Maternal Blood Mercury Concentration and Infant Weight

Birth weight is a strong determinant of attained weight at early ages. Until now, many studies have reported that low birth weight corresponds with high mercury levels. However, the relationship between mercury exposure and attained weight of infant has not been well studied.

Therefore, the aim of a recent study was to assess the degree of prenatal exposure to mercury by measuring the total mercury levels in maternal and cord blood, and examine the relationship between the mercury level during pregnancy and the attained weight of infant during the first 24 months of life.

The prospective cohort study of Mothers and Children's Environmental Health (MOCEH) was built up in 2006, and 921 mother–infant pairs were recruited. Information on the socio-demographic characteristics, health behavior and environmental exposure were collected from an interview with trained nurses.

After delivery, infants and mothers were followed up at 6, 12 and 24 months and the weights of the infants were measured.

The mercury concentrations in the late maternal blood (β=−0.19. p=0.05) and cord blood (β=−0.36. p=0.01) were negatively associated with the infants' attained weight over the first 24 months of age.

The infants' attained weight in the small for their gestational age (SGA) group was lower than the normal birth weight group at the highest quartile of the mercury level.

Therefore, efforts should be made to reduce the mercury level in the maternal blood at late pregnancy and cord blood.

Further research on the possible harmful effects of prenatal mercury exposure on postnatal growth is recommended.

See pdf report on Mercury and Infant weight >>>

Latest Office News

I would like to share with you some exciting developments in our office. I recently became accredited by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). IAOMT is dedicated in advancing safe and biologically compatible dentistry. Some of our Biologically Safe Dental services include:
1. Safe removal of mercury filling protocol.
2. Biocompatible metal free restorations
3. Laser/ O3 treatment as an adjunct modality for gum disease, tooth decay and treatment of jaw bone infections.

I am also a fellow of the International College of Craniomandibular Orthopedics (FICCMO), graduate of LVI, graduate of Occlusal Studies in Neuromuscular Orthodontics, training in Osteopathic Cranial Techniques, and Chirodontics. I also have many years of experience in treating TMJ/TMD patients.

In addition to ceiling mounted TV's with headphones, Nitrous Oxide, Oral Conscious Sedation, we have added Alpha Stim technology for the comfort of our patients. Alpha Stim is a totally harmless FDA approved technology that promotes drug free relaxation. Recently we had a 5 year old patient in our office who had a very deep cavity. We turned on the ceiling TV to her favorite cartoon, and put the Alpha Stim on her ear lobes. Without any anesthesia, we were able to completely take care of her deep cavity as she giggled while watching her cartoon.
Also being a graduate of LVI, Esthetic Dentistry residency, and trained in Cerec Technology, I have over 20 years of experience in esthetic dentistry, smile makeovers and full mouth reconstruction that has given me the pleasure of creating many happy, healthy, beautiful smiles.

Holistic Dentistry Approach

Metal-Free Dentistry

Following our holistic philosophy, we use only materials that are bio-compatible with the patient's mouth and body.

We do several bio-compatability tests to ensure that the patient's mouth is not going to create an adverse reaction and that the material to be used is going to be neutral to that patient's body.

We are metal-free. We avoid any sort of metal restorations and there are many reasons for that. One fundamental reason is that materials actually create an electrical field.

People in the profession of acupuncture understand that the teeth have an electromagentic connection to the body that is called the meridian-system which connects the body to the teeth and vice versa.

Metals can interfere with that field and that is one of the reasons that we avoid metals, not to mention that metal-free dentistry is very beautiful and natural looking dentistry which we prefer from all angles.

Infections and Treating Infected Teeth

One of the prevalent measures used to treat infected teeth is root-canals or endodontic treatment. Our philosophy is to avoid root canals any time it is possible and we go to great lengths to prevent root canals from happening.

However, if a tooth is presenting with an abcess and there is no way to reverse the course of the infection, then we are left with two options. One is to extract the tooth and that in itself requires all infection be cleared and cleaned as well, but also leaves us with the bio-mechanical problem of a deficiency in the bite-system.

We treat a large number of TMJ patients and that is something we'd like to avoid if we can because the associated bio-mechanical problems can create their own separate health issues. That leaves us with the option of saving the tooth with a root-canal procedure.

To make the root-canals as biological as possible we want to ensure that the infection is completely cleaned and removed. We use several modalities for that including Biolase, calcium-hydroxide and other modalities which create a very clean environment.

The biofilm needs to be addressed. The biofilm is the environment where the bacteria proliferate. Bacteria can thrive inside the cavernous area of the root system or even within the bone area all of which need to be cleaned with lasers or ultra-sonic measures and, of course, addressing the pH of the area is very critical. For example, cavitational lesions or apical lesions tend to be very acidic. In fact the pH may range from 3 to 5 and in that range the immune system cannot function, cannot thrive so that addressing the pH becomes very important so that the immune system can re-boot in the bone area and the vicinity of the tooth. Calcium hydroxide, being both anti-microbial and highly alkaline in nature, helps tremendously in creating more of a balanced pH to address the acidic environment.

So there are many, many measure that need to be carefully addressed in order to provide the safest possible root canal treatment for the patient.

In looking at this from an overall picture, our philosophy is to prevent root canals but the presence of infection is the worst circumstance that can occur and one in which the tooth needs to be removed or needs to be addressed with biologically sound root canal therapy.

San Diego TMJ Specialist and San Diego Sedation Dentist


If you choose to have silver-mercury fillings replaced, make sure that you are protecting yourself in the process of the removal.

The amalgam removal process needs to be very safe. The drilling on the silver-mercury filling releases a tremendous amount of mercury vapor. It is essential, especially if you have higher sensitivity to toxic substances that you are well-protected during this highly critical phase of the treatment.
We have two different protocols. One is a protocol that is advocated by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and we have another protocol that is even more stringent that the Academy's. With either protocol we create an extremely safe environment where we are practically eliminating the exposure of the patient to mercury during the removal phase.
For example, one approach that I use is to place a rubber dam with a special ring around the tooth that has the silver-mercury filling, then squeeze a flowable composite material that literally flows between the rubber dam and the tooth
and the clamp. Then we use a light on it and it becomes solid so that a one-hundred percent seal is accomplished.
The seal is tested with water and air to check that nothing seeps in and that we do have a perfect seal.
Next an oxygen mask is placed on the patient's nose. We use a minimum of two very high-speed vacuum systems, one custom-manufactured for our office and the other is the high-speed suction that evacuates the material into a system which traps all the debris, such as the silver-mercury filling.
This is what we term "mercury-safe" dentistry. Just being "mercury-free" is not sufficient to protect the patient because it's also important to practice in the "mercury-safe" environment.

About Holistic Dentistry

Holistic dentistry comes from the philosophy that the health of your mouth can effect your health and your over all well being.

Any sort of infection in the mouth can burden the immune system, can spread to other parts of the body and this is very well documented in scientific literature.

Infections from the tooth or gum area can spread into distant parts of the body and can cause heart problems, brain abscess and can lead to the death of a person. Therefore, it is very important to address the health of the mouth, first and foremost, from the point of eliminating any acute and chronic infections.

The second aspect of practicing Holistic Dentistry is looking at the materials within the oral cavity.

One of the most prevalent restorative materials of the past 200 years has been the mercury-silver amalgam or dental amalgam. It is over 50% mercury and about 35% silver with the remainder variable metals such as copper, tin and other fillers.

The reason that amalgam, or silver-mercury fillings, have been prevalent for hundreds of years is because the material is durable and the fillings are easy to place in a tooth cavity area, requiring very little expertise or isolation.

Much research by prominent scientists, some of whom have been featured by the Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, demonstrates that there is a release of mercury vapor from these restorations which actually intensifies with heat, chewing, grinding and anything acidic within the oral cavity.

Mercury is a known neuro-toxic material - there is no debate on that within the scientific community. The only debate concerns what the safe limit of mercury is within your body.

The effect of Mercury, like most toxic materials, is additive. If we have 7 or 3 or 2 mercury fillings, on top of that a diet high in certain foods, such as tuna, and a number of environmental exposures, then it's all additive.

Additional research indicates that about 5% of the population has a hard time eliminating toxins, in general, and mercury being a toxic material, falls within that category. Depending upon the genetic makeup of an individual, that individual may be able to eliminate some or a good amount of that toxic substance.

However, 5% of the population has a difficult time eliminating toxic materials (due to detoxification pathways within the liver and kidneys).

For that group, the toxic effects become much more of an issue. This may be the portion of the population that we see with more prevalence of problems that are a more of a mystery such as autism, movement disorders, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease and so forth.

To this day we do not have a good measuring tool to determine who is able to detoxify toxins and who is not. At this stage it is not possible to discern who is at risk and who is not. Therefore, it is important to avoid toxic materials as much as possible and adhere to a regimen where we are minimizing the presence of toxic materials within our system.

One of the things that patients who are seeking more of a holistic environment often desire is the removal of silver=mercury fillings.

Coming Next: Removal of amalgam fillings -- Precautions and more...