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Gum Disease

Gum disease or periodontal disease is a bacterial infection caused by accumulation of dental plaque on the teeth. It is a disease that affects the gums and supporting structures of the teeth.

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Dental amalgam is a blend of metals such as silver, copper and tin. Mercury binds these metals together, providing a strong, hard, durable 'silver' filling for your teeth. Dental amalgam is less expensive than other materials.

Amalgam fillings have been the most widely used, time tested and cost effective material for fillings in back teeth. It is strong, durable and easy to use. They can withstand high chewing load and are useful for back teeth -especially the molar teeth where the chewing load is greatest. While concerns have been raised about dental amalgam due to its mercury content, authorities such as the British Dental Association, US Public Health Service, FDI World Dental Federation and World Health Organisation state that amalgam has been used for more than 150 years in millions of patients and no controlled studies have shown adverse health effects, except for rare cases of mercury allergy.

As a response to recent media attention to the safety of amalgam in dentistry, the Ministry of Health has issued an update statement. This update statement, the NZDA latest statement on amalgam, and other useful resources can be found on the links below.

Statements about dental amalgam from NZDA, MoH, FDI, ADA and WHO.

Statements about dental amalgam from a large number of sources, including the Alzheimer's Association and American Cancer Society.

The "Mercury Toxicity" Scam: How Anti-Amalgamists Swindle People - An article by  Dr Stephen Barrett, from quackwatch.org.