Should You Have Root Canals?

Dangers of Root Canals

There are problems with root canal therapy you should know about.

Most of the information found here is based on George Meinig’s book Root Canal Cover-Up. Dr. George Meinig is an authority on root canals. He brings a most interesting perspective to the possible dangers of root canal therapy: 50 years ago Dr. Meinig was one of the founders of the American Association of Endodontists (root canal specialists). So he has filled his share of root canals.

When he wasn’t filling root canals himself, Dr. Meinig was teaching the technique to dentists across the United States at weekend clinics and seminars. A few years ago, after having recently retired, Dr. Meinig decided to read all 1100+ pages of the detailed research of Dr. Weston Price, (D.D.S.), a pioneer in the field of root canal therapy.

Dr. Weston Price’s careful, impeccable research took place over a 25 year period during the early 1900’s. Dr. Price published his work in 2 volumes in 1923. In 1915, the National Dental Association (which changed its name a few years later to “The American Dental Association”) was so impressed with Dr. Price’s work that they appointed him their first Research Director.

Dr. Meinig was shocked and startled by Dr. Price’s published research. In Dr. Weston Price’s research was valid documentation of systemic illnesses resulting from latent infections lingering in filled roots.

So exactly what is the problem with root canal therapy?

Dr. Meinig’s book, which is based on the 25 years of research done by Dr. Weston Price, discusses how root canals can cause BACTERIA to become entrenched inside the structure of teeth and end up causing the largest number of diseases ever traced to a single source.

According to Dr. Meinig, a high percentage of chronic degenerative diseases can originate from root canals. The most frequent were circulatory and heart diseases. The next most common diseases were those of the joins and arthritis.

Again according to Dr. Meinig, there was an unfortunate turn of events whereby very valuable information was buried and covered up some 70 years ago by a small group of autocratic doctors who just didn’t believe – or couldn’t grasp – the “focal infection theory”.

Root canals and the focal infection theory

What is the “focal infection” theory? The “focal infection” theory states that germs from a central focal infection – such as teeth roots, teeth, inflamed gum tissues or perhaps tonsils, metastasize to the heart, the eyes, the kidneys, lungs or other organs/tissues, establishing the same infection in new areas.

Revolutionary thinking in the early 1920’s, this theory has been demonstrated and proven many times over. However, today, both patients and doctors have been “brain washed” into believing that infections are less serious because we now have antibiotics. That is not the case. In the case of root-filled teeth, the no-longer-living tooth lacks a blood supply flowing to its interior. So circulating antibiotics can not impact the bacteria living there because they can not get at them.

In his research, Dr. Price did hundreds of experiments, which Dr. Meinig discusses in his book “Root Canal Cover-Up”. In one of those experiments, for example, Dr. Price removed an infected tooth from a woman who suffered from severe arthritis. As soon as he finished with the patient, he implanted the tooth beneath the skin of a healthy rabbit. Within 48 hours the rabbit was crippled with arthritis.

Dr. Meinig claims that all root-filled teeth harbor some bacteria and/or other infective agents. No matter what technique or material is used, the root-filling shrinks microscopically. Another point is key: the bulk of the solid-appearing teeth, called the “dentin”, is not solid and actually consists of miles of tiny “tubules”.

In a healthy tooth, those “tubules” transport a fluid which carries nourishment to the inside of the tooth. To give you an idea, it is said that if the tubules of a front tooth were stretched out, they would be 3 miles long… A root-filled tooth no longer has any fluid circulating through it, but the maze of tubules remains. The anaerobic bacteria that live there seem remarkably safe from antibiotics.

Microscopic organisms hiding in this maze of “tubules” simply migrate into the interior of the tooth and set up housekeeping. A filled root seems to be a favorite place to start a new colony.

Another thing we need to understand is that large, relatively harmless bacteria common in the mouth, change and adapt to the new conditions. They shrink in size to fit the cramped quarters and even learn how to survive on very little food.

Those organisms that need oxygen mutate and become able to survive without the presence of oxygen. Though this process of adaptation, these formerly friendly/normal organisms become pathogenic – capable of producing disease – and more virulent and they produce much more potent toxins.

Today’s bacteriologists are confirming the discoveries of Dr. Price’s team of bacteriologists. They isolated in root canals the same strains of “streptococcus”, “staphylococcus” and “spirochetes”.

Not everyone who has ever had a root canal filled is made sick by it. It is believe now that every root canal filling does leak and bacteria do invade its structure. However the variable factor is the vitality of the person’s immune system. Some people in good health are able to control the organisms which escape from their teeth into other areas of their body.

It is believed that this happens because their immune system’s white blood cells and other immune system fighters are not constantly compromised by other diseases. In other words, their immune system is capable of preventing those new colonies from taking hold in other tissues throughout the body. But over time, most people with root canals do seem to develop some kinds of systemic symptoms which they did not have before.

The “focal infection” theory says that the bacteria can migrate out into surrounding tissues where they can travel to other locations in the body via the bloodstream. The new location can be any organ or tissue, and the new colony will be a new source of infection in a body plagued by chronic or recurrent infections.

Root canal or extraction?

Just extracting the tooth is not enough when removal proves necessary. In his research, Dr. Price found bacteria in the tissues and bone just adjacent to the tooth’s root. So what is now recommended is slow-speed drilling with a burr, to remove 1 millimeter of the entire bony socket.

If the tooth is dead and it is impossible to revive it, then it would be best to have a root canal with a material called “Biocalex”. “Biocalex” eliminates many of the organisms and is far less likely to cause complication in the short run. If this fails and one is seriously debilitated, it maybe necessary to extract the tooth. Check with a biological dentist for this. Many biological dentists have alternative methods, such as infra-red lasers, which can save the tooth in about 1/4 of the cases.

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