What is Mercury Allergy?
Mercury allergy is very rare, affecting 1 to 5 percent of the population. Mercury used in the amalgam fillings is the primary source of allergy. Mercury allergy has been linked to autoimmune problems. Some reports show that an allergy to mercury can be as high as 15 percent. A person suffering from this allergy should strictly avoid mercury fillings and other sources of mercury.
A person who is constantly exposed to mercury can get sensitized and develop an allergy. This is the reason dental students, who are exposed to mercury, are at high risk of developing this allergy.
Testing for Mercury Allergy:
Patch testing is used to test for mercury allergy. This test involves placing a minute amount of mercury on the skin. If the area develops a bump, it can be said that the individual has a mercury allergy. A positive patch test can be a sure indication of allergy.However, a negative patch test may not completely rule an allergy to mercury.
If you are interested in getting tested for allergy to mercury, do consult your allergist.
Mercury allergy has been linked to autoimmune problems such as chronic fatigue syndrome, childhood autism, lupus and arthritis.
Mercury allergy and Amalgam fillings:
Mercury is used in the amalgam fillings. People with allergy should avoid mercury fillings in their teeth. Do inform your dentist about your allergy. Other materials such as porcelain can be used for the filling.
Mercury allergy is very rare, as compared to other metals such as nickel, cobalt and chrome. If you suspect an allergy, do consult an allergist and get yourself tested.