Can a tooth give you high blood pressure?
Again and again mercury is popping up in my clinic and as we are going to hear the vagaries of conventional dentistry in a talk on Wednesday night I thought I would entertain you with a post on this widely used metal.....
Okay a tooth is not going to give you high blood pressure. However, a tooth with a mercury filling is a different story. A growing body of medical literature has discovered the damaging effects of mercury on blood vessels and stuff that carts blood around the body.
Mercury messes with the energy factories (mitochondria) in your cells which results in a reduction in fuel (adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to run your ship, depletion of glutathione (antioxidant) , and increased lipid peroxidation (messing up healthy fats).
Increased oxidative stress and reduced oxidative defense (neither positive) are common.
The overall vascular effects of mercury include increased oxidative stress and inflammation, reduced oxidative defence, thrombosis, dyslipidemia (cholesterol issues) , and immune and mitochondrial dysfunction (poor energy production in the cells)(I know of cases where mercury fillings have induced ME/CFS!).
When it come to the heart and veins a high mercury load could give you
coronary heart disease,
reduced heart rate variability,
Mercury also inactivates a very important enzyme system in the brain known as COMT. COMT is an enzyme principally involved in breaking down Neurotransmitters and hormones (catecholamines) at nerve endings.
Catecholamines are hormones made by the adrenal glands. These glands are on top of the kidneys. Catecholamines are released into the blood when a person is under physical or emotional stress. The main catecholamines are dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine (which used to be called adrenalin).
The consequence of mercury on COMT is the fact that serum and urinary epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine will increase. This effect will increase blood pressure and may be a clinical clue to mercury-induced heavy metal toxicity.
It is important to note that mercury diminishes the protective effect of fish and omega-3 fatty acids which has been found to have value in the management of reducing high blood pressure.
Mercury toxicity should be evaluated in any patient with hypertension, coronary heart disease, cerebral vascular disease, cerebrovascular accident, or other vascular disease.
This in fact may be the missing piece of the puzzle in reducing high blood pressure.
If you are suffering with hypertension it is of vital importance to have your nutritional therapist order the following labs: Erythrocyte and whole blood toxic element levels and/or a 24 hour toxic metal urine tests using a challenging chelating agent like DMSA. A DMSA challenge test is my preferred testing method with clients.
If your test reveals high levels of mercury it is important to find a Nutriitonal therapist who is able to prescribe an effective protocol to chelate the toxic metals and decrease the load on your body.
Additionally it is also important to find a dentist skilled in safe amalgam removal. Please see the link for how this protocol is carried out.
Paul Foley Nutritional Therapist Dip Nut CNM, mBANT, mCNH
This was adapted and edited with compliments from Functional Medicine University www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com. Paul is currently sudying functional medicine at the university.