Is the FDA Changing Course on Amalgam Dental Fillings and MS?

Is the FDA Changing Course on Amalgam Dental Fillings and MS?
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For years, some people have warned of a possible connection between multiple sclerosis (MS) and the amalgam fillings many of us have in our teeth. The concern has been that these fillings contain mercury, which can be toxic, especially if they are removed.

In large part, these concerns have been poo-pooed. I’ve been one of the naysayers, along with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, whose dental booklet says “there is no scientific evidence that heavy metal poisoning is responsible for either the onset or worsening of MS.” Importantly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had believed that “dental amalgam fillings [are] safe for adults and children ages 6 and above.”

“Had” is the key word.

The FDA now recommends cautions for some

The page containing that statement has been removed from the FDA’s website, and the agency has issued a news release recommending that people in certain groups consider not using amalgam to have their teeth filled. One of those groups is people with a preexisting neurological condition, like MS.

The FDA doesn’t say point-blank, “Don’t use amalgams,” but it comes pretty close:

“… [T]he FDA strongly encourages the use of non-amalgam restorations (fillings), such as composite resins and glass ionomer cements if your dentist thinks these materials are appropriate for your affected tooth’s structure and location, and if you have no history of allergic reaction or hypersensitivity to these materials.”

The FDA adds that if you’re in one of its high-risk groups, such as someone with a neurological disease, you should discuss treatment options with your dentist and analyze the benefits versus the risks of each. To help you, the agency has published an informational brochure.

But don’t rush out and ask your dentist to remove your amalgam fillings. The FDA does not recommend removing or replacing an amalgam filling if it’s in good condition, unless the removal is recommended by a healthcare professional. According to the agency, doing that might briefly expose you to mercury vapor released during the removal process.

Unanswered questions

The information in the FDA’s news release leaves me with a number of unanswered questions.

After all these years, why is the agency modifying its recommendations about amalgam fillings now? What has changed?

Is this a prelude to broader recommendations about amalgams?

Most importantly to me, could amalgam fillings have played a role in my MS? I had a mouth full of “silver” as a child and a young adult. Over the years, all were slowly replaced for various reasons.

The FDA recommends that non-amalgam be used for people with a preexisting neurological condition. But what about before that condition is diagnosed? Could I have avoided my MS by avoiding that mouth full of amalgam?

What are your questions, concerns, and experiences? Please share in our MS News Today Forums or in the comments below.

You’re also invited to visit my personal blog at www.themswire.com.

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Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Ed Tobias is a retired broadcast journalist. Most of his 40+ year career was spent as a manager with the Associated Press in Washington, DC. Tobias was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1980 but he continued to work, full-time, meeting interesting people and traveling to interesting places, until retiring at the end of 2012.
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Ed Tobias is a retired broadcast journalist. Most of his 40+ year career was spent as a manager with the Associated Press in Washington, DC. Tobias was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1980 but he continued to work, full-time, meeting interesting people and traveling to interesting places, until retiring at the end of 2012.

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7 comments

  1. Debbie says:

    Have always heard different people say there is a role my amalgam fillings have played in my MS. But it has always been denied by all health authorities. So many of us have suspected this is more to do with the cost of compensation, that would have to be paid out. This confirms what a lot of us have known, how awful is this knowing amalgam fillings have caused or made my ms worse.
    .

    • Christine says:

      I remember getting a bunch eg molars redone when I was in my 20s. After that I was roller skating and noticed being very winded. Unusually. Now I am 68. In my 40’s they capped those teeth with amalgam not removed. 12 teeth.It’s a stressor. Then at 30 the birth of my son too. A year later MS.
      I think its virus based. Retrovirus. Look at covid. People still having problems months later. Fatigue.
      We need the magic bullet for all viruses. What did the president get? Maybe we should try some of that! Remdesivir. Steroids and monoclonal antibiotics(I think)..
      Mercury poison and neurotoxic pesticides also play a part in an
      a messed up immune system. Look what it does to bugs….

  2. Charles Lumia says:

    Yikes man. I have a couple of amalgam fillings on my molars. I got them when I was a kid, maybe 10-15. Sad to think that they could have played a role.

  3. Beth Slusher says:

    I had many amalgam fillings from childhood. When one cracked, in a molar in the back, my new dentist commented that it had tattooed my inner lip. He removed that filling. As my old fillings began to be needed to be replaced he used ceramic fillings. He was an older gentleman and said that he had heard that some substances could harm people. Fifteen year’s later I was diagnosed with MS.

  4. Valerie Ginter says:

    I have mouth full of anagram fillings
    Was diagnosed in 2016 at the age of 52 but think I have had ms a lot longerjust took that lo g to catch up to I giess

  5. Paul Killmier says:

    I have been saying this for years ,only to be told this has been thoroughly investigated , between mercury from fillings and mercury from vaccines nobody can rule out mercury as the source of their ms ,you may even have ingested mercury from your mother’s breastmilk

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