As a single element, mercury is a poisonous metal to which we are all exposed through air, water, soil, and food. In dental amalgam, it is bound in an alloy, which also includes silver, copper, and tin. Very small amounts of mercury vapor are released from the amalgam with chewing/grinding.
What Is Mercury Poisoning?
Symptoms To Look Out For
Symptoms of mercury poisoning can be numerous and may occur either rapidly or over long periods of time. In general, symptoms occur and progress more rapidly the higher the dose of mercury encountered. Exposure to the various forms of mercury can result in some similar and some different symptoms.
Elemental mercury toxicity (which usually occurs in the vaporized form) can cause:
-Mood swings, nervousness, irritability, and other emotional changes
-Decreased Cognitive Functions
-High exposures of elemental mercury can cause kidney malfunction, respitory failure, and death.
Organic Mercury toxicity (most frequently in the methylmercury form from ingestion), causes neurological malfunctions, and especially in a fetus, impaired neurological development.
Other Mercury Poisoning Symptoms:
-Peripheral vision impairment
-Stinging or needle-like sensations in the extremities and mouth
-Loss of coordination
-Other impairments of speech and hearing
Many other symptoms and health problems have been attributed to mercury poisoning (for example: high blood pressure, endometriosis, headaches). Currently, there are no good studies to support these claims; however, if people have concerns about their symptoms and health problems related to mercury exposure, they should discuss their concerns with their doctor.