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There is considerable concern among scientists and the public about the hormone-mimicking properties of many chemical components of plastics, including those found in dental composites. The commonly used Bis-GMA resin uses one of the most controversial of these, Bisphenol-A (BPA).
Responsible composite manufacturers claim that there is no unreacted BPA in dental resins, and that it takes high temperatures – several hundred degrees – to liberate free BPA. Other critics say that, in fact, the ester bonds in resins are subject to hydrolysis, and BPA can be liberated in measurable quantities. We know that dental sealants can vary in the amount of BPA they leak, but at present there is no good in vitro survey of how much BPA is liberated by the major brands of composite resins. Also, we know that the world is full of plastic chemicals, and every living thing on earth has a measurable tissue level of BPA. We don’t really know if the amount of BPA released from dental composite is enough to raise a person’s exposure above the environmental background level, or if it is truly insignificant. The accompanying articles spell out the range of issues under investigation.
Fluoride and Lower IQ
Sources of human exposure to fluoride have drastically increased since community water fluoridation began in the U.S. in the 1940’s. In addition to water, these sources now include food, air, soil, pesticides, fertilizers, dental products used at home and in the dental office, pharmaceutical drugs, cookware (non-stick Teflon), and an array of other consumer items used on a regular basis. Most people are not aware of important fluoride facts about these sources.
Exposure to fluoride is suspected of impacting nearly every part of the human body, and the potential for harm has been clearly established in scientific research. A 2006 report by the National Research Council (NRC) identified a few health risks associated with fluoride exposure. Susceptible subpopulations, such as infants, children, and individuals with diabetes or renal or thyroid problems, are known to be more severely impacted by intake of fluoride.
Since such populations and all people can potentially be impacted by fluoride exposure, consumers need to know these crucial fluoride facts.
Given the current levels of exposure, to promote overall health, policies should reduce and work toward eliminating avoidable sources of fluoride, including water fluoridation, fluoride-containing dental materials, and other fluoridated products.
Mercury Amalgam Fillings and their Danger to Human Health
Millions of dentists around the world routinely use dental amalgam as a filling material in decayed teeth. Often referred to as “silver fillings”, all dental amalgams actually consist of 45-55% metallic mercury. Mercury is a known neurotoxin that can cause harm to humans, especially children, pregnant women, and fetuses. A 2005 World Health Organization (WHO) report warned of mercury: “It may cause harmful effects to the nervous, digestive, respiratory, immune systems and to the kidneys, besides causing lung damage. Adverse health effects from mercury exposure can be: tremors, impaired vision and hearing, paralysis, insomnia, emotional instability, developmental deficits during fetal development, and attention deficit and developmental delays during childhood. Recent studies suggest that mercury may have no threshold below which some adverse effects do not occur.”
There is a global effort spearheaded by the United Nations Environment Programme to reduce mercury usage, including that of dental mercury, and some countries have already banned its use. However, amalgams are still used for about 45% of all direct dental restorations worldwide, including in the United States. In fact, it has been estimated that there are currently over 1,000 tons of mercury in the mouths of Americans, which is more than half of all the mercury being used in the U.S. today. Reports and research are consistent that these mercury-containing fillings emit mercury vapors, and while these restorations are commonly referred to as “silver fillings”, “dental amalgam”, and/or “amalgam fillings”, the public is often unaware that amalgam refers to the combination of other metals with mercury. The articles on this page address the health consequences of mercury exposure.
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Dental Foci, Oral Galvanicity and Interference Fields
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Periodontal Disease and Systemic Diseases
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Yao, Suellen Go, and James Burke Fine. A Possible Link Between Periodontitis & Cancer: A Review.
The Oral Microbiome
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Michaud, Dominique S., Jacques Izard, Charlotte S. Wilhelm-Benartzi, Doo-Ho You, Verena A. Grote, Anne Tjønneland, Christina C. Dahm et al. Plasma antibodies to oral bacteria and risk of pancreatic cancer in a large European prospective cohort study. Gut 62, no. 12 (2013): 1764-1770.
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Fluoride and Lower IQ
Green, Rivka, Bruce Lanphear, Richard Hornung, David Flora, E. Angeles Martinez-Mier, Raichel Neufeld, Pierre Ayotte, Gina Muckle, and Christine Till. Association between maternal fluoride exposure during pregnancy and IQ scores in offspring in Canada. JAMA pediatrics (2019).
Bashash, Morteza, Deena Thomas, Howard Hu, E. Angeles Martinez-Mier, Brisa N. Sanchez, Niladri Basu, Karen E. Peterson et al. Prenatal fluoride exposure and cognitive outcomes in children at 4 and 6–12 years of age in Mexico. Environmental health perspectives 125, no. 9 (2017): 097017.
Bashash, Morteza, Maelle Marchand, Howard Hu, Christine Till, E. Angeles Martinez-Mier, Brisa N. Sanchez, Niladri Basu et al. Prenatal fluoride exposure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children at 6–12 years of age in Mexico City. Environment international 121 (2018): 658-666.
Choi, Anna L., Ying Zhang, Guifan Sun, David C. Bellinger, Kanglin Wang, Xiao Jing Yang, Jin Shu Li, Quanmei Zheng, Yuanli Fu, and Philippe Grandjean. Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: a pilot study. Neurotoxicology and teratology 47 (2015): 96-101.
Jiménez, L. Valdez, OD López Guzmán, M. Cervantes Flores, R. Costilla-Salazar, J. Calderón Hernández, Y. Alcaraz Contreras, and D. O. Rocha-Amador. In utero exposure to fluoride and cognitive development delay in infants. Neurotoxicology 59 (2017): 65-70.
Lu, Y., Z. R. Sun, L. N. Wu, X. Wang, W. Lu, and S. S. Liu. Effect of high-fluoride water on intelligence in children. Fluoride 33, no. 2 (2000): 74-78.
Tang, Qin-qing, Jun Du, Heng-hui Ma, Shao-jun Jiang, and Xiao-jun Zhou. Fluoride and children’s intelligence: a meta-analysis. Biological trace element research 126, no. 1-3 (2008): 115-120.
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Ding, Yunpeng, Huixin Sun, Hepeng Han, Wei Wang, Xiaohong Ji, Xuehui Liu, and Dianjun Sun. The relationships between low levels of urine fluoride on children's intelligence, dental fluorosis in endemic fluorosis areas in Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, China. Journal of hazardous materials 186, no. 2-3 (2011): 1942-1946.
Fluorosis and Fluoride Neurotoxicity
Aghapour, Saba, Bijan Bina, Mohammad Javad Tarrahi, Fahimeh Amiri, and Afshin Ebrahimi. Distribution and health risk assessment of natural fluoride of drinking groundwater resources of Isfahan, Iran, using GIS. Environmental monitoring and assessment 190, no. 3 (2018): 137.
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Fallahzadeh, Reza Ali, Mohammad Miri, Mahmoud Taghavi, Abdolmajid Gholizadeh, Ramin Anbarani, Ahmad Hosseini-Bandegharaei, Margherita Ferrante, and Gea Oliveri Conti. Spatial variation and probabilistic risk assessment of exposure to fluoride in drinking water. Food and Chemical Toxicology 113 (2018): 314-321.
Kazi, Tasneem Gul, Kapil Dev Brahman, Hassan Imran Afridi, Faheem Shah, and Mohammad Balal Arain. Effects of high fluoride content in livestock drinking water on milk samples of different cattle in endemic area of Pakistan: risk assessment for children. Environmental Science and Pollution Research(2018): 1-6.
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Viswanathan, Gopalan. Contribution of Infant Formula and Tea on Daily Fluoride Intake and Prevalence of Fluorosis Among Infants and Children. Food Quality: Balancing Health and Disease 13 (2018): 339.
Mercury Amalgam Fillings and their Danger to Human Health
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