I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post on my root canal. Until it became such a popular subject in my direct messages, I thought it deserved a post. I learned a lot about dental care from others stories that ultimately helped with my decision to have my tooth pulled instead of a root canal. I do want to preface with this – YOU have to be your own health advocate. This is not bashing a medical profession at all. Many have and will have root canals with success. It is simply stories, letting you know that there are options besides a root canal, also that our teeth our more than something to chew or food and make our smile look nice. I am sharing my personal story and four other stories of others who have opted out or had root canals removed.
Last Friday night my back molar and jaw really started to hurt. We were 4 hours from home on a mini vacation for Easter. It woke me up in the middle of the night. I can’t remember the last time I had any type of pain reliever, but I really wanted some. I did have some Thieves oil (it has Clove in it) and applied that directly to my tooth and gums. It numbed it, but I was still in SO MUCH pain. I was literally watching the clock when I could take over the counter pain meds again. I should add that I have had two natural child births with zero medication during or after. I have a high tolerance for pain, but I could not even handle my tooth pain. Flash back to Cast Away anyone?? I can see why character Tom Hanks hit his tooth out with a rock!
My Aunt works in the dental field, so she advised me to get on an Antibiotic. I started that on Monday. Thankful she suggested it. By Wednesday night I finally felt some relief. When we got home I was able to get into a dentist on Tuesday. He took an X-Ray and advised me to get a re-root canal. He didn’t once mention I could also have it pulled and get an implant. Options are always good to be made aware of, so the patient can consider. Often we don’t know to even ask if there are options.
I had a root canal done about 15ish years ago. And now it had gotten infected. I had an appointment with an Endodontist to get a re-root canal on Wednesday. But I just didn’t feel right about it, so I called to cancel. The stories of my friends came to my mind. I had heard them, but didn’t think much about it, besides good for them…until now, when it applied to me. I asked them to share their stories here, in hopes of helping someone. Again, don’t let this scare you about root canals. Just bring awareness of options.
About a year ago I had watched a friend on Instagram @VintagePorch (she has a highlight on her Instagram) share how she was having her root canals removed. She wasn’t having any teeth pain. Rather was having some autoimmune issues. After doing research she went into have them removed. (She had also had her breast implants removed several years ago because of having mystery illnesses). She realized that her root canals were the only foreign thing left in her body. Natalie had her two root canals pulled, and within a few days more than HALF her symptoms were gone and other symptoms have gotten better over time. Natalie said this-
I fell while running when I tripped over a sidewalk crack and it just got me thinking that I should get my root canals checked and make sure everything was ok with them since I had them all 17-20 years ago! That was right in the time where I was looking for anything that could still be wrong. It was the only other foreign thing left in my body.
I mentioned that I was wondering about my root canals on Instagram and if that could be the cause of my health issues. Tons of people messaged me saying root canals can cause problems and a couple people mentioned the movie the “root cause”. I watched it, and the guy’s symptoms on that movie was me to a T. I’m glad God tripped me on my run that day .
When I was deciding what to do with my tooth, several of you sent me to @angigreene. I watched her 3 Instagram highlights with 100 videos each. Angi sent me this to share with you-
The short of it is that I have been healing my body and mind for the last decade from a lifetime of toxic behaviors, habits and thoughts. After both my parents died, I began to take my physical health and metal health to the forefront. My husband told me about teeth and the meridians and the root cause of health issues in the body over a decade ago (but you know how sometimes things don’t resonate until it is personal).
Well, I have been detoxing consistently for the last building back strength consistently ever since my 3 baby was born 2 years ago and I was finally ready (mentally and financially) to extract my 3 old root canal teeth. They weren’t giving me any trouble or pain but because I knew through reading and researching that there is always infection left in the cavitations if not done properly I decided to have a biological dentist do a 3D cone beam scan and yep there was a ton of infection on both the teeth that were on my breast meridian and my large intestine meridian (my mother died of Colon cancer and my grandmother died of breast cancer)… So I wanted to be preventative and also knowing I was doing all this hard work downstream I wanted to make sure I was dealing with the “root cause” of infection and inflammation in my body.
So I had 3 teeth extracted and 4 old wisdom teeth extraction cavitations cleaned out with Ozone and PRP and I couldn’t be more grateful!!! I have had dental trauma for 40 years from bad strip mall dentistry and constant issues with my mouth so having this surgical experience be so positive because I found the right fit of a dentist who partnered with me and made me feel confident and in control! Next month I am having the same dentist remove the rest of my metal filings and exchange my crowns (7 of them) with a more biocompatible material. I am beyond grateful to have the years of researching that my husband has done and the books that I have read (along with amazing doctors of IG) help me in the process of healing both pre and post surgery
Another sweet friend of mine @ChristieRose shared her story recently as she was going through the process of repairing her smile. I had remembered it and asked her to share….
I had shattered my front tooth when I was 19 and they did an emergency root canal. 11 years later I became really sick with elevated white blood cells, extreme fatigue, and many other symptoms.
I went to a holistic doctor for months and we tried everything. She finally sent me to a dentist after finding out I had a root canal. The dentist immediately saw the infected root canal tooth and I had also developed a cavitation where my wisdom teeth should have developed, but they didn’t. Lots of people who get their wisdom teeth removed have cavitations and they are necrotic bone and need to be removed asap. I then had a 4 hour surgery to remove the tooth and cavitation. 2 weeks later my horrible symptoms were completely gone. I now have a bridge and love my smile!
I found @_healthyashley from one of you! She shared her root canal journey on her instagram highlights 1. Gut+Root Canal and 2. Extraction. She too had went down the “root canal rabbit hole” and wanted to bring awareness to this topic. Which did make me aware and ultimately helped me! Ashely is an Integrative Health Practitioner and sent me this to share with you…
Ten years ago my dentist told me I needed a root canal. I didn’t think anything of it since they were so common, nor did it ever cross my mind that there were other options. As I got older my health began to decline, namely my gut health. My symptoms consisted of: brain fog, chronic fatigue, and bloating. After years of not getting any help or answers in Western Medicine, I took it upon myself to start doing my own research. That’s when I found Holistic and Functional Medicine. The most important thing I’ve learned about our body is that everything is connected!
Oftentimes we focus on one individual symptom or area but the truth is, no system in the body ever works alone. In order to truly heal, we have to look at the big picture. For instance, our oral health is directly correlated with our gut health, and vice versa. After finding a Functional Practitioner and running some labs, we were able to get to the root cause of my symptoms and autoimmune issues. That’s when I first learned how harmful root canals can be and that if I wanted to continue to heal, I would need to have it removed. I searched for a Biological Dentist who was IAOMT certified and was able to safely extract my root canal. It was the best decision I’ve made thus far!
After reading and remembering all the ladies root canal stories above, I decided to search for a Biological Holistic Dentist near me. I did some googling and found one (Dr. David S. Peterson at The Dental Studio). I made an appointment for Friday am, a week after the pain started. He was so great. Dr. Peterson did a CT scan of my mouth. And could see the infection around my tooth. It was hard for him to tell exactly how bad it looked through a CT scan, but he could see it needed a re-root canal or to be removed because of infection. And told me another tooth needed to be treated as well (yay).
I will say Dr.Peterson isn’t against root canals. He likes to try to “save the tooth”. He does safe root canals with ozone therapy as a natural, non-toxic solution to treat various dental issues, including root canals. But he did mention having the tooth pulled as an option. Such an important part to dental care. Knowing your options and knowing what is best for your body and health goals.
He actually said if it was his tooth he would do the re-treat. But it was ultimately my choice and he would support me. I called Kevin and he encouraged me to go with my gut. It was an emotional decision. I started crying once I signed everything to move forward with the tooth removal surgery. Many of you who have went through this or something similar agreed that it is very emotional.
He numbed the tooth, they offered me a blanket (which something so small helped) and I did request laughing gas (I was very anxious). I felt nothing besides the pulling and when he scrapped out the infection. I just listened to an Audio Book (really loud). After he was done he said “that was really infected and a good choice to have it removed. You know your body best and have to trust your gut.”
My dentist is Board Certified Specialist, so he did a bone graft on the tooth I just had pulled. Not sure I will get an implant on that very back molar (#31) but I wanted to have it prepared incase. If I did get an implant it would be a cement implant (zirconium). I want to also mention that Kevin had two teeth pulled about two years ago because his dentist didn’t think his teeth would take the root canal and suggested pulling the teeth. He has NOT gotten implants, you can kind-of see the hole on the side when he smiles. But he is fine with not having them and nothing has shifted (obviously regular dental appointments they check for that). He is considering an implant with the new dentist I found.
*Side note- you that you have to do research before having your tooth pulled on what you want to do with the space after. I did have someone mention that they have a tooth inside their retainer so each night that fake tooth goes in the space and helps to keep her teeth in place. There are options.
I am very happy with my choice to have it removed rather than getting a root canal. I thought, if I would have had this tooth removed 15 years ago instead of getting a root canal I would not be in this situation and in so much pain the past week. Dental care and implants have come a long way. I just didn’t even know back then that having it pulled was an option. I didn’t have any big health issues I was aware of. But I am sure I have had an infection in my root-canal for awhile, it would hurt on and off and I should have went in sooner. How draining that is on your body to have an infection you are fighting everyday??!!
The pain after having the tooth pulled was not as painful as the tooth infection I experienced a week ago. It was sore and tender. But a different type of uncomfortable, more manageable. Ice was my best friend for 36 hours after having it pulled. The side of my face is really swollen, and I have to remind myself that was a pretty intense dental surgery I had done. Next time I will make sure to take a lot of supplements and get prepared before the removal to help decrease the swelling.
Hopefully my story and the stories of others will help you in some way. Please comment below any story you have to share that can help others.
Root Canal Resources-
- Podcast- The Importance of Dentistry in Healing Your Body
- @VintagePorch has a highlight on her Instagram about removing her Root Canals (I mentioned her story above)
- @_healthyashley has a highlight on her instagram about removing her Root Canals
- @angigreene has several highlights and her story of removing her Root Canals as a preventative measure to a history of health issues and cancer
- @blodgettdentalcare shares a lot of stories about root canals and dental care
- The Root Cause Documentary (this was on Netflix but was removed quickly, you can google to find it. My dentist felt it was basically an advertisement for Zirconium implants, because of who funded it. That being said, it does bring up a lot that makes you stop and think.