Posts Tagged ‘dental care while breastfeeding’

Don’t Mess with Mercury While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Installing or removing amalgam (a.k.a. “silver” or metal) cavity fillings is never, ever recommended while pregnant or breastfeeding. In my book, amalgam should never be installed in the first place, but should certainly be removed as soon as possible. When a developing infant is depending on its mother for nourishment, however, mercury removal is a bad idea.

When amalgam is installed or removed, a spike of mercury is ingested through the mouth, nose, or skin, released into the bloodstream and soft tissues of the body, and then stored in fatty tissue — fatty tissue not only meaning stored body fat, but mostly in the brain and various glands and organs that rely on fat/cholesterol to function properly. This is why you hear primarily about severe nervous or endocrine conditions caused by mercury poisoning, though other symptoms of mercury toxicity run the gamut from random minor complaints to chronic illness. Symptoms may seem completely unrelated, making it difficult to diagnose. But it is definitely there if you’ve been exposed to it, whether or not you “feel” poisoned by it.

With that knowledge, you can imagine how vulnerable a growing baby would be to the mother’s mercury exposure. Conventional dentistry and its literature may tell you otherwise. They say there is little to no significant risk or imminent danger. Many patients testify to having mouths just full of metal or having it installed/removed during pregnancy but deliver and raise kids who are perfectly normal. Let me put it flatly: they do not know what they are talking about. Again, mercury poisoning’s symptoms will not always be obvious. If that stuff is in your body, it will affect you or your offspring. It could be random headaches. It could be infertility or other hormonal discomforts. It could be sluggishness, foggy thinking, or the inability to lose weight. It could be autism or ADHD or another neurological disorder. These problems certainly aren’t getting better in our country, and the number of children developing these problems is steadily increasing, not decreasing! Is it possible this “harmless” amalgam has anything to do with it?

All this to say, causing further disruption to amalgam dental work would be very dangerous for both mom and baby. It is key to have all mercury safely removed from your teeth before conceiving. Don’t wait until pregnancy — planned or not — to care for your health in this important (but too often overlooked) way. Either take care of it now before conceiving, or wait until after weaning when you can have it removed and safely detox without worrying about passing on the poison to your child.

The only ways we’re going to keep having healthy babies and pregnancies is by thinking ahead, thinking critically, staying informed, and applying what we learn.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles


Dental Care While Pregnant or Breastfeeding, Pt. 3

So I’ve talked your ears off about the importance of dentally preparing before pregnancy happens, especially if your body needs to detox from mercury vapor. But, like the majority of people, you probably have not done so. Mothers and mothers-to-be, something urgent comes up and you must go to the dentist for one reason or another. What are things you should be aware of?

First off, do not mess with amalgam (metal) fillings in your teeth until you are done breastfeeding. Each case has its own individual implications, so if for some reason yours need working on, you’ll have to talk to me directly about the safest way to do so.

Secondly, most dentists use an array of chemicals in their offices for various purposes (sterilization, anesthesia, antibiotics, sedation, painkilling, etc.). I use them myself; I just prefer not to when I don’t have to. Again, these substances are generally accepted as having no ill effect on a pregnancy after short-term use. I will say, however, that NSAIDs should be strictly avoided.

For a mother, I personally am not comfortable with any exposure, period, and will avoid it as far as I can; but it’s up to you to do your research, ask questions, and be involved in the decisions made for your and your child(ren)’s health. Part of why I am so excited about using ozone in my dentistry is because it is multi-functional and completely safe, even for members of society with more vulnerable physical health. It is no-risk with fabulous results. Using it with a laser takes care of many things that dentists keep various chemicals on hand for.

Lastly, specifically for those breastfeeding, I offer practical advice. If your in this situation where you must see a dentist for a problem while nursing, there are precautions you should take. Drugs you take are passed to your milk  in concentrations of 1-3% of your dose. It may not sound like much, but it doesn’t take much to start polluting the development of infants. The drugs are usually cleared from your system in 24 hours. To avoid passing any toxins to your baby, pump extra milk at least a day before your appointment (it is a sound decision to have extra breastmilk stored anyway for situations like this). On the day of appointment after the drugs, anesthetics, etc., are administered, pump and throw away the milk you produce for the next 24 hours.

After that it is safe to continue nursing your child normally. If you notice any adverse effects in you or your child, call the doctor immediately.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles