The Truth About Root Canal Treatments and the Side Effects

By Theresa Harding
What We Know About Root Canals

What do we know about a Root Canal treatment?  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’re 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.

What Are the Risks of a Root Canal?

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 may be the opposite.  Our usually friendly oral bacteria are now mutating and gearing up for migration to other parts of the body.  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.

What Can You Do?

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.  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.

When making health decisions, you should do some of your own research.  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.

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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