Silver dental amalgams, which are commonly used to fill dental cavities, contain mercury. Mercury exposure is a possible risk factor for neurological and autoimmune diseases, such as systemic sclerosis (scleroderma). Just to be on the safe side of this controversial issue, some people choose to have their fillings replaced with non-mercury fillings. (Also see What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma, Systemic Sclerosis, and Causes of Scleroderma: Mercury)
ToxFAQs for Mercury Exposure to mercury occurs from breathing contaminated air, ingesting contaminated water and food, and having dental and medical treatments. Mercury, at high levels, may damage the brain, kidneys, and developing fetus. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Is there a medical test to show whether I have been exposed to mercury? Tests are available to measure mercury levels in the body. Blood or urine samples are used to test for exposure to metallic mercury and to inorganic forms of mercury. Mercury in whole blood or in scalp hair is measured to determine exposure to methylmercury. Your doctor can take samples and send them to a testing laboratory. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
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