Last year, the FDA released a report that said mercury fillings are totally harmless when lodged into your head forever. But yesterday, an advisory committee told the FDA to look at new data that might suggest otherwise. Go figure.

The committee, which met with various experts, was quick to state that the FDA was not at fault and that their judgement was sound based on the evidence provided them for last year's research. In its report last year, the FDA stated:

While elemental mercury has been associated with adverse health effects at high exposures, the levels released by dental amalgam fillings are not high enough to cause harm in patients.

But now, experts claim that the mercury in amalgam fillings can seep out from teeth and into the brain, and even kidneys and bones. Many people testified before the committee, both for and against the use of mercury in fillings. Some of those who testified claimed miscarriages, paralysis and memory loss were due to mercury poisoning. One dentist, Dr. Stephen Markus, asked, "I always wondered why we were told by the (American Dental Association) to be careful when disposing of mercury. If it's so dangerous to the environment, why not my patients?" That's a damn good point.

The committee suggested that the FDA change the way it studies the effects of mercury vapor exposure, and that patients and dentists should have more information available to them. And really, there's a simple fix for all of this: They just need to speed up the development of tooth regeneration gel, and we won't have to worry about this ever again.


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