Why Are Root Canals Bad?

Why Are Root Canals Bad?

At The Center for Natural Dentistry, we do not recommend root canals or root canal therapy. Why? Because more often than not, root canals result in an infection. While that infection may never cause a noticeable health problem, a substantial number of people will suffer adverse affects. The risks of root canal therapy do not outweigh the “reward” of keeping a dead tooth in your mouth.

So why do so many root canals result in infection? Simply put, the roots aren’t fully sterilized and not 100% filled. This results in pockets of potentially harmful bacteria that are “sealed” into the tooth, away from blood-flow that fights infections. In short, it becomes a haven for bad germs.

Rather than write another article laden with facts on root canals (we’ve already written plenty of them, just check out under The Root Canal Controversy section of our website (we talk about Alternatives to Root Canals, Infections from Root Canals, Sargenti Paste, Ozone Therapy for Root Canals, and much more.), I want to give you some real-life examples of what we’re talking about. Below I’ve posted just a few of the pictures we’ve taken of extracted teeth. Most of these were taken in just the past few days… and we have plenty more to choose from. In some cases, the patient had some sort of pain or discomfort. In others, no symptoms were noticed by the patient. In our practice, about 9 our of 10 extractions performed on root canal treated teeth have obvious infections like the ones you see below.

Enjoy.
Dr. Marvin.






Comments

  1. I have not ever posted to a health-related forum before, but I am having a problem which has me quite disturbed. I had my first root canal last week on one of my upper left molars. I had been experiencing a slight shooting pain above that tooth which I first had dismissed as sinus pain, except that it was going on for months, and that did not seem typical for normal sinus issues. Also, I occasionally had shooting pain that went along the side of my head through to my temple. So when my dentist and the endodontist said that I needed a root canal I was compliant. By the 3rd day post-root canal I felt like I was getting a cold. By the 5th day I had huge painful swollen lymph glands in my neck to the point where I could barely swallow. At day 8, I was able to visit the endodontist to check on this issue. He told me it was not related to the root canal and that I needed to visit an ENT. Which I did and he told me that it was viral and gave me a prescription for steroids. I’m on day 12 post-root canal and am still sick: swollen glands, sinus pain and a cough, AND I noticed I am still having the original pain that I had the root canal for in the first place!!! Wow. The tooth is not painful to chew on, but there is a shooting pain in the area above it and it even seems to be affecting the teeth next to it, as well as my throat. I am trying to decide if I have a dental issue, sinus issue, or what? Who should I go see? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

    • I had my first root canal a year ago, then a crown placed on it back in March. By April, the tooth, while not painful itself, was swollen from above and pushed it downwards. The last days of May, I was faint with a constant headache, half of my face numb, nausea, diarrhea, vertigo.

      I would have suspected it was a stroke if I hadn’t felt weird about that tooth (and if I wasn’t in my 20’s with relatively good health). I went to highly rated dentist, different than the one who performed the root canal, and he sent me to the ER. After blood tests, EKG, and an MRI, all they found was a chronic sinus infection and referred me to a neurology doctor.

      Went back to the dentist on Monday instead and told him to pull the damn tooth out. I don’t care! He took the crown off and a flood of puss gushed out, and the tooth had infection all they way up into my sinus. He had to tear out the infected sinus material and replace with a bone graft. No hint of the infection was visible on the x-ray, and it was undetected at the hospital other than “Chronic sinus infection. It’s quite common, actually! Most everybody has it”.

      I was sick with vertigo for nearly three weeks, and the numbness hasn’t completely gone away, but I am certain I wouldn’t be alive if I hadn’t had the tooth extracted. Infected teeth, especially root canals, can be deadly.

      If you don’t feel this dentist is hearing you out, check yelp for a highly-rated dentist that cares for his/her patient’s well-being, and consult with them. The dentist who did the botched root canal told me, “It looks fine. Let’s just wait on it”

  2. Gerianne Laigo Says: June 10, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Do you accept Tricare Insurance?what other option do we have if we forego root canal?tooth extraction?thanks!

  3. So, I’m confused. We pull all of our teeth that need root canals? How do I chew my food when I’m missing teeth? What do you suggest for tooth replacement?

  4. It would be really helpful if you all could leave information such as; root canaled tooth number, symptoms, if you had it removed and did symptoms improve or go away with removel and how long it took to get better. Thank you so much.

    • Just had an old root canal tooth pulled #10, no symptoms or sensitivity but had seen Dr. Jelstrup who works by feeling energy fields, He suggested I get it pulled. Sure enough infection on root tip as in above picture. Oral surgeon was a little surprised and said “lucky we got that one out”
      implants are expensive but common sense says I’m way better off without an infected tooth slowly taxing my immune system.

  5. I had a root canal many years ago, in a back molar. This past week my tooth started to hurt and got increasingly more painful as the week went on. It became unbearable. I thought it was just a regular tooth. I ended up in so much pain I had to see an emergency dental clinic. They told me the tooth had already been root canaled and capped and that I had to see a root canal specialist. They gave me antibiotics and pain killers and I see the specialist in 3 1/2 weeks. First should i be concerned waiting so long to see the specialist? I have a week of antibiotics and 2 1/2 more weeks to wait. Will the infection come back in this time period? Also what is the solution in this case? i am guessing extraction or re-root canal?

    Thanks,

  6. Hi there, I see this site is several years old. Or at least this post is. Over the last 11 years, I’ve had 4 root canals (1 done 2 times due to missed roots). I’ve had gum tissue grafts, extractions, and I’m exhausted. I’ve been in pains for years and years and years during all of this. No one seems to know what is wrong. Every time I go to a dentist, they xray my mouth and say “you’re fine”… Have you ever heard of a root canal causing these kinds of problems where a dentist can’t fix? Constant aches and pains, pain the the ear and jawbone, and now I have clicking and popping that has gotten so bad that I’m in all new pain. I’m wondering what your thoughts might be. Any input would be so gratefully welcome.

    • Then I realized this form is very much so live, and I was looking at the bottom of the comment chain. Looks like someone posted not even a week ago lol either way, I’d appreciate your input so very very much. Thanks!

      • Guess what, I got chronic fatigue from an infected dead tooth with huge cavity. There is so much what an infected tooth can do to hypersensitive people, I guess.

        If you wanted to check, try tapping the tooth lightly with the other end of a metal tea spoon. The more it hurts, the worse it is infected.

    • In my case the pain started after temporary crown. One week after the crown I end up locking my jow. I was traveling at that time so by the time I went to TMJ specialist i have dislocate my jow disc. Thank God I was treated conservatively using appliances no surgery. Clicking of jaw is not good.
      Its been 9 years now but any time I have any problem with my teeth I end up having TMJ pain.
      I recently start having pain again and the dentist told me that since the cavity is so big he is going to extract my tooth. He said I leave on you but personally he don’t recommend root canal. He said its like a time bomb in a mouth.
      So I am doing what he is recommending.

  7. danielle Says: March 31, 2015 at 5:59 am

    Hi there i had a root canal on one of my teeth a couple of years ago and for the past 4 days i have been experiencing severe pain in my ear, jaw and tooth (seems to be the root canal tooth) I visited my doctor yesterday as the pain had become unbearable and he prescribed me antibiotics and pain killers whilst I wait to get into my dentist. The pain killers are doing nothing for me,not even touching the sides :( And after waking today i have found that my face has also swelled and i am still in agonising pain. Anyone got any advice or possibly know what could be wrong here?

    • You probably have an infection in the bone surrounding the tooth. Go to a biological dentist and treat the infection right away.

      • Barbara Mazzocca Says: April 18, 2015 at 7:01 pm

        Where do you find a biological dentist? I have the same problem. Had a root canal, became infected, had it reclined out, infected again in a month.

  8. If I know what I know now I would have never let denist dupe me into having a
    Root Canel done, he never capped, came up with some febble excuses why!
    As a result ive been very sick for 4 years.
    Now the denist doesnt want to take responsibility for not completeing and
    Capping tooth.
    According to him its all my fault, I didnt start the root canel and not
    Finish it so how is it my fault?
    If only I know what I know now, the answer to the root canel would be
    “NO”

  9. If I know what I know now I would have never let denist dupe me into having a
    Root Canel done, he never capped, came up with some febble excuses why!
    As a result ive been very sick for 4 years.
    Now the denist doesnt want to take responsibility for not completeing and
    Capping tooth.
    According to him its all my fault, I didnt start the root canel and not
    Finish it so how is it my fault?
    If only I know what I know now, the answer to the root canel would be
    “NO”

  10. I’ve had root canal treatment done in ine if my upper front tooth. It seems fine now but I shudder to think of what’s harbor ring beneath. You say the best route is extraction, but what do I do after having the teeth removed? Get an implant? A bridge? Leave it??

    Also a bottom tooth has recently given me a lot of pain. As I’m pregnant, the dentist did not take an X-ray. All she said was that if it was causing me so much pain, I definitely need a root canal treatment. I’ve taken the antibiotic and the pain has since subsided. My question is, is the dentist right? Unbearable pain = root canal is the only way to go? must I extract the tooth now? Or should I go to a different dentist who would at least examine my tooth properly, can it possibly just need a filling replacement?

    • Unbearable pain does not equal root canal. Determine the root cause of the pain first. Once you have taken out the nerve blood vessels etc from a tooth, then you can’t go back.

  11. I am really freaked out about this. I have a tooth that apparently a huge cavity has developed very quickly…a year ago my xrays on that tooth were perfect…now it is a big black shadow… The tooth has zero pain, which dentist was shocked by. She said she will go in to fill it, but will be really surprised if a root canal is not needed – though won’t know until she is in there. I asked her about the safety and cited info I have read from articles like this – she said it was not true, and that if it were her, she would much rather save a natural tooth than have any other procedure done. I’m really scared and don’t know what to do – procedure scheduled for next week :/ I also already have an auto-immune disease – psoriasis. Right now I am just praying like crazy that it is a big filling or crown and not a root canal, but I could tell by the look on her face that the hope is very very slim for that. I know she is not pushing it just to make money, because a couple years ago – a different tooth was bothering me so much I wanted to pull it out myself… I asked for a root canal at that time to make the pain stop, and after exam and x-rays I was assured that was not a good choice because the tooth did not need a root canal… sure enough, the nerve calmed down and I was glad they saved me an unnecessary procedure. My dentist office also has advanced training and does root canals in house vs sending to an endo. Any advice would be very greatly appreciated and time is of the essence. Also wondering, if a root canal is not horrible horrible yet – does that make the odds of it causing issues later less? I also have extreme dental anxiety already -this doesn’t help. I have had crowns before, and fillings, but never a root canal. I am a 34yr old mom. Thanks!

    • Rebecca Sipe Says: February 19, 2015 at 1:25 am

      I’ve been dealing with a ROOT CANAL – ABCESSED TOOTH FOR 3-YEARS. Then, after reading about this, I’m getting it pulled ASAP. I believe that this has given me so much grief since I’ve gotten a Root Canal, and that it’s played havoc with how I’ve been feeling.

      Recently, I’ve been taking Turmeric Curcumin, a natural medicinal also used in mustard, capsules and packing (unpacking capsules and dumping the powder along the gum) which has reduced the swelling almost instantly and brought me much relief. I’ll take a tablespoon of mustard or more if I’m not home. But, it’s not ‘cured’ the infection. Had I taken it sooner?

      Also, I’ve had issues with metal fillings that I finally told my dentist that I do not want anymore metal “installed”. One day, after a three teeth being filled, I could not shake a bad headache which lasted for nearly a week and lingered on and off for months. Well, either the Doc didn’t pass on my request or failed to put it into my chart. The later, I took upon myself, and I wrote across the side of my folder “no more metal fillings”. Well, during my next visit I noticed that I had a new folder. So, I wrote it again. This time the hygienist caught me, and said that she had just given me a new folder. I told her that I paid for my folders, as I pay my bill that also pays her salary, so if my instructions come up missing again, so will I, for the lack of respect. As I proceeded to tell her about my metal filling incident, she changed the subject and left the room.

      Well, that dentist gave me an “L” SHAPED front tooth, and wouldn’t fix it, so I had to find another dentist anyway. So much for practicing making teeth. I have 5 of them now, all across the top front. Yes, EW!! I just can’t seem to find an honorable dentist, that has beautiful teeth in a photo album in their waiting room, to give me something comparable. Now, I have the teeth that wouldn’t make it into such a book.

      Before all of my teeth issues, I was truly a happy camper. Now, I cry every time I spend a little time with my fanned front teeth in a mirror, or even think about it. I’ve succumbed to realize that there are no honorable dentists within my reach. I’ve hunted for the best, had work done, and cried afterwards, several times. I do not feel that I am hard to please. I just want something called nice looking teeth. My tears just won’t let me forget. I’ve lost friendships and even been outted by some family because of my smile. At least my smile is absent for my last viewing, while GOD makes me new again. Amen

  12. Dawn Wright Says: December 16, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I had a root canal last Friday on a tooth that I had no pain on. Sunday I woke up with my nose completely swollen and painful like I had been punched in the face. Talked to the Endodontist and they said they don’t believe it’s related to my root canal. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

  13. hi.i just went for a root canal treatment a few weeks ago for the last tooth on my right.but prior to that i had a metal band put around it because i was told i have a crack on my tooth.recently i realized that whenever i chew on the affected side, my gum would swell up and there’d be pain.today,i woke up and it started bleeding from between the tooth and metal band and side of the gum.i saw that i have some kind of blister on the gum.its slightly swollen but theres no pain at all.i’m planning to see my dentist tomorrow.i think i have an infection but i’m not entirely sure.if so,should i have it pulled out instead of leaving it in?there were some talks previously about removing it instead of doing a root canal and implanting a fake tooth. please help.thank you.

  14. David Wilson Says: November 20, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    This is their way of tricking you into more expensive, less effective treatments, such as partial dentures, or bridges.

  15. Great info.

  16. I have several root canals in my mouth. I got one of them extracted 3 days ago and the pain still exists with headaches and sweats at night when i’m sleeping. Is my bone ruin for life?

  17. Hi, I just have one question is it better to take out the tooth out by yourself? I can not take the pain no more ????????????????????

    • Rebecca Sipe Says: February 19, 2015 at 1:50 am

      The infection definitely needs monitoring. It’s not always easy to remove teeth because of the split roots which reach into opposite directions. The dentist uses pliers, while pulling, wiggles it back and forth and side to side, careful not to break the tooth. If any tooth breaks off, it needs removed, just as the infection if any is present.

  18. Hi, I just have one question is it better to take out the tooth out by yourself? I can not take the pain no more ????????????????????

  19. Nalliah Thayabharan Says: September 13, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    The root canal procedure is performed to eliminate of infection in the tooth along with the sealing of the root system to prevent leakage and supposedly, subsequent re-infection. Most root canal treated teeth remain infected after treatment. The materials used to fill the evacuated root canal spaces do not make a perfect seal and thus can always be expected to leak. This leakage allows bacteria and their toxins access to the bloodstream, and since the blood supply to the tooth has been eliminated through drilling, the immune system can’t get at the infected tooth! This permits a constant leakage of toxic matter into the body so long as the root canal remains.

    Bacteria infiltrating through the dentin tubles under decay can set up housekeeping in the pulp chamber. Due to oxygen deprivation, the existing bacteria can change form and create a plethora of pathogenic bacteria. Over hundred different strains of bacteria have been identified at the apex or within the pulp chamber of dead or dying teeth.

    The toxins produced by the bacteria can either be picked up by the drainage system at the apex of the tooth, or flow down the dentin tubles into the peridontal ligament. At the ligament they can slip into the fluids around the tooth and flow into the bloodstream, where they will be dispersed throughout the body.

    The root canal procedure is fatally flawed, as it always results in an infected and toxic tooth even in the rare event when infection was not present prior to the procedure. Any root canal tooth that is allowed to remain in the mouth will eventually have a negative impact on the patient’s health. The only healthy answer when faced with a chronic or degenerative condition is to remove the dead tooth altogether.

    Nearly every chronic degenerative disease has been linked with root canals, including:
    Heart disease
    Kidney disease
    Arthritis, joint, and rheumatic diseases
    Neurological diseases (including ALS and MS)
    Autoimmune diseases (Lupus and more)

    97% of Terminal Cancer Patients previously had Root Canal Procedure
    93% of women with breast cancer had root canals
    7 % had other oral pathology
    Tumors, in the majority of cases, occurred on the same side of the body as the root canal(s) or other oral pathology

  20. OMG, the Pain is beyond the worse I ever felt…one yr ago I had a root canal on a upper front tooth, and now the infection is so bad, pressure on the side of my nose and face..I am now on 5 days of antibiotics, DDS wants me to come back next week to have it cleaned out…my question is..is it worth it or is it better to just have the tooth pulled and get a partial for that one tooth ?? it seems that I am always having root canal problems with everyone I had..eventually getting pulled down the road anyway…please help me make this choice…Thanks

  21. I have 3 root canals that are all around twenty years old. One (top front) became infected and required another root canal retreatment procedure. Three months later my endodontist checked it and said that the infection has become smaller but not completely gone so he said I should have an epicoectomy now. That tooth is right next to another old root canal which is one of my two front teeth, but is not infected. I also have another infection in an old root canal that he said needs to be retreated with a root canal again on one of my bottom front teeth also. I am in my twenties and already have some problems with my health. I am not sure what to do since I don’t think I can afford the procedure to have them all removed and then implants put in. Would doing the retreatment and epicoectomy be the next best thing? Thank you!

  22. Fantastic post !!

  23. evelynanacion Says: July 7, 2014 at 1:13 am

    I have read that plantain is known to pulls toxins out of the body. It’s poultice prevents infections and beneficial for the one who had root canal surgery in the past.

  24. I had a root canal done in 1995. Four years later it went bad and it absolutely ruined my life. The root of the tooth went up into my sinus cavity and I’ve been suffering from chronic sinusitis for fifteen years because of it. Of course they failed to mention the possibility of receiving an incurable illness from the procedure. I don’t get infections, it’s just constant inflammation that requires steroid medication or I’d be too sick to function. If a dentist suggest you have one done JUST SAY NO, it’s not worth your health.

  25. I consider, that you commit an error i can defend the position, write to me in PM, we will talk. All over joint pain orthomol arthro Plus

  26. I have been ill for the last 30 years. Constant illness, chronic sinusitis and various other illness chronic headaches have been to MAYO CLINIC 5 times, anemic all the time. I am on antibotics constantly off two or three days, the sinus and nausea to the point of disabling Could it be tooth root infection?

  27. can someone please help me
    I had a root canal 5 days ago..dentist said I needed one. I had 0 pain none at all…now since root canal, tooth hurts and jaw swollen left ear and throat hurt on that side. dentist gave me antibiotic day after root canal (amoxiciilan)
    doesn’t seem to be working as the pain in ear and throat started last night.

    • That sounds very familiar. No pain on a tooth. Treatment is done and now there is pain. It’s like the dentistry woke up the sleeping giant.

      Chances are you had an infection without any symptoms. Now you still have an infection with a lot of symptoms.

      Bottom line is that there was and is an infection and you should take care of it appropriately. Taking a pill may help with the pain but not necessarily with the infection long term.

  28. Jesus Sklar Says: July 3, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Sinus headaches are usually caused by an infection and inflammation of the nasal passages. That leads to congestion. And that causes pain and pressure in the forehead and behind the cheekbones.**;^

  29. I just had two very old root canal teeth pulled today. I had one with a visible infection that had been swelling up my jaw and the other one, even though we couldn’t see infection, it had become heat and cold sensitive and was giving me nerve pain that kept going into my ear. I was in so much pain, I couldn’t wait to get these out.

    I started to get sick in college with ear aches, nerve pain. And it led to a lifetime of chronic illness and rounds of antibiotics that never really got rid of the pain. And all the dentists I went to would insist they didn’t see a problem. I really think if I’d had these teeth taken out back then, I wouldn’t have been so sick all these years. I was told in the 80’s that by having root canals, I’d never have pain in those teeth again. Obviously, it’s not true.

  30. 2 of 3 root canals have resulted infected years after they were performed. Now I will loose another tooth and I have to get another implant.

  31. Hello, I just visited my dentist today for a cleaning. I have had a mild toothache and sinus headache at the same time for the last week. The toothache in pain was directly above where I had a root canal done in 1989. I have had these sinus headaches once or twice a week for 30 years and the hygienist linked the two together. My life has been ruined by the severe pain, I have spent a lifetime trying to find the cause and the cure for it. They did a 3D x ray on it today and I am hoping that they will find infection in the root area. I started researching it online when I got home and by the sounds of it, I should get the tooth extracted whether they find the infection or not. I don’t think it is healthy for anyone to have the root canal in their mouth. The problem is the cost of the procedure right now. Is it ok to have the tooth pulled and then wait until i get more cash together to get the bridgework done at a later time? Is it ok to leave the gap? It is the second last molar in the top.

    Thanks

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