“Silver” amalgam fillings consistently release mercury vapor, and the amount released varies depending on what sorts of stresses the teeth are under. For instance, more is released when the fillings are under the pressure of chewing, tooth grinding or even regular tooth brushing. But what about when exposed to hydrogen peroxide, which is commonly used in tooth bleaching? A paper out of the University of Manchester, published in the Journal of Dental Research, sheds light on the matter.

 

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For the study, amalgam discs were fitted into plastic molds to simulate filled teeth, and groups were exposed to different concentrations of peroxide for different time periods. The study showed “significant increases in mercury release between control and all other hydrogen peroxide concentrations at all exposure times (p < 0.05).” In other words, the presence of hydrogen peroxide – both at concentrations lower (0, 3.6 and 6%) and higher (30%) than commonly found in both home and clinical bleaching kits – increased the amount of mercury vapor being released from the amalgam.

We say that if you have mercury fillings, a hyper-white smile is definitely NOT worth the extra exposure to this potent neurotoxin.


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4 responses to “Tooth Bleaching and Mercury Amalgam Fillings”

  1. […] bleaching kits) can damage both the teeth and soft tissues (gums). It can also accelerate the release of mercury from “silver” amalgam fillings. For such reasons, for some people, tooth-whitening can […]

  2. anada miller says:

    It’s hard to come by decent info on the web now thanks for this.

  3. Improved Oral Health through Tooth Bleaching? « Know Thy Health says:

    […] Of course, like any dental or medical treatment, bleaching does pose some risks, including soft tissue damage, enamel changes and, when “silver” amalgam fillings are present, an increase in release of mercury vapor from the restorations. (You can read more about these risks in our previous posts here and here.) […]

  4. […] Of course, like any dental or medical treatment, bleaching does pose some risks, including soft tissue damage, enamel changes and, when “silver” amalgam fillings are present, an increase in release of mercury vapor from the restorations. (You can read more about these risks in our previous posts here and here.) […]


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