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Dental Amalgams: Why The Fuss?

Written by Dan Abril.

dental amalgam

The younger generation will not be so familiar with that horrid black spot filling damaged teeth but from the 19th century ‘til recent times, dental amalgams – also known as silver fillings - have been the restorative material of choice by dentists.

An alloy of several metals, a silver filling is composed of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and other trace metals. In comparison to other restorative materials, dental amalgams are relatively low cost, stronger, and easier to use thus giving rise to its acceptance. 
Today, its popularity has been on the decline as questions regarding its safety have been raised.

Why Worry?

With a large percentage of mercury in its composition, health and environment groups have expressed their concern regarding the use of dental amalgams. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin and long term exposure to the heavy metal can cause damage to the nervous, digestive, and respiratory systems.  Symptoms appear as tremors, fatigue, and cognitive and motor dysfunction with children - with their developing systems – being more particularly vulnerable to the effects.

Research conducted by the International Academy for Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) have further shown that mercury from dental amalgams can seep into the body through chewing and drinking hot beverages.  

smoking mercury

The World Health Organization (WHO) likewise stated that dental amalgams pose a threat not only to the health of the patients, and dental health professionals but also to the environment.  Accounting for 300 to 400 tonnes of mercury in the market today, mercury utilized by the dental profession eventually end up in the environment as wastes from clinics and as toxic fumes generated by burning mercury-filled teeth via cremation or incineration.

Halt Mercury!

Given the risks involved with mercury use, an international treaty has been recently adapted to reduce its consumption. The treaty involves a phase-out period while exploring mercury-free alternatives for the use of the industrial and health sector.

Dr. Lillian Ebuen, head of the Philippine Chapter of IAOMT pointed out that there’s already a government order in  place, calling for hospitals and other healthcare facilities to stop using mercury-containing products and it’s about time that the dental sector – including the dentistry schools – to follow suit. 

“There are better options such as resin-based composites and atraumatic restorative treatment (ART).  These have consistently proven to be more practical, more durable and more affordable than dental amalgams. In fact, developed countries have moved away from using mercury in treating caries altogether.” she adds.

Total Body Dentistry espouses mercury-free dentistry and strictly follows/observes protocols devised by IAOMT on the removal of dental amalgams. For questions regarding our mercury-free services don’t hesitate to call us at (02)727.8665 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
   

Keep Those Pearly Whites Healthy

Written by Administrator.

teeth

If you want to avoid looking like a hilarious internet meme (celebrities without teeth), then practice good oral health care. Healthy gums and a nice set of teeth, is not only attractive but it also has practical benefits.

Teeth provide support and structure to the facial muscles, and together with the tongue and lips; also allow us to form sounds and are indispensable in speech. Teeth are also indispensable as they serve as the entry point of our digestive system.

While our senses excite the brain through taste and flavours, teeth break and crush the food into manageable pieces and with the help of saliva, soften it for manageability. Thus, without teeth, the intake of nutrients can become problematic.

Neglecting oral hygiene can cause teeth to decay and cause gum infection. Also, according to the Mayo Clinic, a respected non-profit medical and health research organization in the US, poor oral hygiene can cause bad bacteria in your mouth to multiply and this may eventually spread and infect other parts of your system.

So how do you take care of your teeth and gums?

First, as what we’ve learned in school or any episode of Sesame Street, it is important to brush regularly. Remember to not rush brushing your teeth and to hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle. Brushing your teeth scrubs leftover food and minimizes the growth of bad bacteria.

Toothpaste helps in clearing plaque and removing stains.  Alternatively, you can also try cleaning your teeth with baking soda. Throw away toothbrushes that are 3 to 4 months old as bacteria can also build up in the bristles.  Likewise,   get into the habit of scraping/brushing your tongue. Bacteria can build up in the tongue and lead to bad breath and an unhealthy growth of bacteria.

Second, learn how to floss. There are areas in the teeth that simple brushing will not suffice. With a sufficient length, hold the floss firmly with your thumb and index fingers.  Give each tooth ample attention and try to get in between the teeth (but don’t force it), removing the grime in between teeth is important as the leftover food can turn into plaque overtime and may lead to tartar build-up and cause gum disease.

Third, gargle with apple cider vinegar. Believe it or not, gargling with apple cider vinegar as soon as you wake up, helps in keeping your breath fresh and your pearly white - stain free.

Fourth, keep a balanced diet. Apples are said to be nature’s toothbrushes. Munching on apples and other firm, crunchy, and crispy vegetables and fruits help keep teeth healthy and clean.  Additionally, avoid snacking on starching and sugary foods such as candy, potato chips, crackers, and dried fruits.

Finally, visit your dentist. A trip to the dentist twice a year will help you keep track of your overall oral health. Check-ups are necessary to avoid or curb problems.  When symptoms such as continuing bad breath, red, swollen, and bleeding gums do appear; don’t hesitate to call your friendly dentist and set-up an appointment.

As you can see, keeping your teeth and gums healthy is easy. Trust us when we say that the benefits will last for a lifetime.

Panay News

Written by Administrator.

IAOMT Members, Allies, Speak at UN Meeting - IAOMT News

Written by Administrator.

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Dr. Lillian Lasaten Ebuen, President of IAOMT-Phillippines, and frequent IAOMT speaker Dr. Mark Geier both made presentations to the UNEP mercury meeting in Chiba, Japan. The panel is faced with the question of whether to exempt certain mercury containing products from the draft treaty to ban international commerce in mercury. Not surprisingly, the official US delegation wants to exempt dental amalgam and vaccines containing thimerosal.

Read original article at http://www.iaomt.org/news/index.asp?intReleaseID=359&;month=1&year=2011

Mercury Free Dentistry

Written by Administrator.

mercury-free-dentist-imageWHAT are the health implications of mercury? According to medical literature, it is the most toxic non-radioactive metal known, more toxic than lead, which has already been banned for years. Its effect in the human body is numerous depending on its form (elemental, organic, inorganic), the chronicity (length of exposure) and dose; it ranges from insidious wherein its effect may only be apparent after withdrawal from exposure and detoxification; or dramatic.

Read the original article at http://www.malaya.com.ph/oct17/liv2.html