Can root canals be toxic? By Dr. Glenn MacFarlane

Can root canals be toxic? By Dr. Glenn MacFarlane

Root canals are a common dental procedure, with more than 15 million performed each year in the United State. On average an endodontist—a root canal specialist—performs approximately twenty-five root canals a week. But can this common procedure be toxic?

Dentists have performed root canals for many years, with endodontics becoming an established field in 1944. The goal of the procedure is to save a tooth that has become infected or badly decayed. Root canal therapy is an alternative to tooth extraction and replacement when tooth decay has reached the pulp. But many patients are unaware that leaving an infected, decaying tooth in your mouth can wreak havoc on your long-term health.

Research has proven a direct link between mouth health and the overall health of your body. Studies have shown that there is a link between gum disease and serious chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and cancer, and emerging evidence has shown that root canals pose the same health risks.

The negative health impacts of root canals can be traced to the same underlying cause: harmful bacteria from your mouth remaining in your body. The bacteria from your gums or what is left of the infected tooth can easily spread through your bloodstream to the rest of your body and cause systemic problems.

While some of the bacteria associated with the original source of infection or decay in your tooth is removed during a root canal, the procedure does not fully eliminate the bacteria. The bacteria are then free to spread through your body and cause chronic and possibly deadly conditions such as heart attacks or strokes.

In addition to the issues the bacteria from the infected tooth can cause, root canal procedures can have other complications that are difficult and costly to treat. Possible complications include:

  • Infection after root canal
  • Accumulation of unwanted and harmful materials
  • Overactive immune system response
  • Toxic materials used in filling

Root canals should be avoided whenever possible in holistic, whole health-focused dentistry. They represent a stress on the immune system that can manifest in other ways throughout the body. Dr. Glenn MacFarlane uses a holistic approach to treat infected or decayed teeth, eliminating pain and discomfort for the patient while minimizing the risk for long-term dental or general health problems.

Alternatives to root canals can be an essential part of avoiding severe health consequences. Dr. MacFarlane will present all options holistically and inform patients of any potential risks from your treatment.

At The Center for Holistic Dental Medicine, we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive services in a holistic environment that goes above and beyond a typical dental practice. We utilize the latest in dental technology, materials, and procedures, which includes the safest equipment for dental mercury removal. We strive every day to ensure our patients get the best treatment that dentistry has to offer. We invite you to contact our office at (732) 517-7785 today to learn more or visit our website


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