There has been an ongoing controversy as to how harmful amalgam dental fillings are, which contain mercury. Now there is a new controversy about the "safer" composite dental fillings, which are made from glass or quartz fillers. The problematic composites, contain the resin bis-GMA, which can contains BPA (bisphenol-A). This dental material is also used in sealants. Another type of composite contains bis-DMA (which also uses BPA as a starting ingredient during manufacture), can cause ongoing exposure to BPA since salvia can break down that type of resin. However, bis-DMA composites are rarely used in composites.
A study found that children ages 6 to 10 who received these dental fillings (with
the BPA-based material) had drops in behavioral scores on measurements of such
issues as depression, anxiety, acting out, paying attention, attitudes towards
teachers, and self-esteem.
BPA is an estrogen mimicker that may harm health. (The FDA expressed concern about the potential effects of BPA on the prostate glands, brains and behavior of
infants and young children.) BPA is found in some food packaging, which can
include food or beverage cans. The study linked prenatal exposure to hyperactivity and anxiety, especially in girls. In addition, exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals, including BPA, may be associated with autism spectrum disorder and ADHD, according to a literature review of 17 studies.
Chldren ith higher levels of BPA in their urine were more likely to be obese, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last year. BPA exposure in kids has also been tied to higher risk for kidney and heart problems.
The behavioral problems were associated most strongly with higher exposure to BPA, and fillings in the back of the mouth. This may be because these fillings
suffer the most wear and tear when kids chew their food. As the fillings wear
down, they may release chemicals that are swallowed.
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