Having worked in the dental profession for over 30 years I have seen many clients who have had root canals, myself included. The very words conjure up visions of excruciating pain and torture for many, depending on your personal experience.
During the health sabbatical I took from active clinical practice, I did a significant amount of reading and research and I found out just how much I did not know about this widely accepted means of saving a tooth and that a growing number of dentists are totally opposed to performing them.
Root canal/endodontic therapy involves the removal of the pulp (nerve, blood and lymphatic tissue) from within the roots of a tooth, supposedly sterilized, and then typically filled with a rubbery material called gutta-percha which then supposedly seals off this now supposedly sterilized canal. While the process sounds logical and the procedure routine in order to save a tooth, the anatomy and physical properties of that tooth suggest that root canal/endodontic therapy may not be the safest choice for our systemic health.
And here’s why!
The dentin within the tooth, that material between the enamel and cementum on the root is comprised of millions of tiny tubules that in health allow the transport of fluid and nutrients between the outside and inside of the tooth. In fact, it is estimated that if you laid out all of these tubules from a lower front tooth end to end they would stretch for over three miles. What researchers opposed to root canals believe is that it is impossible to sterilize these over three miles of tubules and when the bacteria left behind in these tubules are then cut off from the cleansing and oxygenating effect of the blood supply (now removed) they mutate from a predominately aerobic (needing oxygen) to anaerobic (don’t need oxygen) strain that produce toxins that can have dire consequences.
According to Dr. Weston Price , a dentist who did 25 years of research on the root canal issue, if your immune system is strong, your body may be able to quarantine the toxins by “ walling off” the area and if particularly efficient may eventually form a drain through bone and gum to the outside. Unfortunately, this is the good scenario!!! The real worry is that if your immune system, for a variety of reasons, can’t quarantine these bacteria and their toxins they attach your genetically weak systems or areas of stress and actually cause the onset of degenerative disease.
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Until next time,