The association of mercury from dental amalgam with urinary selenium
Aljabo, Rukaia Emhemed
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Background: Dental amalgam has been the traditional material for filling cavities in teeth. Mercury (Hg) is a component of dental amalgam, from where it is continuously released and deposited in different tissues, mostly in the brain and the kidneys. Selenium is an important essential element in the human body. Mercury exposure from dental amalgam fillings associated with reduced the levels of selenium. Aims and objectives: The aims of the current study were to investigate the leaching of mercury from dental amalgam fillings and also to investigate the relationship between the leached mercury from dental amalgam fillings and selenium concentrations in the bloodstream. The objective was to determine the mercury from dental amalgam fillings and urinary selenium levels. Methods: Samples were collected from patients attending Tygerberg Oral Health Centre, Cape Town (South Africa). 107 patients who had 1-12 dental amalgam fillings provided the samples of urine, buccal swabs and did the chewing gum test. The samples were analysed by using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The data were analysed by IBM (p<0.05) test with an SPSS computer software package version 24. The study involved analyses of samples of urine (n=107), chewing gum and buccal swabs (n= 102). Results: The median urinary concentrations of mercury and selenium in female and male samples were 0.40 μg/L, 0.60 μg/L Hg and 26.29 μg/L, 29.32 μg/L Se respectively. While the median Hg concentrations in chewing gum test and buccal swabs samples in female and male were 2.04 mg/g, 1.89 mg/g Hg and 0.16 μg/L, 0.09 μg/L respectively. Conclusion: The excretion of urinary selenium concentration was influenced by concentration of mercury in urine and age of participants but not affected by concentrations of mercury in buccal swabs, chewing gum and gender of participants.