No Link Found Between Prenatal Amalgam Exposure and ADHD

Phillip Bonner, DDS


Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with both genetic and environmental factors. Also, the safety of dental amalgam has been discussed due to its mercury content and potential risks for negative neurodevelopmental consequences in offspring.

A study published in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology investigated possible associations between symptoms related to ADHD in children of 3 and 5 years of age and prenatal exposure to mercury from mothers’ amalgam fillings. Data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) were used.

Data were collected by questionnaires sent to participating women in week 17 (Q1) and 30 (Q3) of pregnancy and when the child was 3 (Q6) and 5 years of age (Q7). Information about exposure to amalgam during pregnancy was obtained from Q3. Information about symptoms related to ADHD was obtained from Q6 and Q7.

Valid data were obtained for 42,163 children at 3 years of age and 23,392 children at 5 years of age. Logistic regression models, including mothers’ age, education, body mass index, parity, smoking, and alcohol consumption during pregnancy, were used to estimate the association between ADHD symptoms and prenatal exposure to amalgam fillings.

The study found no significant associations between number of teeth with amalgam fillings, amalgam fillings placed or removed during pregnancy, and symptoms related to ADHD. The study concluded that there was no indication of increased risk of ADHD‐related symptoms in children prenatally exposed to their mother’s amalgam fillings. (Source: Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, August 7, 2018.)

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