Decorative covers for the teeth made popular in hip hop culture, also known as "grillz," are often made of precious or semi-precious metals. It is considered a symbol of status and wealth to don such an expensive metal as gold on one's teeth. The conventional silver-colored dental fillings, on the other hand, contain the toxic heavy metal mercury. Nothing to smile about there!
Also known as amalgam, these metal dental fillings are especially unsafe for someone with an MTHFR variant. The reason for this is that those with an MTHFR variant struggle to detox heavy metals more than the average person. While the general population will be able to flush 100% of incidental mercury exposure from their systems, that is not the case for those in the MTHFR community. In fact, a person who is heterozygous for the C677T variant may only detox 50% of this mercury, while someone who is homozygous may only flush a measly 10%!
On top of all of this, mercury interferes with the process of methylation. The last thing that someone who struggles to methylate efficiently needs is to further impair this process with amalgam fillings. Permanently implanting such a toxic metal as mercury into the mouth can lead to even further health decline as mercury is slowly released into the body and stored over time. Acute exposure to mercury may lead symptoms that are severe. On the other hand, chronic, long-term exposure may cause milder and more sneaky symptoms.
Symptoms of mercury exposure can include:
Pins and needles sensations
Loss of muscle coordination
Thankfully, there are alternatives to amalgam dental fillings that are safer for someone with an MTHFR variant! Examples include composite resin and porcelain. Composite resin is a popular choice because its white color matches the color of tooth enamel and is not extremely expensive.
For those who already have amalgam fillings placed, there are also options. It is possible to have them removed and replaced with a healthier filling of your choice. However, it is critical that they be removed correctly. Mercury is known to be released into the body in large amounts during the placement and removal process, if proper precautions are not taken. For this reason, some choose not to replace their fillings, but it is possible to do it safely. Consult with a dentist who specializes in mercury safety.
Upping your detox game before and after removal will also be helpful. In particular, supplementation with glutathione and chlorella can be helpful to offset any incidental exposure that may occur during the removal process. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before beginning a detox regimen.
To take a deeper, guided dive into how to thrive with an MTHFR variant, check out Hey MTHFR Academy. This 16-week online course will give you the tools you need to harness the power of epigenetics and befriend your MTHFR gene.