I’ve been suffering from depression and anxiety my whole life and I’m in my mid-40s now. I have literally tried everything my counselors have suggested over the years, from various forms of clinical therapy through medication and none of it fully works. The depression and anxiety are always there lurking to some degree, plus the medications all come with side-effects I don’t care for. I recently read that amalgam fillings can cause depression and I’ve had several of them placed throughout my life, starting in childhood. If I go in and have them all replaced, what’s the likelihood that it will cure my depression? And, if I can only do a few at once, will I start to feel a difference right away or do I have to have them all done to feel better? How do I get this done?
Thanks in advance,
This is a great question. Let’s break it down.
Depression and Anxiety are Complex Disorders
Science hasn’t come up with a singular cause for depression and anxiety yet. To make things more challenging, a person often has multiple factors at play. For example, a few causes of depression include:
- Conflict with family/ friends
- Death or losses
- Serious illness
- Personal issues
- Major life changes and events
- Substance abuse
- Low Thyroid
Furthermore, there are many types of treatment. Because our bodies are unique, each person responds differently to each situation. It sounds like you’ve been quite diligent in following through with the recommendations you’ve been given, which is huge. Kudos to you for sticking with it.
Studies Show Links Between Mental Health Issues and Mercury Fillings
One study from 1994 suggests there’s a link between amalgam fillings and depression, excessive anger, and anxiety. The same study also noted that study participants with amalgam fillings have higher amounts of mercury in their mouths when chewing gum, meaning fillings continue to release mercury over time. Researchers surmised that mercury impacts neurotransmitters in the brain, thus contributing to the symptoms of depression.
Another study from 2014 went deeper and found links between amalgam fillings and chronic illness, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and suicide. The study also referenced additional research which suggests removing amalgams can improve symptoms. As of now, amalgam fillings get the green light for safety from all government agencies, but obviously, there’s some evidence to suggest your concerns are warranted.
You Can Go Mercury-Free, But There Are No Guarantees
One thing worth noting is that the researchers bring up concerns of “mercury toxicity,” which is the presence of too much mercury. The trouble is, nobody really knows how much mercury is being released by your fillings nor how much is built up in your system. It could be that you’ve got a “normal” or “safe” amount, in which case the research doesn’t really apply. In that sense, changing out your fillings would not help. But, again, there’s no way to test. At the same time, if you are experiencing symptoms associated with toxicity, then anything you can do to get yourself down to a lower level would, in theory, provide some benefit.
The bottom line: it won’t hurt to change out your silver fillings for tooth-colored ones, and, if you’d feel better trying it, go ahead and try it. However, because there’s no guarantee the amalgam fillings are contributing to your depression, continue to visit your mental health care providers, even if you do start to swap out the fillings.
Safely Getting Mercury-free Fillings
You don’t want to just remove your silver fillings without taking some precautions. Mercury is released in the removal process. Because of that, you need to see a dentist who is experienced in sanitary amalgam removal. If your dentist isn’t familiar with this process, I’m going to suggest you do an internet search using the phrase “Mercury-free Dentist“. These dentists will be able to switch our your fillings safely.
This blog is sponsored by Auburn, AL Dentist Dr. Raymond Bolt.