It’s been five and four weeks since I had my amalgam fillings replaced with composites (five weeks ago for the four on one side, four weeks for the four on the other side). Let me tell you what’s been going on in my mind and my mouth since then.
Having my fillings replaced caused some tooth sensitivity problems. At first there was a lot of soreness from the procedure, but even after the soreness died down, I was having problems. On the right side of my mouth I was having a lot of pain when I ate sweet foods. Things I shouldn’t have been eating like Christmas fudge were some of the top offenders, but even the juice from eating oranges caused a good deal of pain. Five weeks later I am still experiencing sensitivity, although it is less intense. I am hoping that if I can get my teeth to remineralize in the sensitive spots then maybe this problem will go away.
I’m more concerned about the problem on the left side of my mouth. My first bottom molar seems to now have a filling which readily transmits pressure, heat and cold to my sensitive tooth pulp. If I chew anything harder than a firm banana on that side, it hurts. If I eat anything warmer or colder than room temperature, it hurts. The good news is that the pressure pain is far less than it was to begin with, which means it may continue to lessen. It might have been inflamed/irritated from the procedure, causing it to become extra sensitive. However, to me it seems this problem won’t fully go away on it’s own, unless the nerves in my tooth become less sensitive than they are normally supposed to be (which I don’t think is ideal) or my tooth somehow forms a protective layer on the inside, which I don’t think is possible? I recently learned of a new type of temporary filling that remineralizes teeth before placing a permanent filling, and I can’t help but think that could have helped and wish I could have had that done. I also learned from reading on a forum that a dentist can put something under the filling to fix the sensitivity issue, although I don’t know what it is or if it has any harmful side effects. But if my tooth continues to hurt, then something will have to be done, because I’m not really okay with only eating on one side of my mouth for the rest of my life.
In that same forum I mentioned above, there were a lot of complaints about “white” fillings causing more sensitivity issues than “silver” ones. I was kind of upset that I didn’t know this beforehand. But honestly, would it have changed my mind? It probably would have just given me more anxiety over the issue, if anything. The people in the forum were all upset over their white (composite) fillings and wished their dentists had just given them the silver (amalgam) kind. There were a few in the forum who claimed that there was no danger to mercury fillings. At this vulnerable moment in my life (I was having side effects from a chelation drug and was also in a good deal of oral pain and looking for answers as to why and what I could do about it), I began to wonder if I had really made the best decision in getting my fillings replaced. Had I just spent $2000 to have a mouth full of pain?
The following day, I received in my email inbox one of Dr Mercola’s newsletters with a link to an article about mercury. I can’t remember what it exactly talked about (as I have read/listened to a good deal of info on mercury since that day), but I do remember feeling very validated in getting my fillings replaced–feeling relieved, in fact, that I had done so. The thing is, while there are those who claim the mercury in amalgams is stable and doesn’t leak, I have never seen or read anything to convince me of that. It seems to just be something that people like to say so that others don’t freak out over the toxic materials in their mouths. On the other hand, I’ve read, seen and heard plenty of information to convince me that mercury does leak from fillings and that it is hazardous to health.
Last week I joined in on the HealThy Mouth World Summit and listened to several presentations on oral health. They were quite fascinating. While I still had to lament that we haven’t been able to get away from fluoridated water yet, I felt a huge relief every time mercury was mentioned. I take comfort knowing that not only have I made a choice that will positively affect the health of my kidneys, liver and brain, as well as my overall health, but I’ve also reduced my chances of getting cancer! (which has been a fear of mine since my dad died of cancer at the very young age of 45.) In particular, breast cancer is linked to toxic dental materials (the same heavy metals found in dental materials are found in breast cancer tumors, for example). The immense amount of relief I felt during the Summit was enough confirmation to me that I had definitely made the right decision in getting the amalgams out of my mouth.
I’m not happy about the tooth sensitivity, and if it continues, I will try to get something done about it. Thankfully, it’s tolerable to chew on just one side of my mouth most of the time, even if I don’t like it–I’d rather deal with that than cancer, anyway. I am glad I got the amalgams out. Tooth discomfort isn’t fun, but at least I have significantly reduced the toxic load on my body. I can only see this as a good thing.
UPDATE 4/24/13: Approximately four months after having my fillings replaced, I noticed the sensitivity had reduced significantly. I can now chew normally and am not as sensitive to hot and cold foods.
UPDATE 9/25/13: My tooth sensitivity is now gone, and has been gone for some time–it took me a while to even realize it. Funny how you don’t notice things when they are no longer bothering you! My teeth became pain-free some time during the summer, 6-8 after the composite fillings were placed. The last pain to go away was the sensitivity to hot and cold foods in one tooth. All the other pain was gone long before that.
UPDATE 5/9/15: This has become such a popular post…I recommend reading through the comments for more experiences. But let me give a quick summary of what happened in the year after I had my fillings removed. I got pregnant about four and a half months after replacing my fillings. I know I would have constantly been paranoid about mercury exposure to my baby had I not had the fillings replaced–that alone was worth it. But also, the health benefit I had hoped for actually did happen: I have had a kidney issue for many years which causes me to leak protein into my urine–called proteinuria. I had theorized that since mercury likes to collect in the kidneys that it was preventing my kidneys from fully healing from a kidney disease I had as a young child. While I was pregnant, my midwives and I were shocked when my lab tests came back for almost no proteinuria toward the end of my pregnancy. It was there before and at the beginning of pregnancy, and then essentially disappeared. Pregnancy is hard on kidneys, yet mine healed during pregnancy. I believe the only thing that could have caused this was my kidneys dumping the mercury it had accumulated over the years, coupled with my efforts to try and eat well during pregnancy (I ate much better before pregnancy, actually, so I know it wasn’t diet alone).
Also, my tooth pain went away after several months, during which time I was eating a very nourishing diet, eating lots of foods recommended in the book Cure Tooth Decay, which are also foods great for fertility. I believe this is part of the reason why the sensitivity went away–because I was nourishing my teeth. During pregnancy, I wasn’t able to eat as well, and some sensitivity came back. It has since gone away again. I also think anything that helps reduce inflammation might help–I think my tooth nerves were pretty angry about the work that was done! There is also biological testing that can be done to see what composite material is most compatible for your body, which may be helpful….although most people reading this post have already had the work done, so maybe that’s not very helpful advice! But if you haven’t yet…also make sure your dentist is experienced and is trained in the IOAMT protocol! Know that there are risks involved and try to determine if it will actually be beneficial to you to have your amalgams replaced. And tell the dentist not to drill away mercury-stained tooth–apparently some will try to get all the grey out for cosmetic reasons, and end up drilling away healthy tooth–too much drilling increases the risk of complications and is not worth it in my opinion!