[Health & Fitness]

amalgam fillings

and the background noise of migraines

by Bob Yunger

I’ve had mild but persistent migraine headaches since my late teens. They’d usually start upon waking in the morning but end as soon as I’d get out of bed and have coffee. I used to get them throughout the day too. They’d exist as a kind of background noise when I was tired or under stress. One day in my late twenties I discovered taking an analgesic stopped the low-grade throbbing pain, but you can’t live on Motrin or Tylenol, and I learned to self-medicate with alcohol instead. It’s more social. Then over the years I started gradually having my deteriorated silver fillings replaced with crowns. As you know, dear reader, silver amalgam was a popular form of dental treatment for 150 years up until the 90’s or so. Looking back, this is when my daytime headaches began subsiding. It was in exact concurrence with the gradual removal of the amalgam. Recently I had my last silver filling drilled out and porcelain set on the molar. I’m sure there’s a slight chance it’s a coincidence but the next morning I woke up headache free for the first time in a while, and I haven’t had a morning migraine since. Looks like that girl I was seeing when I was 26 and living in Mission Beach was right. Having me open my mouth for a closer look she told me to have those silver fillings taken out and I’d feel better. I thought it was weird at the time, but I should have listened to her.

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