Bipolar Disorder: A possible dental connection

By Dr. Gerald H. Smith

I was inspired to write this article after watching Jane Pauley’s appearance and promotion of her new book, Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue, on the September 3rd , 2004 David Letterman show. After listening to Jane describe her symptoms of bipolar disorder, I suddenly realized that what she was describing was mercury or heavy metal poisoning. As a biological dentist and one who has experienced first hand the devastating effects of mercury poisoning, I quickly made the connection.

From my own research, mercury as well as other heavy metals (cadmium, aluminum, nickel, etc.) have an affinity for the nervous system as well as being transported via the lymphatic drainage system from the mouth to the rest of the body and particularly to the thyroid gland. Chewing food with teeth that have mercury fillings on the biting surfaces of the bicuspid and molars will cause a release of mercury vapor for a 90 minute period. This fact has been scientifically documented by Drs. Fritz L. Lorscheider and M.J. Vimy of the Department of Medicine and Medical Physiology University of Calgary. It has been estimated that between 3 – 17 micrograms of mercury per day come from undisturbed mercury fillings. This number elevates to as much as 45.49 micrograms/cm2 per day with brushing twice a day. If a person had 12 mercury fillings their exposure would be 29 micrograms per cubic meter of mercury. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that 30 micrograms per cubic meter per day is the maximum allowable intake from all sources that the average weight person can tolerate before clinical symptoms of mercury poisoning start to show up. When factoring in the EPA’s estimate of 10 micrograms of mercury coming from daily intake of food, air and breathing the toxic level of mercury exposure is exceeded! Because mercury is a powerful neurotoxin it plays a major role in causing numerous medical problems and is a major influence in causing cancer. My new book, Reversing Cancer, describes in depth mercury’s role in this plague that is now upon us. (156 new cases of cancer are being diagnosed every hour!)

Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swing (overly “high” and/or irritable to sad and hopeless), and then back again, often with periods of normal mood in between. Severe changes in energy and behavior go along with these changes in mood. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes of mania and depression. One potential underlying mechanism for which mercury poisoning can replicate the symptoms of bipolar disorder is the migration of mercury to the brain and the thyroid gland. The medical literature describes the mercury poisoning profile with the term “erethism.” Erethism consists of subtle or dramatic changes in behavior and pe rsonality, such as depression, irritability, despondency, fearfulness, easily provoked anger, restlessness, indecision, timidity, and a tendency toward easy embarrassment. Companion symptoms are drowsiness, headache, fatigue, dizziness and insomnia with an exaggerated response to stimulation. These represent the neurotoxic symptoms of chronic brain involvement.

Migration of mercury to the thyroid has the potential for causing an under-active or hypothyroid state. Hypothyroidism is associated with severe fatigue and low energy, mental fog, inability to remember, headache, dizziness, poor concentration, low stress tolerance, depression, anxiety, mood swings, insomnia and difficulty in weight control. In addition, numerous other symptoms are associated with a low thyroid: cold hands and feet, dry skin in the winter, infertility, low sex Dr, constipation, short windedness, diffuse muscle spasm, excess sleeping, lowered immune system, poor digestion, high cholesterol level that does not respond to medication, heart palpitations and the same symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Below are two lists: signs and symptoms of mania and signs and symptoms of depression.

Signs and symptoms of mania (or a manic episode) include:

  • Increased energy, activity, and restlessness
  • Excessively “high,” overly good, euphoric mood
  • Extreme irritability
  • Racing thoughts and talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another
  • Distractibility, can’t concentrate well
  • Little sleep needed
  • Unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities and powers
  • Poor judgment
  • Spending sprees
  • A lasting period of behavior that is different from usual
  • Increased sexual Dr
  • Abuse of drugs, particularly cocaine, alcohol, and sleeping medications
  • Provocative, intrusive, or aggressive behavior
  • Denial that anything is wrong

A manic episode is diagnosed if elevated mood occurs with 3 or more of the other symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for 1 week or longer. If the mood is irritable, 4 additional symptoms must be present.

Signs and symptoms of depression (or a depressive episode) include:

  • Lasting sad, anxious, or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue or of being “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Sleeping too much, or can’t sleep
  • Change in appetite and/or unintended weight loss or gain
  • Chronic pain or other persistent bodily symptoms that are not caused by physical illness or injury
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

A depressive episode is diagnosed if 5 or more of these symptoms last most of the day, nearly every day, for a period of 2 weeks or longer.

As a biological dentist, I have clinically witnessed many patients whose blood tests showed normal levels of thyroid hormone but who had many of the symptoms of an under active thyroid. An interesting observation is the fact that with nutritional therapy to chelate out the mercury, many of the above symptoms disappeared. The following letter was unsolicited and sent to me by a patient with whom I nutritionally consulted. This individual was diagnosed with bipolar disorder for 29 years. His father was a dentist and he had a mouth full of mercury fillings. This patient’s friend was a dentist who attended one of my seminars and upon returning informed his friend of the above information. After removal and nutritional therapy miraculous results were obtained.

Dear Dr. Smith,

I wanted to write a letter conveying my appreciation for your guidance and direction in helping me extract the mercury from my body, especially my thyroid and brain. Your expertise has enabled me to be completely free of any medications I was on to stabilize my Bipolar condition. In other words, I believe I am cured.

I have suffered since 1976 from a Bipolar disorder, which was then called Manic Depression. I was on a high maintenance level of Lithium. Later upon other hospital visits the addition of Depakote and Zoloft completed my medication cocktail. Presently, I have been free and clear of any symptoms and have been off the medications for over a year. My Father being a dentist, had from the time I was a young boy filled my cavities with mercury, silver fillings.

Until recently, I was unaware that mercury was the malleable substrate that gave the filling its pliability and its durability. I found to my amazement that the acids from the body broke down the mercury/silver composite, allowing the majority of the filling’s makeup -mercury- to break down and thus leach into my body. Since the thyroid is below the jaw and the brain is directly above the mouth, the mercury did not have to travel far to cause problems.

The thyroid enables the one pole of the Bipolar -depression- to occur when infused with the liquid mercury. As simplistically as I understand the ramifications of mercury poisoning, the brain easily short circuits as a direct result of degeneration of brain cells. Mercury vapors travel easily into the body during the chewing process. In addition, mercury has been well documented to leak out of mercury fillings 24/7 and especially if one drinks hot fluids like coffee or tea. Understanding the damaging effects of mercury gave me more insight into the nature of my Bipolar disorder. It also helped me understand why I acted the way I did for so many years. The fact that I learned of the underlying cause of my bipolar condition enabled me to irradicate the problem.

Dr. Smith, you have helped me get off the maintenance program of the medication nightmare the psychologists had me on for so many years. I cannot express my gratitude enough. The actual feeling of knowing that I have been cured from this Bipolar disorder and the anxiety that resulted from it is quite a relief. I suffered from the time I was sixteen, though diagnosed at nineteen years of age, up until I was forty-four. This all came about because of mercury poisoning from the fillings that were implanted by my dad my dentist. My Father learned a heart wrenching lesson and has discontinued the use of mercury in his practice.

I thank you from the bottom of my soul,

Reverend H.S.


About The Author

Dr. Gerald H. Smith is certified by the World Organization for Natural Medicine to practice natural medicine globally. He is also a certified dental practitioner. His broad base of post-graduate training in dentistry and natural medicine enabled him to integrate many health care specialties.