Are Root Canals Risky?

Root canal is a procedure in which dentists remove diseased or injured pulp that runs from a tooth’s interior down its root. Pulp contains blood vessels and nerves and provides nutrients to the tooth. Infection in pulp can progress to an extremely painful abscess. In the past, a tooth with a diseased root had to be extracted, but dentists can now remove the pulp, seal off the cavity (root canal) to protect it and save the tooth.

The idea that root canals pose a risk to general health comes from research suggesting that bacteria and viruses left behind at the tip of the root canal might persist and multiply in the space around the tooth. Other research cited by holistic dentists (including my own dentist, Steve Swidler) focuses on people with chronic health concerns. These dentists think that root canal procedures may raise disease risks.

As for the idea that root canal is associated with breast cancer and other serious conditions, Dr. Swidler subscribes to the theory that every tooth is in a different body meridian and is related to different organs, bones and joints. This doesn’t mean that root canal on a tooth in the same meridian as a breast can cause cancer. But Dr. Swidler says that if he had a patient with breast cancer and an infected first or second molar on the same circuit as the affected breast, he would urge her to have the tooth removed.

To sum up, Dr. Swidler and other holistic dentists who subscribe to these theories believe that losing a tooth is sometimes better for your health than have a root canal. Mainstream dentists and the American Dental Association do not share those views and maintain that the procedure is safe. That’s my personal belief, as well. Given

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2 Responses to Are Root Canals Risky?

  1. Towanna Williams says:

    About three weeks ago I had a bottom molar (which was a previous root canal years ago) extracted. Four days ago I was so fatigued like I had the flu. I went to the Er and my white count was high and they did a chest x ray as well as a CT of head ( since I was also having headaches since procedure. They did 24 hours blood cultures and sent me home. I got a call from the ER Dr the cultures were ok but some ecoli in my urine so they treated me for a UTI? I am still having headaches, very fatigued, some chest pain and developed a chest cough and some sinus pressure. No one can seem to help and I am afraid they are clearly missing something. What do I suggest to my Dr or dentist. 3D imaging scan?

    • Gene says:

      Hi Towanna,
      3D imaging may be helpful to see what’s going on in the extraction area. Do you have any other root canals? or areas of extracted teeth?

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