Failing Root Canals
Dentistry is a noble profession. Saving teeth is a noble cause. After all, teeth are connected to a person’s health and wellbeing both physically and emotionally. It’s important to have proper nutrition, it’s important to smile and laugh. You need teeth to do either well.
Unfortunately, teeth are capable of decay. When a tooth gets decay, also known as a cavity, the bacteria invade the thousands of microscopic tubules which make up a tooth. If the cavity is not arrested by a dentist with a filling, the bacteria travel through these microtubules until they reach the center of the tooth known as the pulp space. The pulp space contains the pulp of the tooth which is the living tissue made up of nerves and blood vessels. Once the bacteria reach this space, they infect the nerve of the tooth, causing it to die. The resultant infection will cause a horrible toothache due to the toxins building up in the tooth and the surrounding bone. This pain is generally what will drive a patient to see the dentist. And dentistry’s answer to an infected tooth…root canal.
A root canal procedure removes the infected pulp tissue in the tooth and the tooth roots, then replaces the tissue with a substance called gutta percha. Gutta percha is a rubber material that expands and is supposed to seal the root from any further bacterial invasion. The inherent problem with the procedure is that the bacteria are still present in the microscopic tubules. The pulp tissue, which also contained immune tissue for the tooth, has been removed. So the tooth no longer has immunity. What was once a living pulsing thing, is now a dead, inanimate object, still full of bacteria in the miles of microtubules, with no defense system from within to protect itself.
I used to wonder in dental school why we were taught how to remove a root canal filling. After all, if root canal treatment was successful, there would be no reason to know how to remove it and then replace it. Well, that is exactly why. Root canal treatment often is NOT successful. As noble of an attempt as it is to try to save a tooth with a root canal, it very often fails. And when it fails, it can be catastrophic to a person’s health.
Failing Root Canal Treated Tooth
A failing root canal treated tooth is always a chronically toxic tooth, often containing over 460 different types of bacteria (Levy, 2017). Levy also reports that endotoxins are found in all root canal treated teeth. Endotoxins are produced by certain gram-negative bacteria and reside on the outer membrane. They can independently produce negative health impacts aside from those initiated by the presence of the pathogen itself. In addition, it has been proven that the bacteria in root canal treated teeth have a direct impact on the formation of blood clots in the coronary arteries.
Detecting these infections can be very difficult without the use of cone beam CT scan. Traditional dental radiographs do not always show the hidden infections associated with a failing root canal treated tooth. This is exactly why every patient at Origin Dental Wellness has a cone beam CT scan taken. It is the best diagnostic tool when trying to detect these hidden infections or when pursuing the root cause of other health complications.
Levy, Thomas E. Hidden Epidemic: Silent Oral Infections Cause Most Heart Attacks and Breast Cancers. MedFox Publishing, 2017.