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Dangers of swallowing mercury filling?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
A chunk of an old mercury filling just came off (without me realizing) and I swallowed it. What are the dangers of mercury poisoning from swallowing a filling?

And I guess this will be the true test to see if that tooth had a complete root canal. If the pain hits me, then I'm in trouble. I'm nervous now. Most of the tooth is a filling and I'm pretty sure they are going to want to just pull it. Trouble is, there's no way it will hold up for it to be pulled. Which means they are going to have to do surgery. I don't have anyone to watch ds if I have to get surgery! I have a MAJOR phobia of dentists. Even now, just thinking about all of this, I'm getting dizzy and lightheaded (with fear).
Oh, and the tooth next to it has been pulled so it's going to leave a BIG, embarrassing gap.


Edited to add: I think I'm going to be sick. Literally. Don't know if it's from the dinner I just ate (too oily) or from fear.
post #2 of 8
I'm so sorry this happened to you. I hate dental work, and lost fillings creep me out. I can't put my tongue anywhere near a (partial) tooth that the dentist has drilled to prep for a filling. Gives me the hibbie-gibbies. (I have those dreams where all my teeth fall out.)

I also used to fear the dental chair. I got over it by (1) finding a great "gentle dental" dentist and (2) learning to relax in the chair. I learned this while in grad school. Being in the dental chair was one place where I didn't feel uber-guilty if I wasn't working - reading, writing, etc - so I just relaxed.

I think you can relax about getting mercury poisoning from swallowing the filling. The problem with mercury poisoning comes primarily from inhaling mercury. However, if your gut is compromised, then you can absorb the mercury into your system. Otherwise, I think it moves through your gut farily well.

You might look for supplements to take that are supposed to help clear mercury. Selenium, I think? (Brazil nuts are high in selenium.)
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I don't know if I can eat brazil nuts and I don't have any cash at all right now for supplements.

I'm trying to calm myself. Thanks for replying. Talking about it helps.
post #4 of 8
My guess would be that swallowing the filling would result in maybe a little bit of mercury being absorbed before the filling passes all the way through your system (though if you vomit it back up there will be less chance of absorbing anything.) My guess would be that you'd get less mercury from swallowing the filling than from having it in your mouth for years.
post #5 of 8
Yeah, I'm not so sure that the supplements are necessary. I just threw that in there so you could take action if it would make you feel better.
post #6 of 8
Darn, where is MamaIntheBoonies when you need her? She swallowed the mercury out of a couple of thermometers didn't she?:

I'm sorry about your tooth OdeToJoy, I hope you can get it fixed soon.
post #7 of 8
vitamin C and/or Vitamin E would also be good.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I wish I could afford the supplements...even if to make me feel as though I'm doing something helpful.
Thanks everyone!
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