• Why Say No to an Unnecessary Root Canal Procedure

  • A root canal is the anatomic space within the root of a tooth. And there are some dental procedures used in them that can affect our health.  Do your research before you get a root canal!  Start here!


    root canalBy Dr. Lina Garcia

    One of the fundamental understandings that supports holistic, biological dentistry is that the dental procedures and materials used in them can affect your whole body, not just your teeth.

    In the case of a root canal procedure, it can lead to a number of chronic health problems and even degenerative diseases. Unfortunately, it is very rare for someone in need of dental care to be aware of this.

    Although you may be surprised to read this view of root canals, any time the procedure is done there is a real possibility it can endanger your overall health because of the infection and toxicity that can develop in your tooth after the root canal is performed.

    The connection between a root canal treated tooth and disease in another area of your body is one the majority of health-care practitioners and their patients are simply unaware of.

    The lack of awareness of this connection is puzzling when you consider that in conventional dentistry medicine there is an appreciation of research that has identified a connection between periodontal disease and other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and difficulties during pregnancy.

    Periodontal disease is the general label used to describe chronic infection and/or inflammation of the gums and the supporting structures of the teeth. The American Academy of Periodontology actively seeks to educate the public about research that supports what perceptive dentists inevitably recognize: “Infections in the mouth can play havoc elsewhere in the body.”

    Many Diseases Can Be Related to Root-Canal-Treated Teeth

    If you have at least one root canal treated tooth, acting upon the understanding that it can be damaging to your health may help you realize freedom from one of the diseases or ailments listed in the table below.

    Arthritis Appendicitis Endocarditis, myocarditis (heart inflammation) Kidney, liver and gallbladder problems
    Meningitis Anemia Hardening of the arteries Nervous system breakdowns
    Pneumonia Heart lesions Eye infections Cancer

    Many people suffer from diseases or ailments that modern medicine says are ofunknown cause. Well, the reality is that root canals are a seriously overlooked cause of many diseases.

    More and more holistic-minded dentists, physicians and other practitioners are beginning to realize that many previously “incurable” diseases and ailments, which have no conventionally recognized cause, can sometimes be radically improved or completely resolved by extracting a root-canal tooth (or teeth) and properly cleaning out the tooth socket(s).

    How to Avoid the Root Canal Procedure that You Might Not Even Need

    One of my biggest challenges as a Biological Dentist is when a patient cries with regret for agreeing to have a root canal procedure done to a tooth or teeth – a procedure they neither needed nor understood from the perspective of whole body health. Like any part of the body, a tooth can be inflamed, painful, or simply sensitive. If you go to a dentist they will quite often advise you to have a root canal.

    But not so fast! Let’s learn and make a wise decision.  The table below lists several reasons a tooth can be sensitive or painful but please understand that it there is not enough space in this article to more fully elaborate. The best way to evaluate your specific pain would be with a qualified dental professional.

    Clenching or grinding Stress Poor hygiene Referred pain from your heart
    Referred muscle pain from temporalis or masseter muscles Lack of sleep Trigeminal neuralgia Sinus headaches
    Sugars or processed foods, even fruits Ill-fitting restorations Neuropathic pain Tumors or aneurisms
    Hormone changes including perimenopause, menstrual cycles, and changes in testosterone levels Fractures Referral headaches from migraines or cluster headaches that change the blood vessels and nerves of the head Salivary dysfunction

    Every single tooth is a little organ, and the same blood and lymphatic fluid that flows to and through your heart and all the other organs and systems in your body also flows to and through your teeth. Additionally, there is a complex system of nerves that connect your teeth to your brain, and every tooth is connected to one of the channels of life-force energy most commonly known as the acupuncture meridians. So, when you see the whole picture, you understand that your teeth are affected by what is going on throughout your body, and, of course, your entire body is affected by what is going on in your teeth.

    Unfortunately, we usually do not learn about the oral/systemic health connection and the hidden risks of conventional dental practices until after we have developed at least one chronic health problem conventional practitioners do not know how to resolve. I understand it can be hard to believe that established dental practices that have been around for many decades can be obstacles to your good health because it was a challenge for me as well. All biological dental professionals were once traditionally trained. The move away from that training to encompass a wider view is never easy, but vital to our integrity.

    Prevention is BEST Option for Avoiding Root Canals

    To prevent the need for root canal treatments, you must eliminate tooth decay through proper oral hygiene and good nutrition. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings are preventative measures that help to remove the sticky plaque and calcified deposits that form on the surface of teeth and helps to minimize the impact of many individuals' nutritionally poor and sugar rich diets. I have learned, and so I teach, that faithfully practicing good nutritional habits is, without a doubt, the most important preventative measure, because tooth decay is a consequence of systemic metabolic disturbance.

    As Dr. Weston Price wrote in his book, ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration', “…when teeth are decaying, other things are going wrong in the body”! To achieve optimal oral and total body health, your teeth and the rest of your body needs you to choose high quality foods that are in harmony with your metabolism. It is also absolutely essential to eliminate all sources of refined and processed sugar, white flour products, soft drinks and all other ‘junk' foods and beverages. The wisdom is actually very simple: give your body what it needs and avoid hurting yourself with what you are eating and drinking!

    A wise but simple oral hygiene practice that can be very supportive in helping you to have healthy teeth and gums, is the practice of ‘oil pulling'. This wonderful practice not only has preventive value, but also therapeutic value for teeth and gums. Choosing to keep a dead tooth in your mouth can put you at increased risk of a variety of health problems. So, if a dentist recommends a root canal procedure to “save” your tooth from being pulled, remember to ask yourself, “How will I be affected if I have a dead, chronically infected tooth in my mouth?” Or do I really need this root canal? Perhaps the tooth can heal without the unnecessary root canal procedure.

    When I graduated from dental school, I took an oath that to this day encourages me. The oath said in part: “I will strive to advance my profession by seeking new knowledge and by re-examining the ideas and practices of the past.” I hope that oath guides you, as well as me, on this journey toward making choices that will support your health. I hope it will encourage you, your family and the community to help forge a new dental and medical “Paradigm”.

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