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Multiple Sclerosis: Mercury Dental Fillings

Topic Overview

There is no evidence to support the claim that mercury from dental fillings can make MS symptoms worse. Any reduction of MS symptoms after removal of mercury amalgam fillings is most likely a coincidence. It likely occurs because the person has entered a period of remission unrelated to the dental treatment. The placebo response in people who have MS may be as high as 70%. This makes it very hard to know that treatment is responsible for an improvement in symptoms.

Some alternative medicine practitioners maintain that vapor escaping from the mercury in dental fillings can lead to changes in blood composition, possibly contributing to multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms. They claim that removing the fillings can benefit people who have MS.

Treatment involves removing mercury amalgam fillings, testing for the optimum replacement filling material before substituting it for the mercury fillings, and detoxification therapy. This may include nutritional support to balance body chemistry, use of compounds to remove mercury from the body (chelating agents), vitamin C supplements, and psychological counseling.

Warning

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) has warned against the removal of amalgam fillings from people who have MS. NMSS considers this an unethical practice.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology
Last Revised February 15, 2012

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