Dr. Mercola Discusses Root Canals (Transcribed)

Daniel Vinograd

See Dr. Vinograd’s remarks next week here: Root Canals (commentary) & Podcast on the subject Episode 3: Root Canal.

Hello, this is Dr. Mercola, and it’s always been surprising to me how even physicians fail to appreciate how important the mouth is and the health of our teeth is to our total health.  If you’ve been following this site for a while, you know we’ve been placing great importance on the dangers of mercury in dentistry and how it should be avoided.  In fact, there is now way, I think, it should ever be used.  You just need to avoid it like the plague because it is a potent neurotoxin.

It’s a potent biohazard and should not be available, but is this the only problem with having proper dental health?  Unfortunately, the answer is no because if you suffer with a chronic disease, it’s really important to understand there’s a factor in your illness that could be a result of root canal surgery.  That is because every year in the United States along, 25 million root canals are done, and nearly every dentist and physician is oblivious to the potential health risk that this operation produces.

I’m going to discuss the challenges with root canals.  This is somewhat controversial, but I believe it’s important.  I’ve known about this information for 20 years because it’s really vital to understand that over 95% of all dentists and physicians do not understand this issue because they have avoided this research that been available literally for over 100 years.

Fortunately, because I was educated about the dangers of root canal, I have been able to avoid of them my entire life.  Interestingly, after I learned about, I wound up having an infected tooth that was seriously infected that had to be surgically removed.  Now, traditional dentistry would have recommended root canal, now the interesting this is that I was about 40 years old during that time.  During my entire adult life, up to that point, I suffered from severe acne, chronic severe cystic acne that I tried everything for, and it wasn’t getting any better.  The moment, I had that tooth removed, the acne disappeared.  It was just like a miracle, which is pretty interesting.  For me, it made a very remarkable change in my own health.

Now, you might be wondering, “Well, Dr. Mercola, how did you get an infected tooth?”  Well, the challenge is, and really, if you’re a parent, you have to understand this, the reason that you get infected teeth or the beginning of that is because of your diet.  Dr. Price found that in his extensive research is all of that.  If you’re eating a healthy diet that’s essentially avoids sugars and grains, full of good vegetables, and healthy foods, and you’re avoiding the toxins, you just are aren’t going to get cavities.  If you look at cultures that are eating ideal types of diets, you’ll see that cavities are almost non-existent in that culture.  That’s what happens here.  So, parents, you have to be good with your kid and teach them these principles, so they can avoid these problems and complications in life.

Getting back to my own experience, I have two additional teeth removed since.  What I did initially with the first tooth is I had a partial put in, and then it was switched to a bridge.  So, I had two bridges, and I’m in a transition now to have an implant.  It’s actually a very special metal called zirconium, which I believe is far better than titanium.

Fortunately, I’ve had early mentors in this area, Dr. Tom Stone and Dr. Douglas Cook who was a biological dentist in northern Wisconsin.  They taught me this information about 20 years ago so I’ve been able to apply it to my own health personally and avoid root canals and recommend all my friends and family to avoid them, and I recommend you to consider avoiding it, too.

I’m going to provide you with the information, the material, the knowledge that you need to make that informed choice.  The pioneer in this work, in the toxicity of root canals, was actually done by Mayo Clinic and Dr. Weston Price.  They did this jointly back in 1910, over a century ago.  Now, Dr. Weston Price was known as the world’s greatest dentist.  He was a diligent researcher, and his work was revered by both the dental and medical professions.  His work took him around the world where he studied the teeth, diet, and bones of the populations without the benefit of living with modern food and avoiding the processed food.  He did 25 careful and impeccable researches, and he actually led a team of 90 researchers where their findings mark up there with the greatest medical discoveries of the 20th century.  Unfortunately, his information and the information he found out has been largely suppressed.

This all started because around 1900, Dr. Price had been treating root canal infections He became suspicious that these root canal teeth always remained infectious even though he treated them like all the other dental physicians did.  That thought kept preying on his mind, haunting him each time a patient consulted him for some serious debilitating disease for which the medical profession had no answer.

Then, one day, he recommended that a woman, who had been wheelchair bound for six years, have her root canal tooth extracted even though it looked find.  He then removed the tooth from the woman and implanted in under the skin of the rabbit.  Interestingly, the rabbit developed this similar, crippling arthritis, and in 10 days, the rabbit died.  Even more profoundly important is that the patient has spontaneous remission, and her crippling arthritis resolved, which was really quite profound.

So, Dr. Price came to learn that many chronic degenerative diseases can originate from root filled teeth, and the most frequent that he found were heart and circulatory diseases.  He also found 16 different bacterial agents that can contribute to that.

In Dr. Price’s time, it was not that easy to culture and identify these bacteria (they were anaerobes) because the technology did not exist in the 1920s.  Most of the bacteria that were recorded by organized dentistry during that time were of unknown origin, but today, there are far more sophisticated techniques like DNA analysis.  So, these bacteria can actually be very specifically identified.

The second most common diseases were those of the joints, arthritis and rheumatism.  In third place, almost tied for second, were diseases of the brain and nervous systems such as MS.  After that, any disease that you can name might have actually had a cause from root canal-filled teeth.  There may be the actual position of the tooth and the acupuncture meridian it occupies.  So, root canal tooth in one area may cause one symptom where, in another area, another area of the jaw would cause another symptom.

So, Dr. Price learned that primitive tribes with ideal nutrition, avoiding all processed foods, had perfect teeth without cavities or gum disease.  As soon as these natives, though, started adapting to the Western advanced types of diets of the advanced nations, their teeth became deformed, full of cavities.  They had gingivitis.  They started getting diabetes and all the other diseases of Western nations.  So, it was obvious to him that human degenerative diseases where fundamentally a nutritional problem.

So, he discovered, that it is mechanically impossible through this process to sterilize a root canal tooth which most dentists believe, that you can physically sterilize.  Dr. Price learned that it is impossible, and I’ll tell you why.  No matter what material or technique Dr. Price used, the root filling shrinks minutely and even microscopically, but it does shrink.  This shrinking prevents the inner canals from being sterilized.  So, this is the key:  Because of the bulk of the solid-appearing tooth, called the dentin, which consists of miles of tiny tubules.  This is what we believe now, but what’s taught in most dental schools and what most dentists believe is the tooth has only one to four major canals.  What they don’t appreciate and what’s not taught in dental school and is never really mention is these accessory canals.  Dr. Price identified as many as 75 accessory canals in a single tooth.

Now, this is the where the issue is because these microscopic organisms, typically aerobic bacteria reside in these tubules, and they fail to become sterilized because there’s essentially three miles of these tubules.  If you lay them end to end, there’s three miles of them.

When the tooth is sterilize is the root canal is formed, you create a different environment, and this environment is actually isolated from the normal environment of the body.  As a result of the oxygen presence, these bacteria which require oxygen actually mutate and morph to these dangerous anaerobes.  It’s bad enough that you have these mutated bacteria, but what happens is that these bacteria produce toxins.  These toxins can be released every time you chew.

So, what many people fail to realize is that a root canal tooth has no fluid circulating through it, but the maze of these tubules, these three mile tubules, remains.  So, these anaerobic bacteria that live there are remarkably safe from antibiotics.  You cannot kill them even with IV antibiotics because there’s no way for these antibiotics to reach them.  The bacteria migrate out into the surrounding tissues where they can hitchhike to other tissues in the body, and the new location can be any organ, gland, or tissue.  A colony will be set up which serves as a focus for chronic infections.

One of the things that makes it difficult to understand is that there is a large amount of relatively harmless bacteria common to the mouth.  They change.  They actually morph, and they adapt to these new conditions.  So, they shrink in size in these crammed quarters.  They don’t have the normal oxygen supply, and they morph.  They learn to exist and thrive with little food and little oxygen.  So, that need oxygen, these aerobic bacteria mutate, and they are able to get along without it, essentially changing into these anaerobic bacteria.  In the process of adapting, these formerly friendly normal organisms, become pathogenic, capable of producing disease bacteria, and they become more virulent and produce potentially very serious, potent toxins.

Now, Dr. Price’s important research completely alters the way we must now think how diseases develop and disappear.  Now, these root canal teeth don’t affect everyone.  This is a concept that I want you to understand because if you have a strong immune system, you may remain in perfect health for many years, even decades after root canal surgery.  Dr. Price learned that if you have a strong immune system, it’s capable of engulfing the bacteria in infection so that they are stabilized and are prevented from entering other sites.  However, once your immune system becomes compromised because of a severe accident, stress, or infection, your immune system can become so compromised that it can develop a degenerative disease because it is unable to control these pathogenic bacteria.

Interestingly, there’s no other area in medicine where a dead body part is kept in your body.  If you have your appendix, the surgery preserve it and keep it in there.  It surgically excises it and removes it.  God forbid, you were to have frostbite in one of your digits, in your finger or toes, we certainly want them to keep that toe or finger, but that’s not what happens.  If there is severe infection, it is amputated.  So, once a body dies, no matter how important it is, it is typically removed from the body except for your tooth because the standard of care in dentistry is to keep and preserve tooth structure.  There’s an important component to that because we definitely want to keep our teeth.

If you remove a tooth, you have to do something to address that because there will be a mechanical dysfunction that results from an absence of a tooth, but you don’t want to keep a dead tooth in your body, largely because the anaerobic bacteria in root canal teeth are flushed into your blood stream every time you bite down.  The start looking for a new home.  As I said, if you have a healthy immune system, this is not an issue, but the moment your immune system becomes compromised, look out.  You’re going to have a potential problem.

So, you create this permanent abscess in your body with this root canal operation, and it sets you up for some potentially serious degenerative diseases.  Whether these diseases occur shortly after root canal surgery or if they occur much later in life depends, again, on the health of your system.

Dr. Price wrote to incisive books in 1922, and they were nearly 1200 pages long about this research.  It covered not only this research but human health and dental conditions that were important enough, so much so that he should have won a Nobel Prize, but unfortunately, he didn’t.  Unfortunately, also, the American Dental Association denies his findings and claims that they have proven root canals to be safe.  However, they have no published data or actual research on this.  So, his work seems to have been deliberately buried, unread, and unappreciated for about 70 years.

At that time, there was an endodontist, a root canal surgeon, by the name of Dr. George Meinig.  Dr. Meinig was actually born in my hometown, Chicago, and he was born nearly 100 years ago.  He moved on and eventually became a captain of the United States Army during World War II then moved to California, Hollywood and became a dentist to the stars.  He practiced root canal therapy there, in Hollywood, and he actually taught this subject to others in the dental profession.  He eventually became one of the founding members of the American Association of Endodontists, and that’s the professional association for root canal therapists.

However, in the early 1990s, Dr. Meinig, in development with the Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, spent 18 months of intensive study of the meticulous 25 year root canal research that he found in Dr. Price’s book on dental infection.  In June 1993, Dr. Meinig published the book Root Canal Cover-up.  This book is still available on Amazon today.  If you want to pursue this topic in more detail, I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of that book because it has all this information and goes into much more detail that I can on this video.

So, if you’re convinced, let me just say that I strongly recommend that you not have root canal therapy.  If you have one, let me caution you that there are specific areas that you need to be concerned about before you remove a root canal because you can make it worse.  As I said, I don’t believe anyone should ever get a root canal, but if you are considering one, you have to do your homework on this issue.  You can listen to this video again.  You can get Dr. Meinig’s Root Canal Cover-up, or you can go back to Dr. Price’s original research.

So, if you have one, you’ll still consider removing it because, remember, the immune system starts to crash, the likelihood that you’re going to potentially encounter some degenerative diseases increases.  You options, if you’re going to remove it, are quite simple.  You can either have a partial denture made, and that’s a little tooth that you place in and out.  That’s a partial because it’s not a full denture, and it would contain however many teeth were the root canal teeth.  There’s an upper and lower one you would use.  That’s the least expensive, and it’s also the least convenient.

The other option you can have is called a bridge.  Bridges are considerably more expensive. They typically destroy the adjacent teeth and create this bridge which looks like a normal tooth but there’s a space underneath between it and your gum.  Then, you have to regularly floss with it.

The last approach that you can use is an implant.  There’s some potential problems with implants.  The typical one uses titanium.  One of the concerns is that you have multiple types of metals in your mouth.  So, if you have titanium, and you have metal or a crown or a filling, that metal can form a battery between the two dissimilar metals and that cause a current that exceeds the current in your brain.  You want to be careful about putting that.  That’s why my favorite is the zirconium, but you really need to see a dentist to understand who’s knowledgeable, who’s trained in this.  Certainly, all dentists are trained in the therapy, but they’re not trained about the specifics of root canal danger.  So, you need to see someone who’s concerned about biological dentistry.  We’ll have some links for you on this page to find those dentists.

Remember, just pulling the toot is not enough.  Another interesting thing that Dr. Price found is that the bacteria in the tissues adjacent to the root canal can also be a problem because they just don’t reside on the tooth.  They permeate around the immediate tissue.  So, dentists are generally taught to remove a tooth and leave the periodontal ligament in the socket in a procedure similar to delivering a baby and leaving the placenta in the uterus.

Most experts now recommend slow drilling with a burr to remove one millimeter of the entire boney socket so you can get rid of those bacteria because there’s a risk that that bacteria can actually develop a cavitational necrosis.  The purpose of this is to move the periodontal ligament, which seems to always be infected with these toxins and the bacteria.  It is typically a Streptococcus that is living in these dental tubules.  So, again, the first millimeter is typically removed with a slow drill.

So, this is in direct contrast to what most dentist learn in dental school, which is to save the teeth, to perform a root canal to save the structure.  They really do think that they are doing the best they can for you, but they are unaware of the research that Dr. Price did.  If they are aware of it, they’re convinced that the American Dental Association knows better and has disproven this when they haven’t.

It’s really an important topic.  When I was practicing medicine, if a person came in, we would routinely look for anyone who’s had a root canal.  It didn’t mean that they had to remove it at that time, but it was always a factor that we would consider that could be a hidden variable that we weren’t aware of that would prevent the person from achieving their highest level of health.

So, it’s really an important information to have.  Most people are not aware of this.  Hopefully, this information will start to spread.  People will be knowledgeable that this could be one of the hidden factors that may be contributing to any degenerative disease that they’re having because it’s the paying attention to details that we need to have to find out the mysteries so that we can truly take control of our health.

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Dr. Daniel Vinograd, DDS |
10450 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA 92120 |
Phone: 619-630-7174    •    Dr. Vinograd, DDS, is a Dentist in San Diego, CA, offering services as a periodontist, and providing teeth whitening, dental crowns, invisalign, implants, lumineers, dentures, root canals, holistic, family and cosmetic dentistry.

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