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Heavy Metals Extended Profile, Saliva

Heavy metals are found everywhere in the environment and can cause serious damage to human health. Heavy metals can cause damage to the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, kidneys, liver, endocrine glands, and bones. In addition to the direct and toxic effects, certain metals can cause hypersensitivity reactions ("allergy" or delayed type IV hypersensitivity) in sensitive individuals, resulting in reactions from the skin, endocrine glands, and immune system.

A metal saliva test can detect which metals from dental fillings or other metal dental implants (eg crowns) are released into the saliva.

Heavy Metals in Saliva

Depending on their composition, condition, location, and size, metal dental restoration materials can release varying amounts of metals into saliva and surrounding tissues due to wear and corrosion. In some cases, this can cause local or even generalized inflammation of the gums. Because the metals in saliva end up in the gastrointestinal tract, the gastrointestinal mucosa is exposed and can also be irritated.

However, apart from their local action, the continuous exposure of the intestine to increased concentrations of heavy metals increases the risk of absorption and occurrence of systemic manifestations. Chronic exposure to minerals is considered a factor in the development of many chronic inflammatory diseases. The association of exposure to heavy metals with conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, hypertension, and various neurological disorders is now well established. In addition to the size of the exposure to heavy metals, the patient's individual sensitivity is also important for the type and degree of symptoms.

Heavy metals exert their effect on the body in two ways. First, even very small concentrations of the metal can cause hypersensitivity reactions (type IV immune response). The permanent stimulation of the immune system resulting from constant exposure to metals can include all aspects of chronic inflammation, such as increased local inflammatory processes, autoimmune reactions, and fatigue. Second, metals such as mercury, cadmium, and palladium have toxic effects even at low doses and inhibit many cellular metabolic processes. Even very low (sub-toxic) concentrations may be of clinical significance, as multiple sources of exposure (from food and water) may enhance the toxicity of the metal. Toxic effects and allergic sensitization to metals occur independently.

To whom Heavy Metals Extended Profile, Saliva is addressed

Studies in experimental animals and epidemiological studies in humans suggest that chronic exposure to heavy metals can cause, among others:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autistic type disorders
  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases)
  • Chronic fatigue and feeling of reduced energy
  • Infertility
  • Cataract
  • Hypertension
  • Delayed type IV hypersensitivity reactions, such as:
    • Psoriasis
    • Eczema
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Systemic lupus erythematosus
    • Sjogren's syndrome
    • Thyroiditis
    • Gastrointestinal disorders
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Chronic fatigue syndrome

Checking saliva for metals is a useful way to assess the body's exposure to various heavy metals due to the presence of dental fillings or other dental prostheses in the mouth. The presence of certain metals may justify the presence of local oral reactions (eg lichen planus, ulcers, etc.). However, just because saliva test shows elevated levels of heavy metals does not necessarily mean that their levels are high in the rest of the body. For this reason, it is also recommended to test some other biological material for heavy metals (hairs or nails, blood, urine). If these tests are positive, it shows that the metals detected in saliva are absorbed into the body.

The primary goal of preventive medicine is to avoid or remove exposure to toxic substances. The test of saliva for heavy metals provides immediate proof of exposure due to the wear of dental fillings and the results can help in the appropriate preventive and therapeutic interventions.

The measurements are performed by the ICP-MS method (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry), a method that enables the simultaneous detection of many metals. Its sensitivity and accuracy are significantly better compared to the conventional method of atomic absorption, having the ability to measure metals in concentrations up to 1 in 1015 (1 in 1 quadrillion, ppq)!

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