Birth Defects

Up until the last 20 years, there were only two well-documented sources of birth defects in our society. One was exposure to x-rays and the other was mercury exposure before or during pregnancy. Today, there are more causes, but mercury is still there as a primary cause.

To help reduce birth defects, the State of California passed a law in 1992 that required dentists to warn patients that common "silver fillings" were really 50 percent mercury and the mercury from those fillings could cause birth defects. Dentistry ignored this law until 2001 when the state voted to abolish the Dental Board for arrogance in not following the law.

Still today, obstetricians frequently recommend that pregnant women visit their dentists right away to get any cavities filled, so that they will be less likely to have an abscessed tooth during the final week of their pregnancy.

Mercury from fillings in both the male and female can contribute to birth defects. And, as further insult, if the mother has silver-mercury fillings in her mouth, her breast milk can contain enough mercury to be labeled as hazardous waste.

Anyone you know contemplating a pregnancy? It would be wise to find out how and when to protect your unborn from preventable birth defects that you could "catch" in the dental office.

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