x-ray of root canal toothRoot Cause is a powerful film that’s raising awareness about the problems root canal-treated teeth can be.

But we’re also seeing a lot of viewers jumping to the conclusion that they must have their root canal teeth removed immediately, either to regain their health or prevent chronic health problems down the line. Will dentists jump the gun, as well?

Root canal teeth can indeed become what’s known as a focus: a source of infection that affects other areas of the body. This focal infection theory – firmly established by Dr. Weston Price back in the early decades of the 20th century – is being revisited today by many a periodontist, as we gain understanding of how gum disease may set the stage for many other chronic inflammatory illnesses.

What caused it to fall out of favor in the first place?

Aware of the basic findings of Dr. Price, dentists in the 1920s and 1930s began naively extracting root canal teeth left and right. Their intentions were good. They believed that their patients’ health would improve once the bacterial source was gone.

But most patients’ health stayed the same.

It wasn’t that the theory was wrong. It’s that the dentists’ understanding was incomplete. Even Price noted that the fate of a root canal tooth depends on the environment it’s in.

If the body’s internal environment, the extracellular matrix or biological terrain, is dysfunctional, there’s little benefit from just removing the root canal teeth and calling it a day. Indeed, the final outcome can even be worse.

As Dr. V wrote back in Biosis #45 (our free quarterly newsletter), removal of such foci should not

be viewed as a cure-all for every cancer state or other illness. If there are established lesions in the central nervous system, removal of foci will not cure them. In cases of trigeminal neuralgia, if there are already lesions in the Gasserian ganglion or brain stem, removing foci will not cure them. If there are perivenous plaques in disseminated sclerosis, removing foci will not cure them.

The purpose of surgical extractions of root canal filled teeth and their associated lesions – e.g., cysts and granulomas – and the surrounding infected bone, as well as the treatment of cavitations is straightforward: allow the individual’s immune and basic regulation systems to stop the progression of disease by preventing further dissemination of neurotoxins via the venous system to the spinal cord and brain.

[But] additional therapies are required to stimulate the body’s innate self-regulating abilities that make comprehensive healing possible.

If you’re worried about the impact root canals may be having on your overall health, we encourage you to keep learning all you can before deciding what action to take. We want your health choices to be informed ones. And we want you to get the health outcomes you desire.

Here are a few resources to help you get started:

Image by radiant guy, via Flickr

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