How are our bodies equipped to handle toxins? What can we do to help our bodies detox?
How can we find holistic dentists to assist in safe amalgam removal? Is healing cavities naturally, without any fillings at all, possible?
These are the questions I'll tackle in the third part of our discussion on mercury in American dental practices.
Mercury, a well-known toxin since ancient times, was introduced into U.S. dentistry in the 1830s. While many countries are phasing out of mercury in dentistry entirely, the ADA remains adamant about its safety.
We know that mercury is bio-accumulative, however, and continued exposure over time can lead to it building up faster than our bodies can excrete it. Pregnant women, unborn children, very young children, and those with more susceptible genetics are all at particular risk.
Since writing my first post in this series, The Historical Uses Of Mercury & Its Use In Dentistry Today, I found a new study supporting the assertion that amalgams release mercury. The authors of this study found measurable amounts of mercury in the blood, cord blood, and the placentas of mothers with amalgam fillings.
In my second post, we learned about 4 factors that determine an individual's sensitivity to mercury. These include amount and duration of exposure, the individual's capacity to detoxify, genetic and epigenetic sensitivity, and immunological reactivity.
As a result, several readers commented and asked how to remove their amalgam fillings. This seems like a logical first step, doesn't it? Well, there's actually a better place to begin…
Natural Detoxification Systems
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. –Psalm 139:14
It turns out, our bodies have their own built-in detoxification systems in the liver, kidneys, skin, lungs, lymphatic system, and digestive system. These all work 24/7 to keep us cleansed and safe from external and internal toxins — if we are healthy to begin with.
If we aren't healthy, and one or more of these systems is impaired, toxins will overwhelm our bodies. This also happens when we are exposed to too many toxins at a time.
Louisa Williams, doctor and author of Radical Medicine, revealed her list of Seven Toxic Insults to Health at the 2013 annual Wise Traditions convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Mercury amalgam fillings occupied the #2 spot on the list.
“Remove these toxic obstacles and your amazing WAPF diet will work.” –Louisa Williams
She advised us to lighten our toxic load as the first step to regaining health. If we have to deal with only 1 or 2 of these “insults”, our bodies can overcome! Conversely, the larger the toxic load, the more susceptible we are to harm.
Potential places for external toxins include many areas in our home environment: household chemicals and cleaners, cosmetics, personal care products, mattresses, carpets and textiles, home pest control, perfumes, air fresheners, plastics, water, and air.
It goes further, too. In addition to reducing toxins in all of the above areas, eat organic produce and grass-fed, pastured animal products. Are you taking any vitamins or supplements? Pick brands without added toxic ingredients.
Methods Of Detoxification
The digestive system is a major detoxification pathway. Are you having daily (or multiple daily) bowel movements? This is important to ensure the elimination of toxins (source).
In addition to these all-purpose detox methods, there are also specific supplements that target heavy metals like mercury. Different protocols are used with adults than with children. Do not undergo heavy metal detox without the guidance of a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner.
Herbs and supplements supporting detoxification include vitamin C, selenium, garlic, dark green leafy vegetables, turmeric, burdock root, ginger root, dandelion root, licorice root, sarsaparilla root, cardamom, cinnamon, and cilantro (source).
In fact, if you've ever overdone it with cilantro pesto before, you might have experienced a detox reaction. Cilantro is frequently recommended for binding heavy metals and removing them from the body.
Cilantro and chlorella work even better when used together, because cilantro can mobilize toxins so well that the body can't keep up. Chlorella absorbs those toxins from the intestine and prevents re-toxification. Studies show that cilantro and chlorella in conjunction can remove an average of 91% of mercury from the body within 42 days (source).
Note that vitamin C neutralizes the effects of cilantro and chlorella — so take these supplements at different times, at least several hours apart.
What happens after I reduce my toxic load?
Your toxic burden has now been reduced, and your body has been able to detoxify. What next? It's time to decide to remove the amalgams, or not. Don't make this decision lightly. You may even find that your body feels better after the detox and there's no need to remove the fillings!
If you choose to remove them, find a dentist specially trained in the safe removal of mercury fillings. This means formal training in mercury removal AND special equipment not found in your run-of-the-mill dentist office.
A friend of mine had this conversation when she called all the dentists on her insurance listing:
Patient: Do you offer amalgam filling removal?
Patient: What procedure do you follow?
Receptionist: *silence* What do you mean?
Patient: Well, what safety precautions do you have?
Receptionist: What do you mean?
Patient: To minimize exposure to mercury… What is the process?
Receptionist: *silence, again* They drill a hole, take out the old filling, and fill it back up.
No, it's not that easy!
According to the IAOMT (International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology), safe amalgam removal requires these basic steps:
- Patient is draped to prevent skin exposure, and given an outside air source to prevent inhalation.
- A rubber dam is inserted to prevent swallowing debris.
- A saliva ejector is also inserted to collect any vapor.
- High volume evacuation water removes debris constantly.
- After the procedure, patient is given a specialized mouth rinse to scavenge any dissolved mercury from saliva.
- On top of all of this, it is recommended to remove no more than 2 fillings per year.
If careful procedures are disregarded, the mercury vapor and fine particulate matter released by heat and drilling can result in high mercury exposure levels. This can contaminate equipment, skin, and clothing of the dental staff and patient. A paper face mask just isn't enough! (Source.)
After each removal session, continue to take detoxifying supplements. Follow gentle detox practices to support your body's natural systems for healing.
Additionally, you'll have to detox from the glues and resins used to replace old amalgams. The 5 Dental Detox Days eBook from Louisa Williams guides you through the day of, and days immediately following, amalgam removal.
She also provides a list of “clean” commonly used dental materials here (bottom left of page).
Need Help Finding A Dentist?
Here are some links to get your search started:
- Primal Docs
- “Find A Holistic Dentist” from Holistic Dental
- “Mercury Safe Dentists” from Dental Wellness 4 U
- “How To Find Safe Dentists” from IAOMT
- “9 Tips For Choosing The Perfect Dentist” from Dr. Danenberg
Healing Cavities Naturally
What can you do to have healthier teeth right now? What if you don't want to fill your cavities with anything at all? Is there a protocol for healing cavities naturally?
I recommend Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition by Rami Nagel. It is the richest source of information on remineralizing teeth, healing cavities naturally, and curing tooth decay.
Nagel employs Dr. Weston A Price's own tooth decay curing protocol, used successfully on many children and adults during the 1930s. He also adds 4 other protocols to help heal teeth in babies, children, and adults.
Along with Louisa Williams, Kate Rheaume-Bleue also lectured at the 2013 Wise Traditions convention in Atlanta. She says that cavity prevention begins in utero. Women who optimize their intake of important nutrients (including vitamin K2) during pregnancy have children with healthier teeth and bones.
In adults, K2 helps regrow dentin, one of the major components of healthy teeth. In fact, Kate says that sensitive teeth can signal a K2 deficiency. She explains that there must be a balance of vitamins A, D, and K2 for optimal health in her book, Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life.
So where can you find K2? Pastured Gouda, goose liver, brie, egg yolk, butter, chicken liver, chicken, ground beef, bacon, calf liver, raw milk, emu oil, butter oil, ghee, as well as wild-caught fish and fish eggs, and traditional sauerkraut.
The very highest source of K2 in any food is the traditional fermented natto.
Louisa Williams declares that minerals are the most important of nutrients. They work synergistically with enzymes, hormones, vitamins, and amino acids. All need minerals to be absorbed and work in the body. So, supply necessary minerals to your body with your K2 and other vitamins!
GAPS Practitioner Kim Schuette recommends Quinton Isotonic water as a complete source of bioavailable minerals. It's also useful as an all-natural Gatorade substitute for sick children and adults.
Also, consider homeopathic cell salts. Louisa Williams uses both these and the Quinton water in her practice.
Finally, fat is a crucial part of the absorption of important vitamins and minerals. Healthy fats are essential to food health.
- Mercury detoxification takes a long time. This won't happen overnight. Be patient and persevere.
- Reduce your overall toxic burden by addressing your home environment.
- Don't detox heavy metals without trained supervision.
- Find a dentist who is specially trained in safe mercury removal practices.
- Eat a clean diet with plenty of grass-fed and pastured animal products, organic fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats.
Have you experienced the harmful effects of mercury on your body? What steps have you taken to reduce your toxic load? Have you ever had amalgam fillings removed? What do you think about healing cavities naturally?
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