• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is very afraid of dentistry or who suffers with dental phobia. Please note that this is NOT a dental problems forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Can root canal treatment pose a threat to your health??

Kat75

Kat75

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Messages
119
Location
VA, US (formerly UK)
I have done some research about root canals on the internet and apparently they can be bad for your health??

One article said eventually EVERY root canal will leak...is this true?

Katx
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,727
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
I would say 'NO'....the internet is wonderful but there is lots of misinformation and quackery out there as well as correct mainstream information.

I wonder how long root canals have been standard practice? Probably not for as long as the average person lives so that gives room for speculation...but personally I'd rather keep my tooth than lose it unnecessarily on the available evidence.
 
A

annie778

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
820
i have heard this and I think there was some research a few years ago about it. I must say that after I had my root treatments I didn't ever feel as well as before and particularly considering how healthy a lifestyle I developed. But I don't think thats because of leakage I think it's because the crowns I used to have didn't fit that well and maybe my body was constantly struggling to recover from contamination reaching the roots but not quite creating acute infection because my immune system could deal with it? I guess symptoms were unexplaine aches and pains and never feeling 100% glowing with health like I had before. I don't know what it was, but since Ive had well fitted crowns that must have sealed off any access to the dentine or vulnerable areas my health & wellbeing is vastly improved. I'd go so far as to say that my health improved very soon after the crowns were fitted so there must be a connection.

If you believe in chi energy flows then apparently even having a filling will interfere with your health. I don't believe well done rct will leak gutta perca in any way that your body can't deal with, but I do think that if you have had a dental infection you always have the risk of the infection not being 100% banished unless the tooth is removed. Particularly if there is an entry route for bacteria to set up shop in a small area. There is always a vulnerability there and you are lucky to have been able to retain the tooth so maybe there is a trade off. There are other health forfeits if you remove the tooth. An off bite can affect more than just your jaw, but also create aches and pains in the neck back and give headaches and indigestion.

But I reckon that the risk of gutta perca leakage is about as great as the risk in having amalgam fillings and worrying about leakage of mercury (which I personally think is nothing to worry about and I have 8 of them).

There will be some individuals who have allergies or certain genetic conditions which might make them more sensitive to foreign materials and maybe the negative findings have come from that group. The problem with such stats is that they are not looking at these other variables and the medical conditions that can cause sensitivity to any changes in environment, not just gutta perca but chemicals, electromagnetic waves and all sorts. I read that one woman could not use wirefree modems because it made her ill walking into the house.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,733
I think there was some research a few years ago about it.

A lot of the "research" that's published on the internet (from the early part of the last century) involved some mad guy called Weston Price implanting root-filled teeth under rabbits' skin. According to Price, the rabbits developed the same illnesses as the owners of the respective teeth. This would have been a brilliant discovery worthy of a Nobel Price, except it's never been replicated. But for some reason, the people who believe in his theory are very prolific internet users, and that's why you find so much stuff about root canals being very dangerous when you google for them :(.
 
Last edited:
A

annie778

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
820
But there is definitive proof of is that worry causes stress and stress can kill so absolutely no point in worrying about this as worry is definitely worse for you than gutta perca!
 
L

littlestar88

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
444
Location
England
implanting root-filled teeth under rabbits' skin.

Hmm...I think if people put root canalled teeth under my skin I wouldnt be too cheery about it :giggle:
 
Kat75

Kat75

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Messages
119
Location
VA, US (formerly UK)
Yes - Weston Price was the guy I was reading about last night!

It does make you worry though; I just had my third(!) root canal, and it makes me wonder now if they were really all necessary.

I know it's not always good to read up about stuff on the inernet because you can drive yourself nuts, but it does make you wonder if there is some truth in it.

I mean, you do have a foreign substance in your body, surely that can't be healthy?

Is it true that the dentist/endodontist can never fully get rid of ALL bacteria before sealing the tooth?

Katx
 
P

Poodleoo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2008
Messages
331
TBH I am far more concerned about treatments - medical and dental - for which there can be no 20 year long, longitudinal studies for - procedures like eye laser surgery or, in dentistry, tooth bleaching. People have been having root canals for a long time, now with no ill effects over long periods, not even according to anecdotal evidence - but what about new, irreversible stuff that gets wheeled out when no longitudinal studies on its efficacy/safety can possibly exist?

I did a postgrad course in the 1990s with an element of statistics and research - looking at mainly medical research, and it was shocking to see that governments will livence drugs going by studies paid for by the drugs company developing the drug (albeit using different names) and with something trialled on as few as - wait for it - 6 subjects. So there are NO guarantees that any medical procedure you ever have done, or any medication you take, is truly 'safe'.
 
A

annie778

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
820
whether you need it and whether it harms you are two different questions.

If you have a good endo you should be able to get rid of residual infection. From what Ive read on here there seem to be a myriad of approaches, but I had the root drilled out and disinfected, one week later I had it filled and sealed. Some people seem to walk around for months waiting for completion, some dont have a crown, some do. I don't know the best approach but Im sure that technique & approach must make a difference to success judging by the number of post rct problems on here. Then on the other hand the amount you wait before you have it done makes a diff as does your hygiene.

If you have any kind of filling then you already have a foreign substance in your body. Does it kill you? - no. People have hip replacements and seem ok. having a root treatment is not like having an organ transplant. You don't have to take Immunosuppressive drugs or anything. Therefore your body accepts the change and it cannot be that much of a big deal if your immune system does not reject it. There are worse things to deal with in our polluted environment than having a root treatment in your body.
 
A

annie778

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
820
TBH I am far more concerned about treatments - medical and dental - for which there can be no 20 year long, longitudinal studies for - procedures like eye laser surgery or, in dentistry, tooth bleaching. People have been having root canals for a long time, now with no ill effects over long periods, not even according to anecdotal evidence - but what about new, irreversible stuff that gets wheeled out when no longitudinal studies on its efficacy/safety can possibly exist?

I did a postgrad course in the 1990s with an element of statistics and research - looking at mainly medical research, and it was shocking to see that governments will livence drugs going by studies paid for by the drugs company developing the drug (albeit using different names) and with something trialled on as few as - wait for it - 6 subjects. So there are NO guarantees that any medical procedure you ever have done, or any medication you take, is truly 'safe'.

yes but there are no guarantees in life whether or not you try experimental treatments. 100 years ago some people were saying tobacco is good for your health. There was a time sunshine was good for your health. Eggs were considered nutritious, coffee was bad for you, coffee is good for you, alcohol is bad, no wait its good.....etc. etc. etc :scared:
 
Kat75

Kat75

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Messages
119
Location
VA, US (formerly UK)
You both make sense in what you're saying.

I know you can't worry about anything and everything and I know that they keep changing their minds constantly about what is and isn't good for you.

Not so long ago it was considered healthy for your heart to have a glass of wine a day(especially red wine), but just the other day I read that just one glass of wine can increase a woman's risk of cancer significantly.

???

The one thing that does worry me though is that every so and so often I can taste a bit of that stuff the Endo put into the canals. And no, I am not imagining it. Is that normal?

I don't chew on that side of my mouth AT ALL and I keep my mouth as clean as humanly possible, without brushing too vigirously(because of the temporary filling).

Katx
 
A

annie778

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
820
its not normal to taste stuff after you have had the canal sealed. Is it complete? If you are in between then yes you might be able to notice traces of disinfectant a bit like domestos. Once it is sealed it should feel and taste like normal after it settles in a few days.
 
A

annie778

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
820
by the way do you know that you are more likely to get cancer from stress than anything else? Ive been researching stress (not to do with teeth or anything but to do with fitness levels) and stress really is a serious problem for health. Stress is something we can all control too.
 
Kat75

Kat75

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Messages
119
Location
VA, US (formerly UK)
Hi Annie,

my treatment is complete(supposedly).

The Endo put the temporary filling on and told me to come back next week when I've finished my course of antibiotics. Do you think he didn't seal it properly??

What you're saying about stress making you ill is the very same thing my husband keeps telling me. He always says I'll worry myself into an early grave.

I worry about anything and everything, always have done, and I find it really hard to stop.

But you are right; stress can make you very ill and my constant worrying probably poses a greater risk to my health than any root canal ever could.

How do you stop yourself though??

I have always been a worry wart.

Katx
 
L

littlestar88

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
444
Location
England
My logic is that even if root-canals pose a tiny risk they are much better to have than not having anything done. If you need one and don't get it done I'm sure your risk through infection, and then reaction to antibiotics and pain killers, taken for the long term would be much worse.

I mean there are risks associated with taking pain killers and I know of people who would rather have the maximum dose of advil 4 times a day than do anything dental.

And I learnt not to google the risks. If your feeling brave google IV sedation or wisdom teeth. There are some complete horror stories. Then contrast that to the sucess stories here.
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,727
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
yes but there are no guarantees in life whether or not you try experimental treatments. 100 years ago some people were saying tobacco is good for your health. There was a time sunshine was good for your health. Eggs were considered nutritious, coffee was bad for you, coffee is good for you, alcohol is bad, no wait its good.....etc. etc. etc :scared:
Couldn't agree with Poodleoo and Annie more...if you get to even your thirties never mind your forties..you notice a pattern...if I didn't eat all the things I have been told are bad for me in my lifetime...I would starve to death...e.g. fruit and vegetables - pesticide residue, fried food even chips - carcinogenuous effect after cooking apparently, beef? mad cow, dairy, excuse me calcium is good for your bones and teeth, got to get it from somewhere, eggs - salmonella risk, salt, etc etc ....there was even an antifreeze in wine scandal in the 1980s in Europe (Austria). Living under electricity pylons is bad etc etc /mobile phones damage your brain etc etc /amalgam fillings etc etc
The truth is most things in moderation are probably ok except smoking and suntans and fluoride in excess!

Personally I have no qualms about root canals (I have one)..if you think you are having ill effects then have it extracted but it will be fine.
Another example...when I organised my NHS elective C-Section for my second child...the Registrar tried to put me off by claiming that the long-term potential negative effects of C-section were unknown....I laughed in his face.....I'll take my chances thanks....when did we start doing C-section to prevent women dying in childbirth I wonder?
 
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,727
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
The one thing that does worry me though is that every so and so often I can taste a bit of that stuff the Endo put into the canals. And no, I am not imagining it. Is that normal?
Katx

That doesn't sound right...my rct doesn't have a crown on it but the 'just on the surface' temporary filling placed at the end of the second appt was replaced on the top with a normal composite which has held up extremely well.
 
Last edited:
brit

brit

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
6,727
Location
In My Dental Happy Place
TBH I am far more concerned about treatments - medical and dental - for which there can be no 20 year long, longitudinal studies for - procedures like eye laser surgery or, in dentistry, tooth bleaching.

Yes Poodleoo I think bleaching will be the next amalgam/fluoride controversy...I personally would not bleach my teeth..it seems a totally mad thing to do to me. It's just a moneyspinner for dentists and in some countries..non-dentists as well.
 
A

annie778

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
820
My logic is that even if root-canals pose a tiny risk they are much better to have than not having anything done. If you need one and don't get it done I'm sure your risk through infection, and then reaction to antibiotics and pain killers, taken for the long term would be much worse.

yes an infection can kill you. It's unusual but it has happened.
 
Top