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@cindiwass

I haven't been here for a while, I guess I was just waiting on my thyroid tests, etc. I am interested in your comment above because I wonder if my teeth work have anything to do with my enlarged nodules on my thyroid. Maybe it's a good time to have all my teeth removed and get implants. I am 77 years old. Nodules on my thyroid have grown larger lately and one in particular, near a portion of my teeth that seems to have had problems is really large and swollen. The doctor wants to take an aspiration of it because it has increased in size, and I'm not scared, but her report said it appears suspicious insofar as cancer is concerned. I have a question regarding this, but I'll leave this comment here now.

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Replies to "I haven't been here for a while, I guess I was just waiting on my thyroid..."

@cindiwass Thyroid function with Hashimoto's is variable depending on how far it has progressed. I have had mine be low, so I needed thyroid meds as well as too high, which made my meds be an overdose and I stopped them for 3 months. So I pay attention and every now and then, the dose needs to be adjusted. I think I am on the low end now and in need of more meds. My current doctor says my thyroid is spent, and the measurements of antibodies against my thyroid have dropped enough that he said it shows I am borderline for Hashimoto's now, and those numbers used to be off the charts years ago.

The dental work you mentioned has to do with silver amalgam fillings that contain mercury and when those are old and breaking down, they can release mercury which is damaging to the thyroid. My functional medicine doctor told me that, and likely other doctors might not recognize a connection. It took my thyroid a long time to "recover" (maybe 10 years) after the filings were removed and replaced with bio-compatible resins. I have had an aspiration biopsy of my thyroid which isn't too bad. They inject anesthetic which will feel like a quick bee sting, and you'll feel pressure when they put the needle into the thyroid which is done with image guidance by a radiologist. They have to make a smear on a slide and check it to make sure they got thyroid cells and not connective tissue before you can leave, but you leave with just a bandaid.

I can also relate my experience with dental implants which has nothing to do with my thyroid. I broke my front teeth when I was 9, and have had numerous dental restorations trying to save the teeth, but eventually root canals failed sending infection and toxic materials into my jaw bone. I didn't realize how much that was affecting my health until the teeth were extracted and my asthma improved immediately which surprised me. Evidently, the problem was creating enough inflammation to provoke my asthma adding to the burden of environmental and food allergies.

Dental implants can have adverse effects too if you are allergic to metals. They use titanium, but it is an alloy and has some other metals mixed in which can cause reactions. I know someone who's spouse had to have implants removed from a bad reaction to the titanium metal. She had been on prednisone trying to control it. They then put in Zirconium implants and those worked fine and resolved the inflammatory reaction. The non-metal zirconium implants that are bio-compatible are the ones that I got. The jaw bone will grow to those and interlock. You don't always know if materials will be acceptable to your body because you can have a reaction months after the material is placed in your body. There are tests for compatibility, but that only tells you the current condition. It takes a lot to recover after dental extractions, and I had 2 weeks of lots of pain before things started to get better, and it was probably a month before my mouth was healed and tender. Then 6 months later, another surgery to place the implants into the healed bone, and another 6 months healing before a dental lab can make a crown or bridge to attach to the implant. It's all custom work and very expensive, about $5000 per tooth when you add up fees for the surgeon and the dentist. If you need a bridge, it may be able to be done secured to one implant at each end which saves the cost of having an implant for each tooth. The skill of the oral surgeon is critical to the success of dental implants, and it also depends on the structure of the patient's jaw bone and how much bone they have. They have to be able to place the implant solidly in bone at an angle that would allow a tooth to be built on it that would match with the bite of the other teeth. When you get to the stage of creating impressions for the dental lab, the dentist attaches sticks to the implants which serve to leave a space for the screw in connections when the lab creates the teeth.

I know about the lab process too because I had worked in the dental lab that is making my teeth years ago doing porcelain work for crowns. Now, a computer controlled machine carves the teeth out of a block of Zirconium, and color variations are applied by paintbrush and it is heated in an oven to set the glaze. It's just a coincidence that I worked in the very lab my dentist uses, and they remembered me. I visited the lab so they could get a good color match.

There are a lot of commercials pushing full mouth restorations with dental implants, and theses are really just dentures anchored with a set of implants, not an implant for every tooth, but enough to anchor the plate. I know from experience that getting 4 teeth replaced was very involved and a lot to heal from. The success of the implant itself depends on bone quality to hold it in place, and if a surgeon removes a tooth and puts an implant right into the socket at the same appointment, it is going to have to be able to grow bone to it to hold it in place right away. That is where I question these procedures that push a quicker solution. Patients really need to ask questions and get other opinions from trusted dentists. I had bone grafts placed into the empty sockets after extraction that were allowed to heal and fill in for 6 months, and when that was solid, a hole was drilled and the implant placed into the new "socket", and allowed to grow and heal 6 more months. Only after that, are the final teeth created which are teeth only, and not denture plates that have both fake teeth and gums. My implants are place high enough into the upper jaw that my gums will naturally cover the teeth.

So if we circle back to the thyroid discussion, you can not draw a conclusion that replacing all your teeth would improve your thyroid function. It may or it may not, and your doctor isn't going to advise you on that. It is a lot of pain and healing to go through which is a very big step. It is the functional medicine doctors (or environmental medicine docs) that pay attention to these kinds of issues. Your doctor has to make a diagnosis first of what the thyroid nodules are. If those are cancerous, you'll take a different path. That is the most important information that you need right now. If you do decide to replace teeth, those decisions need to be based on dental issues. Having silver amalgam fillings replaced with safer materials made a big difference for me, and that is not a drastic change. Chosing extraction and dental implants was a hard decision. I tried to save my tooth when a root canal failed, and thinking this was unusual, I had surgery to save the tooth and clean out the infection, and replace bone lost to the infection. When the tooth next to it developed the same problem a couple years later, I realized that it was just a matter of time until the other 2 teeth with root canals would fail because they all were very old, and I didn't want to keep spending a lot to try to save failing teeth. At that point, it made sense to remove all 4 which would save money and time in the future, and it would allow the replacements of all 4 to match in doing them all at the same time. My health improved a lot after the bad teeth were removed. Root canals contain gutta percha material which has cadmium in it which is a heavy metal used to plug an infected tooth. Heavy metals are toxic. I hope that information helps

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