testing

14 Aug 2015

Visited with my mercury free dentist Wednesday and that was pretty interesting. Among being a dentist, I think he described himself as being a ‘bioethical’ dentist and what he is promoting closely aligns with what I’m finding are services covered under functional medicine. While my intention was to do an initial evaluation about removing and replacing my fillings, it turns out that it’s not as simple as that. He too is interested in whole body health and did a ‘biophotonic’ scan to test the overall antioxidant level in my body. More on that in a bit. We also talked about my implants and crowns, which I had no idea could contain nickel, a metal that I know I’m sensitive to (when I was younger and was prescribed corrective lenses, I decided to try hip wire frame glasses when I started reaching middle and high school – needless to say, I broke out like crazy and eventually had to switch back to the old fashioned plastic turtle frames). So now on top of the nutrient scan, I was in need of a material sensitivity test and also in the process of connecting with my other dentists about the composition of my implants (pure titanium or an alloy?) and crown (composition of the ceramic/porcelain may contain nickel). And I’m also asked to take a ‘bioenergetic’ assessment to measure my aura/electromagnetic field/meridians, which can be used to identify underlying health issues in my organs. How many tests was that now? Well other than the nutrient scan, there was only one other test that I actually had completed during my visit, which was to measure the mercury vapor levels in my mouth.

The nutritional scan didn’t require any blood work and basically used light to evaluate my antioxidant levels. This done by placing the left hand on top of a scanner for a minute or less. Scores can run in 10,000 to 19,000 (bad), 20,000 to 29,000 (also bad), 30,000 to 39,000 (marginal – this is where I scored a 33,000), 40,000 to 49,000 (good), and 50,000+ (optimal). Me being the marginal person that I am, I was recommended to take supplements to improve my results and of course the supplements are tied to the manufacturer of the scanner.

Now to the heart of the matter – the mercury vapor scan. The doctor relays to me that that OSHA threshold limit value (TVL) for mercury vapor is around 25 micrograms/ cubic meter (assuming time weighted average or TVA over 8 hrs). My resting rate (non eating) was measured at 70 micrograms and then he had me chew gum to simulate eating and remeasured me for a value of 107 micrograms! I am a walking superfund site! At the very least, I know I’m leaching a lot of mercury vapors. I had to dig deeper to verify what the OSHA limits meant and if there were other data points I needed to look at.

When I do the research, the OSHA numbers are guidelines and the actual number posted in their site is 0.1 mg/cubic meter (if I’m reading their table correctly) or 100 micrograms. Looking at the CDC site, they are promoting a permissable exposure limit (PEL) of 0.05 mg/cubic meter, and which makes me distinctly over if at rest or while eating. The rate of emission was probably lower when the fillings were new but these bad boys have been with me for 40 plus years and given the numbers, I have to say, their time with me is limited.

Stepping back for a second here, why am I so focused on mercury and my recent dental work? It all has to do with metal toxicity. Mercury, fluoride, chloride and other metals affect thyroid health by interfering with iodine uptake needed to sustain a healthy thyroid gland, regardless if you are hyper or hypo. And for me to get to remission with Graves’, these are just some of the steps I have to take to get me there.

I also had a follow-up visit with my naturopath doctor yesterday and I discussed some of the treatment options the dentist presented to me. She’s heard of this antioxidant scanner and provided me additional insight as to how it works. She didn’t completely poo-poo it but she did tell me that the marketing is such that it is also setup to look for a marker that is contained in the supplements that they are trying to get you to take. Not completely honest but it seems you get dinged if you don’t take their brand of supplements. Nevertheless, I do decide to take an actual blood test to check on the whole spectrum of vitamin, mineral and antioxidant deficiencies. She also offers the materials test I covered above to identify heavy metal and environmental toxicity and I opt to take that test (porphyrins profile) with her and provide a layer of independent testing from my dentist. Don’t get me wrong, I thought he was great in walking me through all the different things I should consider, but me, as a doubting Thomas to start, I needed to have my own peace of mind in reaching a conclusion. I think it’s invaluable to get these second and third opinions.

I’ll start getting those test results back in a few weeks and still have other tests to schedule. Removing and replacing the fillings will take time as we’ll do one and see how I react afterwards. But I can’t get those scheduled without some of the other test results, mostly to confirm if I’ll be reactive to certain types of material and determine what the composition of my replacement fillings will be.

As for my health, still feeling good. BP was 120/74 at the dentists and a measured temp of 98.1F. My resting pulse is in the 60-70 range and weight is holding at about +20 from my low. Very pleased with my overall progress to date and am continuing to explore next steps to sustain my health (inching ever closer to the gluten free decision point).

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