Oral Galvanic Action of Amalgam Fillings and Other Metals: Oral Effects

arie_ at hotmail.com arie_ at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 24 15:20:45 EST 2000

With thanks to Bernie Windham:

Having dissimilar metals in the teeth(e.g.-amalgam, or gold and 
mercury) causes galvanic action, electrical currents, and much higher
mercury vapor levels and levels in oral tissues. (1-9)   Average
mercury levels in gum tissue near amalgam fillings are about 200 ppm,
and are the result of flow of mercury into the mucous membrane because
of galvanic currents with the mucous membrane serving as cathode and
amalgam metals as anode(1-4). Some of the oral effects include
gingivitis, oral lesions, pain and discomfort, burning mouth, "metal
mouth", chronic inflamatory response, autoimmune response, etc.
Concentrations of mercury in oral mucosa for a population of patients
with 6 or more amalgam fillings taken during oral surgery were 20
times the level of controls(14).   Amalgam also releases significant
amounts of silver, tin, and copper which also have toxic effects, with
organic tin compounds formed in the body being even  more neurotoxic
than inorganic mercury.

    Studies have shown that mercury in the gums such as from root caps
for root canaled teeth result in chronic inflammation, in addtion to
migration to other parts of the body(10,15).  Mercury and silver from
fillings can be seen in the tissues as amalgam "tatoos", which have
been found to accumulate in the oral mucosa as granules along collagen
bundles, blood vessels, nerve sheaths, elastic fibers, membranes,
striated muscle fibers, and acini of minor salivary glands.  Dark
granules are also present intracellularly within macrophasges,
multinucleated giant cells, endothelial cells, and fibroblasts. There
is in most cases chronic inflammatory response or macrophagic reaction
the the metals(10), usually in the form of a foreign body granuloma
with multinucleated giant cells of the foreign body and Langhans

Average mercury levels are often 1200 ppm near a gold cap on an
amalgam filling due to higher currents when gold is in contact with
(8,9,11,12,13). These levels are among the highest levels ever
measured in tissues of living organisms, exceeding the highest levels
found in chronically exposed chloralkali workers, those who died in
Minamata, or animals that died from mercury poisoning(29).   The
FDA/EPA Action Level for mercury in fish or food is 1 ppm.  Warnings
are given at 0.5 ppm.

    The component mix in amalgams has also been found to be an
important factor in mercury vapor emissions.  The level of mercury and
copper released from high copper amalgam is as much as 50 times that
of low copper amalgams(16).      Studies have consistently found
modern high copper non gamma-two amalgams have greater release of
mercury vapor than conventional silver amalgams (17-22).   While the
non gamma-two amalgams were developed to be less corrosive and less
prone to marginal fractures than conventional silver amalgams, they
have been found to be unstable in a different mechanism when subjected
to wear/polishing/ chewing/ brushing: they form droplets of mercury on
the surface of the amalgams(3,23,24).  This has been found to be a
factor in the much higher release of mercury vapor by the modern non
gamma-two amalgams.   Recent studies have concluded that because of
the high mercury release levels of modern amalgams, mercury levels
higher than Government health guidelines are being transferred to the
lungs, blood, brain, CNS, kidneys, liver, etc. of large numbers of
people with amalgam fillings and widespread neurological, immune
system, and endocrine system effects are occuring(25,26,27,28).


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(26) Dr. P.Kraub & M.Deyhle, Universitat Tubingen- Institut fur
Organische Chemie, "Field  Study on the Mercury Content of Saliva",
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tested for mercury level in saliva and health status/symptoms
(27) Public Statement:  BBC Panorama Program on  Dental Amalgam:"The
Poison in Your Mouth", June 1994. by:  World Health Organizaition
Scientific Panel Members( Dr. Lars Friburg- chairman,     Dr. Fritz
Lorscheider, Professor of Medical Physiology, Univ. Of Calgary; Dr.
Murray Vimy, Professor of Oral Biology and Dental Medicine, Univ. Of
Calgary Medical School.      Dr. Vasken Aposhian, Dept. Head,
Molecular and Cellular Biology, Univ.  Of Arizona;    Dr. David
Eggleston, Univ. Of Califoria, researcher on mercury in the brain; Dr.
Boyd Haley, Univ. Of Kentucky reasearcher on mercury in the brain and
Alzheimer's Disease     Dr. Gustav Drasch, Univ. Of Munich, reaearcher
on mercury in brains of dead infants and fetuses;  Dr. D. Echeverria,
Neuro-Toxicologist, researcher on  reproductive  problems and birth
defects in dental workers; Batelle Center for Public Health Reseach,
Seattle, Wash.
(28)      B. Windham, Facts abour Mercury and Dental Amalgam: with
Medical Study Rerences,   1999,
(29) C.F.Facemire et al, "Reproductive impairment in the Florida
Panther", Health Perspect,1995, 103 (Supp4):79-86; &   M.Maretta et
al, "Effect of mercury on the epithelium of the fowl testis", Vet Hung
1995, 43(1):153-6..


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