The Link Between Root Canals and Chronic Fatigue

A special report by Dr. Sambataro

But in a world filled with ‘pick me ups’ why then are we still tired when we wake up, tired during the middle of our day and exhausted when work is over? Perhaps there is another, often missed or unexplained link between the fatigue we feel and its source. To that end, Dr. Sambataro has made it his mission to uncover potential reasons for Chronic Fatigue, and more importantly, to help his patients get back to their lives.

It seems as if there are really two kinds of tired for most of us. The first kind occurs after a hard day of work, a fun weekend or a rough night with a child. They all seem to have a source and they all seem to get better with a ‘good night’s sleep.’ The second, and seemingly more common type of fatigue, is the kind that weighs on you at all times, no matter how much sleep you have gotten. It’s like wearing a lead suit that drags on you all of the time. It saps your energy, your strength, and your life. So to combat this you try to sleep more. You work out more to increase your metabolism or you try energy drinks. And perhaps they all work to a degree, but all too soon that blanket of fatigue that just seems to smother you replaced the short spike in energy.

If this sounds like you then, perhaps, you need to read further for answers to the overriding question you  might have at this point.

Why am I so tired all the time?

In Western Medicine, for all of our medical advances, we are really at the beginning stages of understanding the more natural remedies. Often referred to as Eastern medicine, in reference to China and the Far East, these ideas of acupuncture, massage and herbal remedies are only now gaining traction in the established medical community of this country. But, it is this more holistic, or complete approach, that Dr. Sambataro feels is necessary to combating Chronic Fatigue and its link to root canals.

If you say the words ‘root canal’ to many people you would get a wide variety of explanations as to what specifically this procedure is. Essentially, a root canal is performed on an infected tooth by removing the central blood supply and nerve in the center of the tooth. At this point the space in the center of the tooth is filled and the surgery is complete. And, a good outcome is usually one that affords a patient less pain than they had prior to the root canal. But, what if all of the infection in the tooth was not removed? What would happen inside your mouth if you had an active infection that was still present despite the root canal? The answer is you would have toxins, a by-product of the bacteria that make up the infection, released into the mouth and blood stream.

To understand the chronic fatigue that can follow a root canal you first have to understand the design of the tooth and how nutrition and bacteria move through it. The tooth, despite many perceptions, is very open and porous. (Something akin to a hard sponge with an open center and small holes throughout). In the center of the tooth you have a blood supply that brings in fresh blood and takes out the old. You also have a nerve, for feeling, and it is pressure on the nerve that causes pain in an infected tooth. Now, the main blood supply is in the center, but just like the rest of the body, there are small passage that move throughout the tooth. And it is these small passages that allow for nutrition to move through the entire tooth. These passage are also hiding spaces for the bacteria when the center of the tooth is infected. It is the bacterium that is missed when a root canal is performed and it is this aggressive bacterium that survives and releases toxins that your white blood cells have to fight because it is an infection.

The problem with the standard approach to removing infected material from a tooth via a root canal is that is only addresses part of the problem. It does remove much of the infected material from the tooth but it is unable to get into the side passages where the more aggressive bacteria are hiding. And, despite sealing the tooth, this bacterium continue to thrive and survive. Why?? Because this type of bacteria does not require oxygen to live.

In the field of medicine it is well known that bacteria that do not require oxygen to live are more aggressive, more dangerous and more opportunistic. They produce the more unhealthy toxins and they do not mind the small place they have to live. Now, prior to a root canal these bacteria are present but they are held in check by ‘good’ bacteria. In fact, our bodies host many bacteria that mostly work for us by breaking down food or limiting more aggressive bacteria. But when that balance of power is changed, as is the case in a root canal then the body has to turn to its other defenses for help.

If you have ever been sick and felt tired then you have the beginnings of understanding what is happening when you have an infection or illness. Essentially, the body has white blood cells around to fight infection but this comes at a price. The price is that there is only so much space in the veins and arteries for blood so the body makes fewer red blood cells and more white blood cells. The red blood cells carry oxygen and nutrition around the body. If you are getting less oxygen around the body then you will be more tired. It is that simple. And, a chronic, or long lasting infection, keeps pumping out white blood cells and limiting red blood cells. The math is simple at this point. Too few red blood cells, whatever the reason, leads to fatigue. Of course, this is made worse if you are fighting an infection.

The medical professions, including dentists, are not normally aware of the link between the bacteria that remain in the tooth after a root canal and chronic fatigue. The link is actually very obvious if you just understand the impact being sick can have on the body. But many in the medical profession would never think to look at the teeth as a source of infection, especially after a root canal. So, what does a person do who is tired all of the time but can’t find answers? The answer is simple, you search until you find someone who will listen to you, consider all the possible sources for fatigue, including your teeth so you can get some answers.

Dr. Sambataro has spent years searching for answers to how the teeth can impact the entire body. He has followed new research; dug out old studies and most importantly he has listened to his patients. All of this has combined to make him closely examine your bodies reasons for chronic fatigue so that you can feel more rested, be more energetic and get back to your life.

If you are ready to take the next step in learning about your chronic fatigue then you need to long on to: www.ToxicFreeDentistry.com or contact Dr. Sambataro directly at:       410-964-3118.

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29 Responses to The Link Between Root Canals and Chronic Fatigue

  1. The Tourist says:

    I think you have a great page here… today was my first time coming here.. I just happened to find it doing a google search. anyway, good post.. I’ll be bookmarking this page for sure.

  2. teresa says:

    I had a root canal 8 yrs ago, for the past few years i have had constant fatigue, feelings of ear aches, symptoms that were treated as allergies, constantly trying to figure out why i always feel like i am coming down with something! i then had 3 d imaging at my dentist, and they were able to see a infection in the prior root canal tooth. i went yesterday and had the root canal treated, they filled my tooth with meds. put my on antibiotics. apparently the prior root canal done did not fill all 4 of the canals , only 3… We will see if this makes a difference!

    • Admin says:

      How did you make out with the retreatment of the root canal? If your symptoms have not improved the root canal tooth should be extracted. If the symptoms have improved then it may only be temporary since it is impossible to completely sterilize a dead tooth. Let us know if we can be of further assistance.

  3. Carolyn Carr says:

    I am very scared. I have a history of root canal, silver fillings and now, 2 inplants. My teeth have been my biggest problem for my 57 years. 2 years ago I had 2 implants. 18 months ago I developed CFS. What do I do now?

  4. Ev says:

    In November 2005 one of my teeth with an amalgum filling broke and then I had a root canal done to save the tooth. Within a week of breaking the tooth, my back went on me and I have never felt “right” since that time, always tired and just not coping with life as before. A few years ago I found out I had CFS. In 2008 I had my root canal taken out (as well as the other 8 amalgums) after receiving information from a wonderful health retreat in Qld, Australia named Living Valley Springs (LVS). I’m still tired so just wondering if it’s possible that I may still be harbouring bacteria from the root canal even though it’s been removed. If so, what would be the best thing to do about it?
    Also for Carolyn Carr, LVS recommended a biodentist in Brisbane, Qld, named Eric Davis. His dental clinic has a website and when I checked, he was booked out months in advance. But apparently he’s supposed to be really good. Also, I’ve read many times that it’s helpful for people with CFS to go to bed by 10pm, or at least 11pm. Hope that might help.

    • Admin says:

      When the root canal tooth was removed, do you know if your Dr. removed the ligament and thoroughly cleaned out the socket? If not, there could still be anaerobic bacteria thriving in there.

  5. rachel says:

    On saturday I had 3 root canal teeth removed due to eruption/abscesses by Dr. Koos, MD, DDS, in Chicago IL. Every single root canal tooth I had has “failed”. 4 total and I am only 30 years old.

    He has 3d imaging which showed two holes in my jaw due to abscess drainage. He also located a cyst and abscess in another tooth that my general naturopathic dentist had not found. He removes periodontal ligament and bone. He was the only doctor who would discuss periodontal ligament removal and bone removal. All of the other doctors brushed it aside, as if it was a non issue. I had done my research, so I kept searching until I found Dr. Koos.

    I have had chronic “allergies” sinusitis, neck pain, and increasing fatigue. I already feel less neck pain and more energy.

    Keep searching until you find the right doctor. Extractions should be done correctly to prevent cavitation/bone necrosis. Ask the right questions! They aren’t used to it,,but YOU are paying for their service.

  6. Marika says:

    I had a root canal and crown done 4 years ago, since then I have suffered with my health. Tiredness, ear pain, migraines, black outs, etc doctors sent me to ears, nose and throat specialists, neurologists, and after 4 years of continuous blood tests, still could not find anything wrong, except my anti Body levels were sky high but they didn’t know why. Been to osteopaths on a continual basis to free my head and neck from having 20-25 migraines a month. Been treated for TMJ syndrome, every time I went to the dentist I told them that the tooth was hurting and they insisted that it was fine. 3 months ago the pain got unbearable and they did an X-ray, and yes I had an infection in it, because t was so bad I had to undergo re- treatment for them to get it out. This did not work as the infection was severe so had to go and see a endodotic specialist who did a re treatment again. When he opened up the tooth to get it out I had 8 days of having a normal life again, until he did permanent fill and I was in pain again. Went back again and asked for it to be removed and he refused, wanted me to go through surgery to cut open gums and get the infection out of the bone! With still no guarantee, so my normal dentist taking it out tomorrow and hopefully have a normal life again. 4 years of non stop pain and being Ill, people didn’t believe how ill I was which upsets me. Would I ever have a root canal done again? The answer would definitely be NO!

  7. Ben says:

    I just made the link between a root canal I had done a few years back and te devastating chronic fatigue that has loomed over me since. I’m curious abou a few things:

    1. In this situation, would we find a noticeable difference in the ratio of red and white blood cells – something I could have tested?

    2. I’ve heard of people having the teeth on which root canals were done pulled. Is there any alternative? Are implants safe or do they create similar problems?

    Thank.

    • Admin says:

      Yes, the ratio of red and white blood cells can be affected due to the chronic infection.

      We typically recommend have root canal teeth pulled, unfortunately. After years of testing different ways to clean these root canal teeth, we haven’t been able to find anything, which supports Weston A. Price’s work back in the 1940’s. The tooth needs to be extracted and then the site thoroughly cleaned out and disinfected.

      Implants are a better alternative to root canals, however we are finding that anaerobic bacteria can grow around implants as well. If you are looking to have an implant done, look for Zirconium instead of Titanium.

  8. valerie says:

    had a root canal done 2 years ago the last few months i ve been ill with alot of things had every test done and all fine have alot of problems with my jaw bone went to the dentist she took xray of my root canal tooth said it was fine but she said the tooth beside it has an infection and might need a root canal i really think its probably bacteria from the root canal tooth any information from anyone on this would really be helpful don t want another root canal no way.

    • Admin says:

      We are now able to do DNA testing on the bacteria around root canals and 100% of the teeth we have tested have come back with more than 1 anaerobic bacteria growing around the tooth. This is even true for root canal teeth that look fine in an x-ray.

  9. Allison says:

    Hi there

    I’m having my root canal and tooth removed. I’ve had a streptococcus overgrowth in the gut for a while which caused panic disorder. That is now gone after a few rounds of erythromycin, but my doctor and lab scientist believe the bacteria may be originating from the mouth, which is why I’m getting the root canal removed.

    The dentist recommended either a bridge or implant -I’ve decided to go with a bridge. Do you know if I may still have a bacterial problem even with the bridge?

    What do I need to make sure the dentist does in the procedure?
    eg. ligament removal – anything else?

    thank you!

    • Admin says:

      Hi Allison,

      That is great to hear you are having the root canal tooth removed. This will be a huge relief for your body. When having the tooth removed, make sure the Dentist removes the periodontal ligament, which should prevent a cavitation forming. The area should also be thoroughly cleaned out and disinfected, possibly using ozone or laser. The bridge is a good option, as long as the tooth in front and the tooth behind are not virgin teeth since these will be ground down to place the bridge. There is not any bacterial issue with the bridge as long as you take good care of it and thoroughly clean it, especially after meals.

      Best of luck to you!

  10. Maureen says:

    I am in a quandary. I’m sure I’ve put the price of a new car in my mouth with all the dental care I’ve had over the years. I’ve had 5 teeth removed one of which had a root canal and a crown. After that one was removed I had an implant (I think titanium) and a crown to replace it. I’ve had at least 8 to 10 other root canals in teeth that remain in my mouth. The teeth were then crowned after the root canals. The teeth involved are 4 top front teeth (one of which is the implant.) and most of my back teeth top and bottom. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue probably 30 years ago. I don’t know how the time frame matches up to when I had my first root canal as to when I first had symptoms of CFS but It wouldn’t have occurred to me that my problem was due to the root canal. The only thing the doctor who diagnosed me prescribed was an antidepressant which might have killed me if I had continued on. I was like a zombie after the first pill and I stopped it.
    It is hard to think of having close to half of my teeth pulled after spending so much money and effort on what I thought were good treatments. What would I do about all the gaps in my mouth? And how can I be sure that it is necessary? After all once the teeth are gone I can’t undo the procedure. I would say that presently I experience fatigue, usually have the need for daily naps and often fall asleep watching tv or even during sermons in church at times but my fatigue is not as bad as it was at its worst when I awoke almost more tired than when I went to bed. I am now retired and 63 years old. I also now have sleep apnea, knee problems and have developed a tremor in my left arm. I’m not sure whether any of these could be also be related to the root canals. I would appreciate a professional opinion.
    Thank you

    • Admin says:

      Hi Maureen,

      I completely understand your frustration with putting so much time and money into your dental treatments. It’s unfortunate that root canals are still being done and causing these issues. Of course, extracting all of the root canal teeth is one option, when you feel ready. From there, you could get dentures (which are much different today than most people think due to new research and materials). Depending on how many teeth are missing, you could get a removable partial to hold the spaces of missing teeth. In the mean time, mix up some neem oil and neem bark and pack it around the root canal teeth for 5-10 minutes a day. This will help fight the infection. You can also try Oil Pulling, using sesame oil for 10 minutes in the morning and swishing it around in your mouth, then spit it in the toilet (not the sink). In addition, do your best to keep your immune system strong through a healthy diet, exercise, plenty of vitamins and antioxidants, and quality sleep each night.

  11. Roger says:

    Is there a test to know with some certainty that it is a root canal tooth that is making you ill with CFS? If the x-rays show nothing and the blood lab work results are normal then what? I have had a few root canals over the years but my most recent root canal on an upper canine “eye” tooth I seriously suspect has given me CFS. I feel literally like a zombie. I felt an immediate aweful bloating pressure sensation beneath the lower lid of my eye the moment that gutta-percha, I suspect, went in. Perhaps the dentist over-heated it some but the pressure immediately following was very uncomfortable. The feeling over the years has subsided some but I felt sick with extreme fatigue and stomach acid issues that followed for months. These symptoms have subsided some but not so much that I can say I feel well because I haven’t since that last root canal. Like so many others here, I am suffering with this and people are tired of my whining and think I am nuts. Doctors are clueless and I can imagine what they write down when I visit them on this. Even the endodontists are of no help. If the x-rays and blood work don’t show anything obvious then there is nothing wrong with it despite all the other symptoms. So, is there any way to be sure that there are toxins from this root canal that could be making me ill????? If so, then I will do what is necessary, without any remorse, and get these things removed from my mouth!!!! But I don’t want to go on a witch hunt here and discover that this ain’t the real cause. There is also the possibility that I, or people here, have contracted something from the dental treatment or office itself.

    • Toxic says:

      Roger, there is a test to determine what anaerobic bacteria are present around a root canal but that wont make a definitive determination if that is whats causing your CFS. The name of the test is Dental DNA preformed by Dr. Hal Huggins in Colorado springs , Co.

      • Roger says:

        I have read countless holistic dental articles and blogs that re-iterate the same explanations speculating that root canals are the source of people’s health problems, which is very plausible, but inconclusive unless the root canaled teeth are actually removed. Other than the research done decades ago by Dr. Weston Price, where patients were actually cured of their debilitating ailments by the extraction of their root canaled teeth, there isn’t a lot of testimonials from people on the web supporting that conclusion. Obviously, like me, people these days are apprehensive and even skeptical about all of this despite the logic otherwise we would have had these root canaled teeth removed already. So, it seems we all have the same question in common. “Are the root canaled teeth in my mouth making me sick?” Is there a simple way to find out, like a blood test? Dr. Sambataro stipulates in this article that the white cell count will hinder red cell count when the body is dealing with infection thus depriving the body of oxygen and thus causing fatigue. That is a very plausible explanation. No invisible cooties or bacteria hiding in tubules in teeth now. I don’t disagree that these terrible bacteria are hiding or generating from the root canaled teeth, but that they would have to actually present themselves to the rest of the body to affect people the way they do and inevitably be detected. So, can a blood test be a good indicator for root canal side-affects? I also suspect that if a person’s cell count is only slightly off that a doctor would presume everything is fine so is there some type of ratio of count to look for?
        PS. I should mention that my root canaled teeth are fine as far as my mouth is concerned… it’s the rest of my body that is fatigued that I am concerned about since the VERY DAY I GOT THEM.

        • Toxic says:

          As far as available tests for root canals.. there is a test called Dental DNA, which tests for bacteria around root canal teeth. The list of bacteria that shows up is typically enough confirmation for patients. Unfortunately there isn’t a blood test that can show exactly how a root canal may be affecting your health. One great book on this topic if you’re looking for more research and information is “Root Canal Cover Up” by George Meinig. The other fact to consider is that these anaerobic bacteria found around root canals release toxins, which then end up in the bloodstream and can wreak havoc on the body. This can show up differently in each individuals, such as a compromised immune system or fatigue. I hope this is helpful!

  12. Michelle says:

    Hi there,

    I’m not able to find any clinical studies to go along with the stories I hear about the harmful effects of root canals. I just had a root canal done yesterday, and prior to getting it done, I searched the internet for information about possible side effects and about alternatives to root canals. What I found was a lot of blogs, alternative medicine websites and articles are those websites warning against getting a root canal done. These articles rail against root canals, citing information that sounds logical, but no hard evidence is presented to back it up. I am wondering why the doctors who have these concerns do not do clinical studies to confirm them. This would be very helpful and perhaps bring more credibility to the cause. I am now feeling less than 100 percent after my root canal, with the main symptom being extreme tiredness. I wish there had been more substantial research regarding root canals out there, and I even held off from getting the procedure done fore several months, hoping this would be the case. I think doctors do the public a disservice by treating the potential danger of root canals as a rumor, rather than a logical, verifiable argument that can be backed up by clinical research. What a shame!

    • Toxic says:

      Michelle, the most conclusive studies were completed by Dr. Weston Price who was the leading researcher for the ADA. They did not publicize his research unfortunately.

  13. barbara says:

    Hello Everyone,
    If you a questioning a problem with root canals and considering an association with some type of autoimmune problem, please consider a 3 D image. I have had problems in the area of a root canaled molar for years…sinus infections, sometimes aching and pain, xrays continually normal..told I had sinus infections. I’m sure periodic antibiotic treatment for sinus infections and some other health issues have kept it at bay. Had a 3 D image 2 weeks after digital xrays (which were normal as usual) Image showed 2 abscesses at the tips of the root canals. I’m having the tooth pulled.

    Clearly, xrays can’t always pick up the problem.

    • Toxic says:

      Thanks Barbara for writing in! Yes, unfortunately an x-ray isn’t the best detection equipment. More than 60% of the bone has to be missing before it will show up on an x-ray, and at this point it is a very serious situation.

  14. Liz Fenn says:

    Hi I had a root canaled tooth done like 15 years ago. After reading heaps on the dangers of root canals, I decided to have it removed as it was breaking away anyway. They did an X-ray which showed infection on the X-ray. So does that mean I had already lost heaps of bone from my jaw? I had a really hard time finding a dentist to remove it the George meinig way. I finally found one who had said he read the book and would do it. I don’t know that he had experience in doing it before though. I had it done a week ago and have been extremely sore and swollen. The swelling has just gone down but I have a throbbing bone ache. I’m sure it’s just a healing process but is it normal to undergo this much pain? I’ve also felt terrible this past week. Just unbelievably exhausted and sleeping all of the time. I am going to the dentist tomorrow to have stitches removed, what kind of questions should I be asking to make sure everything was done properly? He’s not a holistic dentist that normally does this kind of thing he’s just a dentist who read the book and said he would do it for me so it now makes me nervous that it hasn’t been done correctly and that I may suffer from it. He also sewed my gum up over where the tooth was and from what I read mostly it’s left open to heal. Is it bad that he sewed up my gum over the hole? Thank you for your help. I go see him tomorrow and want to know what kind of things I need to be asking him.

    • Toxic says:

      The main concern with extracting a tooth properly is to have the periodontal ligament removed as well as any surrounding infection. Most Dentists will leave the periodontal ligament behind, but this is what may result in a cavitation, or hole in the bone. You can also check out http://www.JulianCtr.com for more information. Best of luck to you!

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