The Truth About Root Canals


Root Canals

By Theresa Harding (updated 2/27/21)

Are Root Canals Necessary?

If you want to learn the truth about root canals, then the question to ask is “Are Root Canals necessary?”  At some point in your life, like many of us, you may have had a toothache.  When this happened, you probably didn’t hesitate to call your dentist to make an appointment and get it checked out.

If your discomfort was caused by a small cavity or other “minor” issue, you may have had a filling and been sent on your way.  If, however, the toothache was the result of an untreated infection, you were probably advised to have a root canal.

Root canals, on the surface, don’t seem to really pose any harm to our health, right?  After all, they’ve done all the time; over 41,000 root canals are performed every day.  The problem, however, is that most people don’t know the potential dangers that this restorative procedure poses to their overall health. 

According to Dr. Mercola, “over 95% of dentists and physicians don’t understand” root canal toxicity.

Are Root Canals Safe?

According to, a root-canal tooth is basically a dead tooth that can harbor “highly toxic anaerobic bacteria.  This bacteria can, under certain conditions, make their way into your bloodstream.  When this happens, there is a risk of contracting a number of serious medical conditions.  It can be decades later before many of them appear.”

We’ve been conditioned to think that during a root canal, our provider (usually an endodontist) is “sterilizing” and sealing any remaining infection inside the tooth. What really happens maybe the opposite.  Our usually friendly oral bacteria are now mutating and gearing up for migration to other parts of the body. 

Can Root Canals Cause Health Problems?

They don’t remain confined to the “sealed” tooth as we may have believed.  It’s quite likely that the infection from the tooth “spreads down into the jawbone.  This creates cavitations—areas of necrotic tissue in the jawbone itself,” according to Dr. Mercola.

Early researchers, and several modern dentists, have linked root canals to auto-immune diseases, neurological illnesses, heart disease, breast cancer, and other diseases.  Many conscious dentists believe that having a root canal is especially concerning to a patient who may already have a chronic health condition.  This raises their disease risk even further.

How to Avoid Root Canals

Only you know which treatment is best for you based on your situation.  If you are experiencing a toothache (pain, swelling, etc), it is advisable to have an in-depth discussion with your dentist. Insist that your dentist properly diagnose the cause of the tooth pain and/or infection, rather than immediately sending you off for a root canal. 

Seek alternative dental care if you feel like you need a safer way to address the tooth problem.  You can learn more about alternative dental care in this post.  The fewer chances of an invasive dental treatment, the safer.

If the tooth decay is so far gone and a root canal seems imminent, you may want to also consider extraction as an option.  Although we’re programmed to be very attached to our teeth, extraction and replacement can actually be safer for our long-term health.

The Risks and Causes of Root Canals

When making health decisions, you should do your own research.  Know that the precursor to any health condition is inflammation.  It’s always important to avoid eating foods that cause inflammation, as this can cause tooth decay and problems in overall health.

I share information about the causes of inflammation and the foods to avoid to keep inflammation down in the body in this blog post.  Of course, inflammation is inevitable, but excess inflammation in the body causes health problems that can affect your teeth.

In addition, speak with your dentist about the risks and potential side effects of the procedures they are recommending. Some procedures which may appear to be harmless at first glance, are oftentimes presented as the solution to all your problems.  In fact, they may just be the beginning of more problems.


It’s important to understand that the key to better oral hygiene starts with your diet.  What you eat and detox regularly can have a tremendous effect on the health of your teeth and your overall wellbeing.  I like to say that accumulation without detoxification is the cause of many dis-eases in the body.

Practice self-care on a regular basis by visiting your holistic dentist annually at the least.  Practice proper oral care by brushing twice a day, doing oil pulling to remove bacteria build-up in your mouth, flossing daily, preferably at the end of your day, and rinsing your mouth with water when consuming sweets to remove the sugar from your mouth. 

Doing these things will ensure better control over the health of your teeth and gums.  And don’t forget to drink plenty of water daily.

Have you ever gotten a Root Canal procedure?  What was your experience?

About the Author Terry

Healthy Living isn't difficult. It requires an ongoing lifestyle change with patience and an open mind. I teach this mindset all the time. After 14 years of transitioning from an unhealthy lifestyle to a pain-free one, I think it's important to share my knowledge and research with those who are ready to make that shift in their health and wellness.

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