Why and How to Say No to an Unnecessary Root Canal Procedure

Why you shouldn't have a root canal-01

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.”

Periodontal Disease: A Risk Factor for a Root Canal

Periodontal disease has been identified as a potential risk factor for many systemic diseases. However, it is not well appreciated that microbes surrounding a periodontally involved tooth can invade it from the apex and damage or kill it.

When this happens, a conventional dentist will recommend a root canal procedure. Tragically, most conventional dental and medical establishments inexplicably disregard the connection between oral microbes associated with root canals and systemic disease.

So, every year, millions of Americans undergo at least one root canal procedure with no awareness of the risk involved to their overall health. The root canal procedure is typically done instead of extracting the diseased, dying, or sometimes already dead tooth.

Root canals have been, and continue to be, a conventional, or “standard of care,” procedure done by a dentist or an endodontist. (An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in doing a root canal procedure, which is also called endodontic therapy.)

The root canal procedure is endorsed by the dental establishment as the preferred alternative to extraction. It is a big part of the business of dentistry. Give people what they want — and who wants to lose a tooth? So conventional dentistry like Tee Family Dental offers a procedure that allows patients to keep a problem tooth while conveying confidence there are no risks involved.

But, unfortunately, there are risks.And what all too many dental practitioners don’t realize is that a root canal treated tooth can be a direct cause of numerous degenerative diseases.

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 and 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).

A Root Canal Will Leave Dead Tissue in Your Body

On the surface, having a root canal procedure instead of extracting a tooth is very appealing. A tooth is obviously an important part of your body that you want to keep if at all possible. But it’s more important for you to see your health in a holistic way, so you can avoid losing much more than your tooth It’s silly for us to think of ourselves as a collection of body parts that function independently of each other.

Seeing your health in a holistic way leads to understanding that each and every, part of your body can have an influence on the whole. In cases of intense pain, it may be thought of as a “mercy killing,” but having a root canal can definitely be an effective way to eliminate the pain — kill the tooth and you kill the pain.

The pain is gone because the nerves are gone. However, a much more accurate, no-nonsense way of describing the end result of a root canal is this: It doesn’t “save” the life of the tooth, but it does keep enough of the tooth’s structure intact so that the crowned chewing surface will be functional, and you keep the aesthetic value of the tooth.

So there you are — you are now left with a functional but dead tooth in your mouth that looks good when you smile. But think about this for a moment. Doesn’t it seem unhealthy, and even strange, to leave a dead tooth in your mouth? If any another organ in your body, like your appendix, were dead, it would have to be removed or else very aggressive strains of microbes that nature uses to decompose dead tissue would set in and threaten your life! And something similar happens with a dead tooth, whether it is killed from infection, trauma or the root-canal procedure.

After a root canal is done, the dead tooth, not sometimes, but always becomes an environment conducive to harboring chronic infection and toxicity. Because there is no reliable way, practically speaking, to completely sterilize a root canal treated tooth, (while it is still in a patient’s mouth), it will be a source of infection for the whole body until it is extracted and the tooth socket is cleaned.

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.

Be Your Own Advocate and Become Educated

Changing things for the better begins with questioning the status quo. It ultimately requires that you make better-informed choices so you do not wind up supporting the dysfunctional aspects of the conventional dental and medical establishments. Every time you accept and pay for a treatment, you are in essence saying, “I support this.” So please, before paying for a root canal procedure, or for that matter, any other procedure, make sure the problem is not somewhere else and that the pain in your tooth will not subside if you properly address that issue.

The surest path to good health is to become educated (at least in a general way) about the different approaches to dentistry and medicine that are available to you before you actually have to make a choice for you or your children. With this in mind, I encourage you to seek out and create your own network of practitioners — family physician, dentist, and nutritionist, for starters — who have a holistic understanding of health and appreciate the value of working together as a team to meet the health-care needs of you and your children. While finding and creating your own network of holistic practitioners will take some time, it will be time well spent.

My years of practice have taught me that the best way to prevent disease is to build your health. We all have a self-healing potential, which I refer to as “the Health.” I’m devoted to helping people learn how dental practices can either improve or damage their health. I want to help you make well-informed choices that support your health in body, mind and spirit. You certainly do have choices to make, especially avoiding unnecessary root canal procedures.

The holistic physician Dr. Thomas Rau, in his comprehensive book, Biological Medicine, says: “The disruptive fields which occur most frequently in the body, causing remote illnesses in other organs, are the teeth. So long as these disruptive factors are not eliminated, the physician will remain unsuccessful in many cases of chronic disease.” Ultimately, the tragic consequence of not acknowledging the connection between our teeth, dental treatments, and our overall health is noattention is given to the real cause of — and curative treatment for — many chronic health problems.

Powerful Strategies to Consider Before a Root Canal

When you have pain in your leg, arm, stomach, eyes, or any body part, hopefully you are not advised to kill the nerves of the area to shut off the pain. While this is obvious for these body parts, this advice is not obvious, and certainly not routine in your mouth. Most conventional practitioners have accepted the idea of killing a tooth even though it causes a poisonous environment that harbors pathologic bugs and disease. If a tooth is sensitive or hurting, the following are some of my recommendations before agreeing and paying for a root canal procedure:

Ozone therapy Proper oral hygiene Stress management
Nutrition Oil pulling Local support for the tooth such as adjusting an ill-fitting restoration, a splint or mouth guard, decay and more
Digest enzymes Proper sleep Traditional osteopathic treatment and support

All of the above can buy time for your immune system to recover allowing your tooth to heal. In trying to support and encourage my patients’ own healing capabilities, and based on my studies, I will tell you that, without a doubt, what you are eating and drinking every day has a huge influence on the health of your teeth and gums. Even more, it is essential for us to appreciate that good nutrition contributes to the structure and function of every cell in our bodies.

I want to do all I can to make sure my patients and readers of this article understand the importance of developing the right nutrition habits in order to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. Nutrition can also support you while your tooth is healing from a metabolic, physical, or emotional injury.  If you haven’t had a chance to review it, please do as it is completely free and over 100 pages. It is divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced sections so you can easily customize it for yourself

There is absolutely no question that making a commitment to self-care practices to help to prevent tooth decay in the first place is an example of wisdom in action. Except for a tooth injured by some type of physical trauma, a tooth that has had a root canal procedure, also had some degree of decay.

Prevention Is the 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.”

Resources to Help You Find a Biological Dentist

If you are seriously considering any of the dental procedures discussed above it is best to have them performed by a biologic dentist. The following organizations can help you to find a mercury-free, biological dentist that would best serve your needs:

About the Author:

Dr. Lina Garcia is a Doctor of Medical Dentistry as well as a Doctor of Dental Surgery. She has been dedicated to the research and teaching of alternative solutions for conventional dentistry. 

 

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41 Comments

  1. If you would like to try easing the pain and healing the tooth nerve I recommend trying Homeopathics, especially Silicea 30C or Hepar Sulph 30C but there are other remedies as well. Your personal symptoms need to match the specific remedy so ideally see a Homeopath. But if you are in great pain it won’t hurt to try Silica or Hepar Sulph – just take one or 2 doses 10 minutes apart and see if it’s helping. You should feel an effect within 1-15 minutes and if there is no improvement you should stop taking it as you probably need another remedy. Silicea has helped me immensely and removed all pain although I still have a little sensitivity, but we’re all different and need to find a remedy which works for us.

  2. I have tooth in front, no tooth decay and no pain. However, during my last visit with my dentist noticed a pimple on my gum. I had x-ray and found pus and recommended to undergo root canal. I was hesitant since he mentioned there is no tooth decay. I been asked if I had accident that caused trauma, but nothing- no accident happened.
    I am also worried about the discoloration after the root canal.

    Is there any other way to avoid root canal? Please help to answer I am so desperate.

    1. I’m not a dentist and can’t give medical advice. I strongly suggest a 2nd opinion from a biological or holistic dentist.

  3. I have a back tooth in my mouth with a crown. No pain, just had a pimple looking growth; which comes and goes 7 months now.
    I was told by 2 dentist that I need a root canal? I have 3 filings in my mouth and age 59. I do not want the root canal.

    Please advise.

  4. I would like to learn more about a holistic approach to heal my teeth which are in need of a medical opinion. They don’t hurt but I can feel and see that they need preparing.

  5. I like your article the dentist would not help me with anything other than rct my tooth could have been saved it was surprisingly healthy i had it extracted because of bad advise

  6. Thanks Lina, I am facing a root canal and investigate alternatives. Thank you for your clear story and thank you to make me aware of my own possibilities to improve my situation! Namaste from the Netherlands, Nico

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  8. Do you have any holistic suggestions for helping the nerve of one of my teeth to ‘accept’ a filling above it that, when put in, is just BARELY touching the nerve, thereby causing decently acute sensitivity when chewing anything hard?

  9. I have 2 back bottom teeth together that have fillings in both and the filling HND some of the tooth has broken off and now l have a gap between the 2 teeth with no filing and part of a tooth missing. I am in no pain. Is it necessary for a deep root canal on both teeth or could they be “ mended” another way?

  10. So what you’re saying is just have a tooth pulled and then get something else put in place I’m not sure this is also new to me. So instead of having a route now I should have a tooth pulled

  11. Good day, I had a bike accident 2 years ago and fell on my left side breaking my canine and half of my incisor, I then got a root canal treatment and i have had some shocks on the tooth doing an xray months later it seems that my incisors is having space in it which may end up weakening the muscles that are holding it. My dentist suggested that it may be due to the usage of toothpick but ever since my accident I haven’t used one and I don’t know the cause.

  12. Hi,
    My daughter is 16 and was told by the dentist and endodontist that she needs a root canal. The pain is not constant and we have been able to manage it with oil pulling and changing her diet. (I shop and cook Keto, but with 6 kids ranging from 14-22, they get access to their own junk food when they want.)
    I have had bad experiences with root canals myself, and I would like this to heal on its own.
    It started with a large cavity that was filled by a really bad dentist. The filling fell out and the tooth had to be refilled…and that’s where the pain started. I would like to just monitor it with oil pulling and swishing with hydrogen peroxide. What’s the danger of not getting a root canal if she remains pain-free? There is and has never been any visual or external swelling.

    Thanks much!

  13. Hiya, last year I had a root canal on my tooth unbeknown to me of the damage it would cause, my tooth chipped bad has since chipped a visible amount more and although the tooth could be saved I much rather have it extracted however I do not want to go back to the dentist, I now have a slight white gum around the cracked tooth and it is starting to turn a bluish colour by the gum and causing severe jaw pain, what should I do?

    1. bluish colour by the gum means lack of oxygen, something is wrong, gum tissue is dying see a dentist ASAP.

  14. “Perhaps the tooth can heal without the unnecessary root canal procedure.” I just want to clarify….Are you saying here that by using the oil pulling technique and a nutritious diet you can potentially heal the tooth without any treatment? Thank you so much for all the wonderful information.

    Ashley

  15. My tooth had been hurting for over 5 years. Dentist suggested sensitive toothpaste. Finally pain increased to point it hurt when breathing in air. Dentist suggested crown. I asked if she could replace old filling instead, which she did. I was in intense pain for 2 weeks following, then pain went away. Later my gum swelled. Dentist said my gums were healthy. Finally a blister formed at top of gum. I was informed a root canal would be difficult do to my root winding around tooth. He said it would take additional surgery to save tooth and may even still have to be extracted. He said I have time to think about it. I am not in pain. Do I need to have it extracted? Will my health be affected if I don’t? II had the filling last May.

    1. I am also dealing with a bad toothache due to a chipped tooth in the center at the bottom left of my teeth where i also had fillings at…the chipped tooth started during the COVID19 lockdown i was eating some trail mix nuts and musta bit on one that was too hard and it cracked and broke a piece of my tooth off. I was in pain for a little bit and then it went away. It just started to feel worser yesterday evening i tried brushing my teeth very soft and gently and then rinse it with peroxide hydrogen and then rinse again with HELLO brand mouthwash which has coconut oil and tea tree oil in it. And then i tried to chew a little bit of garlic and that made the nerve hurt and then i tried to rinse and gargle with pink Himalayan salt and hot warm water that made the nerve pain in my teeth hurt WORSER and more severe pain…head started hurting the top left teeth started aching and hurting ear ache. And so i ended up taking a natural vitamin calcium mineral and magnesium liquid vitamin to help calm my nerves down and help me sleep…along with applying a ice pack on the side of my face and jaw line where my tooth ache and pain was. And eventually i got some much needed rest. Woke today and the pain is started to come back. So i am going to make a dentist appointment to find out what they say. But i will not be accepting to have no root canal done…because i know its not good. Thanks for the important info you have giving in this blog article…very helpful to know.

  16. Hi Doctor

    I have decent dental routines. No tooth decay or filings
    Over the last few months I have developed a chronic toothache due to a cracked tooth ( most likely cracked due to stress )

    I have consulted with two doctors, of which one has recommended a root canal. The tooth is still healthy no decay. The other dentist has recommended filling and ultimately a crown.

    I am nervous on both procedures as I generally have healthy teeth.

    Are there any remedies you can suggest to help me with the inflammation? I have been chewing on cloves and taking Advil. This is becoming less effective as the days go by.

  17. Hi

    I have a tooth that had a deep filling and when i had the filling replaced (tooth ache) The dentist had to remove wo much tissue he drilled until he reached my nerve. He then suggested a root canal and my tooth was now prepped for this almost 2 weeks ago. I then went to another dentist and he took 3D images of my mouth as he also does implants (my back molar was also removed in this time qs the prev dentist thought the issue was there and so did inas it had a filling close to the nerve but in the end it was this tooth, basically loosing 2 teeth) this dentist then said after i mentioned why i do not want a root canal that if all nerves are removed and nothing is left behind no bacteria will thrive in there. Is this true? He can see each nerve perfectly on his 3D scan.

    Im currently on a keto diet and will increase my rosita cod liver oil daily intake as i have read this helps to form dentine with the high levels of vit A and D. Can i just cont with this temporary filling? Im also oil pulling everyday with coconut oil and a few drops of essential clove oil.

    I want to give this tooth even if drilled into its nerve a fighting chance. Is this still possible? Its my only molar left on the left side as my wisdom tooth has been removed as well as a molar on each side for braces i got.

  18. I read the article on root canal by Dr. Lina Garcia . I recently had a filling come off from the inside of one of my middle front teeth. There was no pain Oh, I thought I simply needed a new filling however the dentist told me that the Decay had gone so far down behind the feeling that I need a root canal. He didn’t have time so put in a temporary filling which feels and looks great. I have no pain and I’m wondering if I really need a root canal? Any comments you have would be appreciated. Thanks, Vince

    1. I am not a dentist but my logical thoughts are that if it’s not painful it’s ok to keep as is. In the mean time encourage healing with amply bone broth and a high fat Keto Diet.

  19. Great read, thank you. In cases where root canal has already been performed, what would be your next best advice?

  20. I have a large filling that over time has put a hairline fracture in my tooth. I don’t want a root canal. But the is sensitive, and something needs to be done. Is capping the tooth an option?

  21. What if someone has damage done due to bulimia, and that is the reason for a tooth being in pain? What kinda dental treatment would you recommend them?

  22. Honestly, if I had the money I would have all my teeth removed and have prosthetic teeth put in one by one. No more fear of decay when there’s nothing (not counting gums, of course) to become decayed. Brushing teeth would be more for breath and tongue control than for both of those thing plus tooth cleansing. And then there is the reduction of body parts that can hurt. That’s me, anyway.

  23. Well Said!! Making the decision to get root canal treatment is a conscious choice to keep your smile beautiful and healthy for a long time.

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