Cause For Infertility – The Dental Connection to Infertility
Cause For Infertility – Many couples still naively expect they will get pregnant the very first month they try, and are concerned when a pregnancy does not occur. All of us go through a brief interlude of doubt and concern when we do not achieve pregnancy the very first month we try and we start wondering about our fertility.
Cause For Infertility – Getting pregnant is a game of odds – it’s a bit like playing Russian Roulette and it’s impossible to predict when an individual couple will get pregnant! However, over a period of a year, the chance of a successful pregnancy is between 80 and 90%, so that 7 out of 8 couples will be pregnant within a year. These are the normal “fertile” couples – and the rest are “labeled” infertile – the medical text book definition of infertility being the inability to conceive even after trying for a year.
Cause For Infertility – Don’t worry if you don’t get pregnant right away and if you have been trying to get pregnant and are having trouble, you might want to visit your dentist. It might surprise you to know that your dentist might be able to help.
Dental amalgam contains about 50 % mercury, mixed with silver and other metals such as tin, copper, nickel, palladium, etc. The average filling has 1 gram of mercury and leaks mercury vapour continuously due to it’s low vapour pressure along with loss due to the galvanic battery-like action of mercury with dissimilar metals in the mouth resulting in significant exposure for most with amalgam fillings. Mercury vapour is transmitted rapidly throughout the body, easily crosses cell membranes, and like organic methyl mercury has significant toxic effects at much lower levels of exposure than other inorganic mercury forms. According to the U.S. EPA mercury is among the top 3 toxic substances adversely affecting large numbers of people with amalgam being the number one source of exposure in most cases.
An average amalgam filling contains over ½ gram of mercury, and the average adult had at least 5 grams of mercury in fillings. Mercury in solid form is not stable, having low vapour pressure and being subject to galvanic action with other metals in an oral environment, so that within 10 years up to half the mercury has been found to have been transferred to the body of the host.
Mercury in the presence of other metals in the oral environment undergoes galvanic action, causing movement out of amalgam and into the oral mucosa and saliva. Mercury in solid form is not stable due to low vapour pressure and evaporates continuously from amalgam fillings in the mouth, being transferred over a period of time to the host. The daily total exposure of mercury from fillings is from 3 to 1000 micrograms per day, with the average exposure being above 10 micrograms per day and the average uptake into the body over 5ug/day.
A large study was carried out at the University Of Tubingen Health Clinic in which the level of mercury in saliva of 20,000 persons with amalgam fillings was measured. The level of mercury in unstimulated saliva was found to average 11.6ugHg/L, with the average after chewing being 3 times this level. Several were found to have mercury levels over 1100ug/L and 1 % had unstimulated levels over 200ug/L, and 10 % had unstimulated mercury saliva levels of over 100ug/L.
The level of mercury in saliva has been found to be proportional to the number of amalgam fillings, and generally was higher for those with more fillings. 16% of all of those tested with 4 amalgam fillings had daily exposure from their amalgam fillings of over 17ug per day and even higher for those with more than 4 fillings.
There is a significant correlation between exposure levels and the number of amalgam surfaces. Exposure generally increases as number of fillings increases. Variations in mercury exposure will occur due to the composition of the amalgam, whether a person chews gum or drinks hot liquids, bruxism (grinding teeth) and oral environmental factors such as acidity, etc. Chewing gum or drinking hot liquids can result in 10 to 100 times normal levels of mercury exposure from amalgams during that period.
The issue of mercury toxicity is a delicate one. For decades, most people have seen a visit to the dentist and subsequent cavity filling as a necessary and regular procedure. Side effects have not routinely been brought to light, so few have challenged the status quo. Evidence suggests, however, that such an apparently harmless procedure can have detrimental effects.
Toxicity due to mercury amalgams is pandemic in our society–yet hardly anybody understands or appreciates that fact. As it turns out, mercury toxicity could provide a significant explanation for the explosion in learning and behavioral problems, and autism. The science is blatantly overwhelming that mercury amalgams leak toxic vapors. The list of problems mercury vapor can cause is endless. There is an extremely high incidence of depression, memory loss and behavioral problems including violent outbursts that can be explained by exposure to mercury vapor,
Exposure to mercury fillings results in a chronic toxicity, not acute poisoning. According to Charles Williamson, M.D., co-director of the Toxic Studies Institute in Boca Raton, Florida, the toxicity can manifest in irritability and anxiety, restlessness and emotional instability, loss of memory, inability to concentrate, mental confusion, depression, anti-social behavior, suicidal tendencies, muscle weakness and loss of coordination; bleeding gums and loosening of teeth; abdominal cramps, chronic diarrhea and/or constipation; abnormal heart rhythms and blood pressure (high or low) and unexplained elevations of cholesterol and triglycerides; repeated infections or cancer; and generalized complaints such as chronic headaches, allergies, dermatitis, cold and clammy skin or excessive perspiration, ringing in the ears, joint and muscle pain, unsteady gait, wheezing, heart palpitations, sinus congestion, allergies, loss of appetite or chronic obesity.
Mercury toxicity also produces systemic effects, from foul breath and ringing in the ears to general fatigue or unexplained numbness or burning sensations that may be related. Most disturbingly, Dr. Williamson points out, is the evidence linking mercury vapor exposure to the development of chronic kidney disease and autoimmune disorders such as arthritis, lupus erythematosus (LE), multiple sclerosis (MS), scleroderma, amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and hypothyroidism.
People who already have mercury amalgams should avoid hot beverages and chewing gum–both of which stimulate the release of mercury vapor. Anybody who has mercury fillings and suffers from bruxism–grinding their teeth in their sleep–should be evaluated for treatment.
Mercury and Reproduction
Mercury has the ability to bind to protein. When it does, it can harm the biological function of that protein. This can cause many problems. Mercury can accumulate in the hypothalamus and pituitary. When it does this in women, it can affect a woman’s hormonal regulation of her reproductive system. Both of these hormone producing glands are responsible for the proper functioning of the female hormones. Fertility is based on the functional integration of the hypothalamus, pituitary, ovaries and uterus. The hypothalamus produces Gonatatrophin Releasing Hormone which tells the pituitary to release the Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH). Studies on women who work around mercury show menstrual cycle disturbances, hypomenorrhea, or hypermenorrhea. Very often they report tremendous improvement when the mercury is removed and chelated out of their bodies.This can cause fertility problems. Even if a woman can manage to become pregnant, the presence of mercury can increase the possibility of a spontaneous abortion or other problems with the pregnancy.
Mercury has an affinity for sperm. Mercury and other heavy metals are found in male ejaculate and seminal fluid, with the heaviest amount in the sperm. For instance, zinc, manganese, and selenium are contributing factors to a sperm’s motility or ability to move. If it can’t move, it can’t travel the immense distance to the egg. Mercury adversely affects zinc, manganese, and selenium which can cause a man’s fertility to be diminished.
Besides the fact that mercury disrupts all living systems via many different pathways, there are two ways mercury in male reproductive fluids may be a problem with respect to infertility. 1) A women may be hypersensitive or allergic to mercury and thus have antibodies to mercury which will then react with the sperm and kill them. 2) Zinc, manganese, and selenium are contributing factors to a sperm’s motility or ability to move. If it can’t move, it can’t travel the immense distance to the egg. Mercury adversely inhibits zinc, manganese, and selenium which can cause a man’s fertility to be diminished. Thus there can be an indirect effect of mercury on sperm. Selenium is also involved in sperm motility as well as in normal development of sperm. Selenium has a very high affinity for mercury and is one of the body’s natural protectors against mercury. If the selenium is tied up with mercury it is not available for other important functions like healthy sperm.Other negative effects of mercury include a loss of libido, the inhibition of DNA synthesis in sperm formation, and damage to the sperm.
Cause For Infertility – Another side effect of mercury in humans is loss of libido. We can all appreciate how this can have an effect on fertility! Guess what was always used in contraceptive gels because it kills sperm? Right … mercury. Mercury also inhibits the synthesis of DNA in sperm forming cells. DNA is what carries our genetic information.
Cause For Infertility – If you are experiencing problems with fertility, letting your dentist remove all the amalgam fillings might be the solution. It’s no guarantee, but it’s a lot less expensive and easier than fertility treatments and procedures like in-vitro fertilization. In other words, it’s worth a try.
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