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Mercury Poisoning From Dental Fillings: Lots Of Information Out There


LindaJoy
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Hi, everyone,

In my quest to help the docs find out what's wrong with me, I came across 99,900 websites offering information on mercury poisoning. Most (not that I went through all of them, but many) gave symptoms that paralled POTS.

I know this subject has been discussed here before, but not very much. I consider all of you well-read people, especially when it comes to your health. What do you think about this?

Oh, I'd like to have my mercury level checked. I'll suggest the hair test. Does anyone know who I could approach, in Ohio, to do this test?

Thanks.

Linda

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Mercury poisoning from fillings is one of those "hot topics" -- most mainstream, well respected journals don't report results that support the dental filling=poisoning position. As I usually suggest, I always check out http://www.quackwatch.com for such things to see what the arguements are pro/con. My step dad is a dentist--and actually HE is more likely to get mercury poisoning b/c he's working with so much of the stuff every day. He keeps up to date on this stuff, and when possible, uses other types of filling material. However, the metal fillings are still in use.

Also, the most common way folks get mercury poisoning is via ingestion of animals that have been poisoned, usually seafood that lives in deep waters and store accumulated toxins in their body fat--like salmon, tuna, etc. Certainly it's pretty easy to be tested for mercury poisoning and would be something to talk to your doctor about. I don't think the test is all that difficult to do nor is it all that expensive.

I just so happens it's a big story now on the news in my area b/c they closed down a child care center that had been built on a former thermometer factory--the building has tested for very high mercury in the air, and sadly, the kids and staff are probably at very high risk--the news hasn't reported the results of their tests yet, but I think they were expected next week. What a bummer, eh?

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In my quest to help the docs find out what's wrong with me, I came across 99,900 websites offering information on mercury poisoning. Most (not that I went through all of them, but many) gave symptoms that paralled POTS.

Hi Linda-

I was just revisitng dental mercury poisoning the other day, getting hopeful for a short while. It's easy for me to get hopeful that I've found an explanation for all my symptoms, but as an engineer, I've come to appreciate that the body is very, very complex. The consensus among mainstream science is that dental fillings do not cause mercury poisoning. The levels of mercury in patients with dental fillings are from negligible to nondetectable, as opposed to people who have acute mercury poisoning.

One thing proponents of this idea haven't explained to my satisfaction is why, with the prevalence of fillings these days, there is no epidemic of mercury poisoning symptoms following dental fillings. People would be connecting the dots very quickly if this were true.

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Hi, everyone,

In my quest to help the docs find out what's wrong with me, I came across 99,900 websites offering information on mercury poisoning. Most (not that I went through all of them, but many) gave symptoms that paralled POTS.

I know this subject has been discussed here before, but not very much. I consider all of you well-read people, especially when it comes to your health. What do you think about this?

Oh, I'd like to have my mercury level checked. I'll suggest the hair test. Does anyone know who I could approach, in Ohio, to do this test?

Thanks.

Linda

i am very interested in this thread and others opinions. my son is autistic from a mercury (thermosil) MMR vaccine. Linda, i would be very interested to talk with you about your findings, and i could pass on some of my own. this is a highly charges subject, at least for me. i have tested high in mercury.

are there any other opinions?

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I suggest EVERYBODY read the link provided by Mighty Mouse.

Not to mention, having the fillings removed and replaced IS MAJORLY EXPENSIVE and exposes you to more mercury then if you left them be. It is the technique of massive removal that is the issue. Not just replacing a normal filling. If you make this outrageously expensive choice, the dentist need to be very careful. Also if there were a connection, more dentists would be going insane from the poisonings. THEY have more at risk then us.

Trust me if this were valid, there were be many more connect the dots issues.

Also as Nina stated, we are much more likely to get mercury poisoning from fish (Tuna for one, is so bad today, pregnant women should not eat it due to fetus damage)

So, I have been hearing this stuff for 20 years...nothing to it folks.

But I am not out to convince folks. Have to enlighten yourself and make common sense choices.

:lol:

P.S. that is terrible about the thermometer factory. There is a poison subdivisioin in our area and I think it used to be a shooting range...forget the connection but the dirt was either so high in mercury or arsenic, builders are having to buy back these new homes that nobody can live in. I guess nobody has ever heard of soil samples and soil analysis?

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Actually, the most disgusting part of the news story is the "supposedly" the DEP told the state that the land and building were contaminated years ago. The state never passed that info to the locality, and/or the locality failed to take it seriously, and now we've potentially got a good 30 or 40 kids and grownups who will pay for that. Bummer.

Okay, it must be the day for "hot topics". The MMR vaccine and autism link is also highly controversial -- I have worked only in autism for 20 years now and I've heard all sides of the debate. I've mentioned this before as it's unfotunately not the first time it's come up on this forum--It's hard to separate out, based on the research, if it's just the thimerisol, or the combo of the MMR vaccine itself (three vaccines in one), or neither-- that the onset of symptoms somehow happens in close time proximity making it look like something in the environment. I have one student who was part of the class action suit about 15 years ago? to address the tainted batches of MMR. She, and many others, had severe neurological symptoms within hours of getting the vaccine--she seized for weeks, causing permanent damage to her language and motor skills. It took the government and medicine a while to sort out the facts; sadly, that was no consolation to her or her family.

So, I'm not saying that thimerisol is good, or bad, or in between; while all the current evidence published in medical journals (peer reviewed), and the CDC do not support the thimerisol/MMR connection to autism, I think we don't yet understand enough about the function of the brain and body, and the interlinkages with the nervous system, etc., to be yet fully informed. Some day we may be able to say definitively, "yes, that was it!", or "no, we were wrong". Having been in autism so many years, I've gotten to finally see behavioral treatment get the backing publicly that the research supported a good 40 years ago. I've seen many "treatments" come and go, lots of lines of research that have advanced, and others that ended up going no where.

Time and good research will eventually sort this one out... I hope I'm around to see it. In fact, I hope someone comes up with a cure for autism, as I'd be more than happy have a reason to retire early and see all my kids be great communicators, happy, good sleepers, good eaters, etc. Their lives are so complicated--and their families have way more to deal with than most of you can imagine... well, a few of you are living it...no imagining there.

Those of you who've known me a while will know I've said this before: My work gives me perspective on life that helps me keep going--and every time I work with a family, and then go out to my car, I am reminded how, despite my health issues and whatever emotional melodramas are happening, my life is so blessedly simple compared to those of my kids and their caregivers. I can only imagine trying juggle both having POTS or NCS and having a child with autism. Wow. Now that's one FULL plate to deal with. Yikes. 'Nuf said!

Nina

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It is absolutely impossible for a case of autism to have resulted from thiomersal in the MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine has never contained thiomersal. Besides, measles itself can kill or cause mental retardation or blindness. We're better off with the vaccine, at least until the disease is completely eradicated, like smallpox.

I have a mouthful of mercury-amalgam fillings, but that's because when I was in my cavity-prone years, the powers that be were trying to protect us against communism by opposing fluoridation of the water. I kid you not.

I'm not worried about mercury poisoning, because I don't eat tuna or swordfish. I get my omega-3's from flaxseed.

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I had a mercury spill in my office 20 years ago when an improperly mounted wall sphygmomenometer spilled its contents in a sudden small geyser. It was beautiful to watch it shoot out, bounce on the chair, bounce on the floor and disappear under the carpet. Wall sphyg's don't have lots of mercury, but it seemed to go on and on.

Anyway, I left the room and made some calls and was instructed to immediately seal off the door with a towel so no vapor could escape. A few hours later, 4 people in space suits, whom I had to fly to L.A. from a hazlab in San Franscisco, came into the office with R2D2, went into the room and made weird noises for hours. When the door opened and they left, half the carpet and under-mat were gone as were a couple of items near the chair. It cost a lot of money, but my insurance picked it up.

These folks taught me much. Mercury is a substance to be taken very seriously. Acute and chronic exposures can cause a lot of trouble, depending on individual physiology. Hair analysis shows acute exposures if high enough (say, joining a dental plan and getting 20 fillings in a month), but only a challenge test for urinary excretion is acceptable for chronic exposures. There are different opinions about the best way to challenge.

Until the dysautonomias are better understood and treated, I think pursuing possible factors should not be discouraged. And I would like to say in the nicest, most respectful, gentle and loving way possible, quackwatch is not always correct.

OLL

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LT, I think you're information is incorrect-- the MMR did contain thimerisol aka thimerisal as a preservative agent. Please see the FDA's website for more information

http://www.autismcoach.com/FDA%20Thimeriso...Information.htm

also, the CDC has info on it too-- as of regulations implemented in 2002 the amount of thimerisol in vaccines administered before age 6 has been reduced to trace amounts in most vaccines. Other countries, such as Japan, had banned the substance quite a number of years before that.

http://www.cdc.gov/nip/vacsafe/concerns/th...sal/default.htm

While I do not disagree with the issue that vaccines have saved way more lives than have been injured by vaccines, there are risks of adverse events. One of the suspected causes of autism IS possibly vaccine induced; either by setting an autoimmune reaction into overdrive, or by some other yet undiscovered means. Currently, the CDC and AMA have position statements that autism is not caused by the MMR vaccine based on all the currently available information and research. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/13703.html

However, I've been in the autism field long enough to know that we may find different answers later based on other data... like with ans issues, we do not suffienciently understand the human systems to a necessary degree with regard to how the micro and macro systems inter-relate in order to figure out exactly how/why folks have this group of disorders. Similiarly, the same is true for autism.

There are many other similarities, such as we know some families have a genetic propensity (parallels to EDS, and or families like Ernie's with multiple generations of ans issues), that some seem to be environmentally triggered by exposure or virus, that some appear to have a poorly understood autoimmune process happening, and yet others have unknown etiology.

There really isn't enough information yet to say that thimerisol unequivically doesn't cause autism just yet. Certainly someting major is happening b/c in the 20 years I've been in autism, the incidence has changed from somethign like 1 in 5000 to 1 in 600 births. That's a HUGE change in incidence. Even with better diagnosis (still can only be a diagnosis of exclusion--like the way CFS/CFIDS is done), something has definitely set autism into high gear in the general population.

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This is an interesting reply lthomas.

I am interested to find out more information on why you are not concerned about a heavy metal that has a national recall of thermometers because of its negative impact on the water supply near all landfills. I know there are many things to worry about but this one that something can be done about. Is it that you are not personally worried for yourself or are you not concerned with the impact this has on others, on health in general, or on our planet?

While I also have amalgam fillings that I received before knowing any better I await the time when I have the funds to replace them. If I never do I am sure I will be fine, it is simply my preference. I am very interested in where you got this information that there is no Thermosol in the MMR vaccine. Please send any verification you have because you are incorrect. The MMR did contain mercury. It was used as the preservative. You are correct in one thing. New vaccines are not prepared with the Thermosol.(some flu vaccines are still prepared with it.) We have been speaking of the ones already given to our children. They have been in use since the 1930's until they were stopped in July of 1999. it is unfortunate that since not all of the doses have been used, and the FDA has approved their use until they are gone or have expired so many uninformed(by this I mean that the dr. does not tell the parent at the time of injection) parents are still giving this mercury laden vaccine to their children The individual vaccines of measles mumps and rubella do not contain the mercury preservative. In order to protect my other children I have used the single vaccines spaced one month apart. Please do some research on this subject. I would like proof. Prove me wrong. The vaccine given to my son listed Thermosol in the ingredient list. Please find me one made before 1999 that does not. I await your response. If I do not hear from you I will expect it is because you have seen that your opinion is not fact. I am sending a copy of this post to you in a PM as well, so I can be sure you see it.

It is absolutely impossible for a case of autism to have resulted from thiomersal in the MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine has never contained thiomersal. Besides, measles itself can kill or cause mental retardation or blindness. We're better off with the vaccine, at least until the disease is completely eradicated, like smallpox.

I have not said on this forum that vaccines do not have their place, I did say to be careful and selective in their use.

Joy

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Just to verify the info Mmouse posted is CORRECT. I don't know how somebody can not see this as an issue.

There was talk YEARS AGO about CFS being POSSIBLY started with the polio vaccine we all got as children.

Also a national talk show host --who has many degrees in nutrition and natural treatments, is conservative but will NOT TAKE VACCINEs due to the mercury issue and something from chickens in them (the latter hasn't anything to do with bird flu, by the way) The 'reactions' docs like to pooh pooh are VALID. Why mercury is allowed in flu shots is bizarre.

Mercury poisoning is huge and RUINING the 'healthy effects of eating fish.'

So, the others who have concern are correct. Now the mercury in fillings is a different deal and I am not going to rehash that. Yes, vaccines make most folks safe but IF you or somebody you know was FOREVER CHANGED years ago by a vaccine, it deserves investigation and some self enlightement.

As far as that goes, many folks are no longer giving pets the combination of shots as it is too overwhelming to young dogs and cats. So JUST BECAUSE a vaccine has been around forever does NOT MEAN IT IS SAFE.

When one thinks about all the neurological things some of us have had since kids...it's a real chicken and egg theory. WERE we genetically predisposed or did something environmental trigger ir (i,e, vaccine included)

So, it's perhaps too much debating for a message board as many of us are passionate about it. Some like Nina and those working with autism have heard and SEEN the stories of kids changed FOREVER by vaccines.

Then again, POTS and ANS has been around for CENTURIES with various names....so FINDING the exact cause ain't likely. Extrapolation can sometimes lead to more awareness~~ and more insanity!? as we dig for the needle in the proverbial haystack.

:unsure:

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I stand by my earlier statement. The MMR vaccine has never contained thiomersal.

http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm#t1

If someone told you that it ever did, they are either ill-informed or lying.

I never said that I wasn't concerned about mercury per se. The kind of accident that Old Lady Lighthead described is a serious emergency and I think that the response that she described, R2D2 and all, was entirely appropriate. Mercury vapor is extremely poisonous, and mercury spilled on a carpet is a recipe for a toxicological disaster. I had already heard about the day care in the abandoned thermometer factory, and I was appalled by it. I support efforts to eliminate the use of mercury-containing thermometers and other devices, which would have prevented both problems.

I can hardly be accused of failing to care properly about the environment, especially since I squander my limited time and energy working on a congressional campaign for someone who is trying valiantly to defeat an entrenched incumbent with a bad environmental record. I'm also working for candidates on the county level, who (if we can get them elected) can work on diverting toxics from landfills. I also use public transit instead of driving (even though that means I have to do some extra walking, which I can ill afford, considering that I have POTS); I don't adorn myself with precious metals (gold mining is a major cause of mercury pollution); I don't have air conditioning at home, even though it would be better for my health if I did, considering that I have POTS. You get the picture.

However, I base health decisions on toxicology. And the most important rule in toxicology is that "the dose makes the poison." I haven't seen any evidence that the exposure to mercury from having amalgam fillings is likely to cause any problems. On the other hand, I know that many dentists would benefit financially from doing unnecessary dental work. So I suspect that the whole "have all your fillings removed" movement is a ripoff. I will continue to suspect that until I see some sort of reasonable evidence to the contrary. Personally, I probably wouldn't have had any amalgam in my mouth whatsoever if we hadn't moved from a fluoridated community to a nonfluoridated community when I was a child. Suddenly, whamo--cavities from heck. Whenever anyone I know with children moves to a new community, I remind them to ask about whether the water is fluoridated and, if it isn't, to ask the doctor or dentist for fluoride-containing vitamins for their children. I also suggest that they get enamel bonding on the vulnerable surfaces of the children's teeth. The younger people in the family have never had a single cavity, because these precautions were taken. So if they get some bizarre illness like POTS, for whatever reason, they will never fall prey to some quack who wants to make a quick buck by doing unnecessary dental work on them. And they will never wonder whether the metal in their mouths is making them sick.

It would be easy enough to design a case-control study about amalgam fillings and POTS. Just recruit a bunch of people with a reliable POTS diagnosis, get a bunch of controls matched for age and gender, etc., and then count the fillings in both groups.

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This is an interesting link.

(I will be reading it quite closely to see if and when changes are made to it. it has changed since I read it last.)

You are correct the MMR II has no mercury.

But, please look again. This is the M-M-R-II (M) (M meaning Merck the company that produced it). It is another vaccine from what I am speaking.

If you read the header of your example table #1 it states Updated 7/18/2005 this does not say anywhere there was not in previous vaccines. Please look again and find me something on the MMR. As I said, I am speaking of all made pre July 1999.

We obviously were speaking of 2 different vaccines. You are treading very close to my home in saying MMR is not related to autism. I hope I am just misreading your post.

This, however, does not give you any right to say in totalitarian terms that MMR does not cause autism. No one knows what causes autism. Since you have stated your current job, I hope this is not my elected official ( you have not stated your location, so I do not know who they are) because I would have to make sure to tell them where I stand on this issue, and I would hope you would not be giving them this incorrect stand on the issue. Since you have stated this is your job I hope you do some more study on the subject. 1 in 166 children has autism. I am sure there are some in your area. If your congressman is that concerned with the environment, perhaps he would like to look into this further. I would be more than happy to help in that regard, as no matter what state you are from, any work on autism is good for all of us.

I stand on the fact that my son has autism. It began following a MMR vaccine. They are related. How they are related will probably never be found, because of people that say they are not connected. Your comment that there is no possible way is out of line. It is people like you that make that assumption that have caused my family and many others great pain. Please refrain from stating your opinion as fact. It is in the rules of this forum. We may disagree on anything and I enjoy the debate, but refrain from using your opinion as fact.

It is absolutely impossible for a case of autism to have resulted from thiomersal in the MMR vaccine.
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No brand of MMR vaccine has ever contained thiomersal. Calling me a totalitarian will not change that. Plus, name-calling is impolite and counterproductive.

There is evidence that autism is partly genetic, because of higher rates of concordance in identical twins (who share all of the same DNA) than in fraternal twins (who are no more genetically similar than full siblings from separate pregnancies). Concordance means that both members of the twin pair have the same diagnosis with regard to the condition of interest. Exactly how high the concordance in identical twins is depends on how broad your definition of the autism spectrum is. But the concordance is not 100% (the highest published report I've seen is about 95%), so there is some room for an environmental factor. Ironically, one possible environmental factor is rubella (German measles), which the MMR vaccine prevents. By frightening people away from having MMR vaccinations, the antivaccination activists might actually increase the risk that a pregnant woman will catch rubella and consequently have an autistic child. Here's a link to a discussion of the relationship between congenital rubella (in other words, the mother had rubella while she was pregnant with that child) and autism:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...l=pubmed_docsum.

Of course, a lot of the children they talk about in this article were not only autistic, some were blind, deaf, and mentally retarded, too. Congenital rubella is a very, very bad thing. If the antivaccination activists are successful in their crusade to frighten people into avoiding the MMR vaccine, there will be more cases of rubella in the population, and inevitably more pregnant women who get rubella, and probably more cases of autism (and miscarriages, mental retardation, blindness, and deafness) as a result. That's my concern, and there's actual scientific evidence to support it. There is exactly zero scientific evidence that the MMR vaccine plays any role in causing autism.

The other interesting thing I've seen lately about autism is that it is detectable very early in life, long before children are exposed to the MMR vaccine. (Causes have to precede effects, so this finding, if substantiated, would definitively rule out MMR vaccination as a cause of autism.) Here's an article in a very prestigious scientific journal about movement disorders in very young infants who were later found to have autism. The abnormalities are very subtle, so you wouldn't notice them unless you had been trained to look for them. The researchers looked at old videotapes but didn't know whether or not the child went on to be diagnosed with autism.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...l=pubmed_docsum

By the way, there's plenty of research on autism, including some genetic studies.

http://www.cureautismnow.org/site/c.bhLOK2...newsletter2.asp

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LT, I don't mean to come across as argumentative, but perhaps some of the medical community is then misinformed and passing that along- I've been to conferences with NIH, CDC, AMA reps who presented on this and other issues discussed MMR vaccines earlier than 1999 containing thimerisal, and that in 2002 adopted a policy of removal of even trace amounts. I used to work for the one of the largest autism groups in the US and helped to arrange some of the confernecnes--and as a side benefit, got to "pick the brains" of some of the movers and shakers over coffee or lunch.

As for being able to detect autism early, that's the case for only some with the disorder. For some reason we don't yet understand, some show no symptoms until age two or even a little later. I've been involved with researchers who work for major hospitals and universities--and the advent of relatively inexpensive video cameras created a way for us to get a glimpse at kids histories prior to displaying symptoms that was not available earlier in my career. If I ever harboure doubts of the possibility of "sudden onset", it was a tape of one of my own students at his 2nd birthday party-- social engaged, making eye contact, talking, playing appropriately, looking totally on target for his age, if not a little ahead. A video taken a few months later (3 months, I think?) was like looking at someone else: no verbal language at all, socially disconnected (no eye contact, not tracking/gazing toward familiar people, not even when his named was called), and not playing other than to self-stimulate by banging a toy on a table.

Some of the brain researchers think this sudden onset may have to do with and interference with the "critical period" for migration of certain brain cells--perkinje cells are one of the suspects (see research by Margaret Bauman). The genetics stuff coming out is very complicated, but it appears that there are multiple genes involved, such as with diabetes, and that having all the genes doesn't mean you'd have autism-- it appears that something has to set it into motion. Every year we learn a little more, and there also appears to be multiple paths toward the same diagnosis of autism. I think some day we may find out there are way more subtypes that can account for the variety of onset timing and symptomoloy--right now, it's a diagnostic checklist, and you don't need to have all the items, just some from each category, like a chinese menu. I think there may come a day when some types will be testable by other means, such as the research you mention on early symptoms (there's a screening tool call the CHAT used in the UK that can pick up on some of these when a kid is still preverbal), or even via blood test, cat scans, mri's etc. Still a long way to go, but we're WAY farther than we were when I started in this way back when...

Nina

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Some vaccines have contained thiomersal in the past, and a few vaccines still contain it; but MMR vaccine has never contained thiomersal. According to the World Health Organization, the MMR vaccines do not contain thiomersal--not even trace amounts--because the thiomersal would make the vaccine less effective.

http://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/topics/t...l/questions/en/

The confusion probably arose because people were talking about several different vaccines in the same conversation. It's important to pay close attention to which vaccine they are talking about.

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Hi again,

This link is to an article (http://www.thorne.com/pdf/journal/7-4/autism.pdf) which is one of the best overviews I have read on the complex factors of autistic spectrum disorders. I have heard Andrew Wakefield, who first began connecting MMR to autism, interviewed several times. He was just a regular gastroenterologist who noticed specific GI abnormalities in autistic children and began with a small study. He didn't suspect MMR until he started doing some epidemiologic research on incidence increases in the UK and US. I don't know if anywhere he says that it for sure is the thiomersal. His work is controversial only to those who have a vested interest in a certain point of view about either autism or vaccination.

But this may be digressing from the original mercury discussion. One other point I thought to make about mercury is that there is no safe level of mercury in the body that I have read, but some of our systems are just better equipped to tolerate and/or compensate for it than others. And I heard once in a class that if the saliva is too acid, the amalgams break down faster. Saliva should be alkaline.

I had my fillings replaced but not because I was worried about the mercury. After I had broken two teeth with fillings and needed crowns, my dentist explained that amalgam fillings pull away from teeth in time and they can wear and break at the fracture points. Composites are bonded and this doesn't happen. Plastic is no more natural than amalgam, but I didn't want to break any more teeth.

Good luck in your research. There is almost too much information on just about everything, isn't there?

OLL

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OLL, you're not kidding, eh? :unsure:

I have a number of plastic composite fillings, and older ones that are amalgam. I also had sealants put on my molars b/c I have very deep fissures/crevices. All my siblings do too--and all of us had them sealed once our adult teeth came in. I've been fortunate not to have some of the major dental issues that come with EDS (poor Michelle Sawicki, though, she's had enough work on her teeth to put a few kids through college). I have had some issues with resorbtion of teeth and loss of bone (also resorbed). I've had bone grafts and some nifty dental implants that took several years of work to finalize. BUT, since then, my teeth have been marvelous.

nina

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According to an article by Brian Deer in the Sunday Times (London), Wakefield had been paid ?55,000 by lawyers who wanted him to come up with some scientific-sounding evidence that they could use in a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers. He did not reveal this conflict of interest to the editors of the Lancet.

http://briandeer.com/mmr/lancet-deer-1.htm

Also, Brian Deer reported that Wakefield and his colleagues had filed a patent for a new vaccine that would become valuable only if the MMR's reputation was damaged.

http://briandeer.com/wakefield/wakefield-patents.htm

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil."

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Thanks for the links, lthomas. I will check them out. I don't have a vested interest in supporting a point of view, other than caution with anything which is not natural to our physiology. I just know that Wakefield's first studies were on ASD and he did not know the reason for the pathology he saw. (Added via edit: Wakefield makes his own statement at http://whale.to/a/wa.html)

He and his GI study group did a test where they sent ASD patients to each other and all of the doctors found that the intestinal lymphatic biopsies were abnormal (nodular hyperplasia.) Since 50% of the immune system in the body is in the gut lining, they thought it important to pursue causes. There are many causes for such dysfunction, not just the MMR.

Nina, I cannot imagine what you have been through with your mouth. I am such a dental phobe and even dread getting my teeth cleaned! You are very, very brave. But congratulations that you are now doing well, in the dental dept at least.

A final point...I just read yesterday in the Townsend Letter about a bill to ban mercury fillings which is now in the House of Representatives with 16 co-sponsors. It is H.R. 4011 and called "Mercury in Dental Fillings Disclosure and Prohibition Act." I am sure there are lots of links around this bill.

The article, by the way, says the word "quack" as it is used in the health world came from mercury, or quicksilver. It was once called quacksilver and the people who first used it were called quacks.

OLL

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Even though my stepdad is a dentist, I'm petrified of dental procedures. I think it all stems from the car accident I was in at 10yo. I had 6 teeth knocked out and re-planted, and oodles of tests done as part of the insurance (auto) of the guy who hit our car--they tested my teeth by running current through them until I could feel it--and when I felt it, OW! Also, all of the orthodontia just was uncomforatable--then teeth started dying off and I needed root canals. The first one that died needed work by an endodontist, but the root wasn't completely dead, and when he drilled into it, which normally shouldn't have hurt, sent me into the stratosphere and I jumped out of the chair, ran out of the office, got in the car and locked myself in it (perfect behavior for a 10 year old, yes? except at this point I was 17...).

My stepfather was MORTIFIED b/c the endotontist was a good friend of his, and he was there with me--so there I was in the car, dental dam still strapped to my face, blue paper towel still clipped around my neck, and bawling hysterically locked in the car, and refusing to get out. My stepdad and the endo finally talked me out of the car and I let them finish. The endo aplogized for the pain --usually he doesn't use anesthetic for root canals b/c the root doesn't have any living nerve to send pain messages-- but mine was bleeding, which is a sign that it wasn't comepletely dead.

Ever since then, getting me to the dentist needs to take a hurculean effort on my part. Yeah, I was petrified when I had the bone grafting done. I had the greatest guy though...he helped me calm down, coached me to breathe correctly, do body relaxation while he was working. Any time he noted me tensing, he would say "okay, open your hands up, and take a long, slow breath..." Wasn't fun, but he sure helped.

Nina

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