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Thread: Breastfeeding and amalgam filling.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    11

    Default Breastfeeding and amalgam filling.

    I am still very much breastfeeding my 20-month-old. I had to have 2 composite fillings replaced as the others were leaking. This was a month ago. Ever since, I have had pain when eating. After 2 trips back to the dentist and seeing 2 different dentists, I am told putting in an amalgam filling should stop the pain as they bond better to teeth. Of course the dentist tells me it is safe to have the amalgam fillings and gives me the ADA website. I have read so many articles online yet I just don't feel 100% good about it. I already have 2 teeth with amalgam fillings from my childhood. I did find the KellyMom website article which made me feel okay about getting it; however, there is just a lot of controversy. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this. Thanks in advance from a worried mom.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and amalgam filling.

    I have many, many amalgam fillings in my mouth and I'm EBF my 6 month old, so your post really made me think about this.

    I'm a biologist, so while I have no expertise in mercury absorption in humans, I am very comfortable with reading scientific literature. If there is no evidence in literature, then I'm not really worried about it. And I'm a crunchy granola mom who is afraid of using products with added synthetic fragrances, because there is good evidence in the literature that those things are really really bad for you.

    Anyway, here is a good website I just read tonight http://www.poison.org/current/dental...andmercury.htm, they did a decent job of looking at many studies. Particularly helpful are what we call "literature reviews", where scientists spend a year or two reading every single study that's been done on a particular subject. In our case, inorganic mercury absorption in young children and babies.

    I looked up reference [6] at the bottom of the article/summary, if you read the "Breastfed infants section" it gives [6] as the journal article they got the information from. Google shows me that this paper is cited 71 times: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=...%2C22&as_vis=1. In my opinion I feel very comfortable trusting their analysis, 71 is a good number of citations. If it were, say, 10 citations I would do some more searching. So 71 means that 71 other scientists have written papers citing this literature review saying that: "Clifton, in an extensive review of mercury exposure, summarizes approximately 500 references [6], yet notes that additional research is indicated in this area. There is no evidence that women with amalgam fillings should not breast feed their children."

    So what this nice scientist named Clifton did is read 500 articles for you and me and concludes that he found no evidence that we should not breastfeed due to having amalgam fillings. These are peer reviewed journal articles. This means that to even get published, other scientists have to read them as well and make sure that the scientists used sound experimental methods and statistical analyses to reach their conclusions.

    If you do some more reading on that poison.org site, we are talking about metallic mercury. Easily excreted but very poorly absorbed in the body vs. methyl mercury found in fish, for example. Now if you are going to be inhaling mercury that's another story. That's where you could get poisoned by metallic mercury. Anyway, that is where the toxicity lies in the type of mercury contained in amalgams. Not in oral absorption, I think the kellymom site says that as well.

    Anyway, hope this helps you somewhat!
    and Mama to two little girls

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,843

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and amalgam filling.

    Couldn't put it better than that. Don't sweat the amalgam filling, mama. Tooth pain or escalating seriousness of dental decay is probably far worse for you and for baby than the small amount of mercury in a filling.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and amalgam filling.

    Thanks so much for your quick responses and all the info!! Sometimes there is way too much info on the internet and I get caught up in it all.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and amalgam filling.

    So, I went ahead and had the amalgam filling. Two days later I found out I am pregnant. I am now filled with worry about having the dental work when I was apparently 4 weeks pregnant (from first day of last period). We were not trying to get pregnant. I am now reading horror stories on the internet. Hopefully someone can calm my fears about dental work this early in pregnancy. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,843

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and amalgam filling.

    If you go looking for horror stories on the internet, then of course you're going to find nothing but horror stories! I think Karrieperry's advice is still spot-on. The fillings are safe- when breastfeeding, when pregnant, whenever. If you're worried about mercury, then watch what fish you eat and don't live downwind of a coal-fired power plant or China.

    Think about it this way- because of better preventative care, most people now have many fewer fillings than previous generations. We turned out okay despite our parents having mouths full of metal. Right?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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