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J Dent Res. 1985 Aug;64(8):1069-71.

Intra-oral air mercury released from dental amalgam.


Intra-oral air was analyzed for mercury (Hg) vapor concentration in 46 subjects, 35 of whom had dental amalgam restorations. Measurements were made with a Jerome Hg detector both before and ten min after chewing stimulation. Subjects with dental amalgams had unstimulated Hg vapor concentrations that were nine times greater than basal levels in control subjects with no amalgams. Chewing stimulation in subjects with amalgams increased their Hg concentration six-fold over unstimulated Hg levels, or a 54-fold increase over levels observed in control subjects. Concentrations of Hg measured in intra-oral air larger than those reported in expired air were attributed to the rate and direction of air passage across amalgam surfaces. There were significant correlations between Hg vapor released into intra-oral air after chewing stimulation and the numbers and types of amalgam restorations. It is concluded that intraoral air is a reliable physiological indicator of Hg released from dental amalgam that may reflect a major source of chronic Hg exposure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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