To properly answer this question, let us examine the scientific literature published in reputable dental journals:
In 1957, Zander (JADA 55:11-15) reported “materials used in restorative dentistry may be a contributing factor in gingival disease”.
In 1961, App (JProsthDent 11:522-532) suggested that there was greater chronic inflammation around amalgam sites than non-amalgam areas.
In 1964, Trott and Sherkat (JCDA 30:766-770) showed that the presence of amalgam correlates with gingival disease. Such disease was not present at contralateral amalgam-free sites.
In 1969, Sanches Sotres et al. (JPeriodon 140:543-546) confirmed Trott and Sherkat’s findings.
In 1972, Turgeon et al. (JCDA 37:255-256) reported the presence of very significant erythema around amalgam restorations that was not present at control non-amalgam sites.
In 1973, Trivedi and Talim (JProsthDent 29:73-81) demonstrated that 62.5% of amalgam sites have inflammatory periodontal tissue reaction.
In 1974, Freden et al. (OdontolRevy 25:207-210) showed that gingival biopsy material not adjacent to amalgam had 1 to 10μg mercury/gram of tissue (mean=3) whereas gingival biopsy sites near amalgams contained 19 to 380 μg of mercury per gram of tissue (mean=147) – or 50 times more!
In 1976, Goldschmidt et al. (JPerioRes 11:108-115) demonstrated that amalgam corrosion products were cytotoxic to gingival cells at concentrations of 10-6 (μg Hg/g of tissue).
In 1984, the year of the National Institutes of Dental Research and the American Dental Association Workshop, Fisher et al. (JOralRehab 11:399-405) reported that at amalgam sites, alveolar bone loss was very pronounced and statistically significant as compared to control non-amalgam sites – confirming the amalgam/periodontal disease link !
Periodontal disease is one one the most prevalent chronic diseases in modern man and mercury amalgam fillings seem to be an important contributing factor. Should you have your amalgam fillings replaced with safer restorative materials in order to better control gum disease?
Talk to your dentist about it !
Thanks to Pierre Larose for this great blog post. You can find more about Pierre Larose at his website Sante Dentaire Larose