Part One - Root Canals
From the JON PENIEL Newsletter: 22 Aug 2003
Remember, none of what you are about to read is medical advice. Itís not written by a qualified health care practitioner. The FDA has not approved this information, and it is not intended to help you cure or prevent any disease. Always check with your medical doctor before making any changes involving your body. [Our comment - But taking the Ďadviceí is not compulsoryÖ.!!]
Years ago, I heard of a book that was published by Hampton House Publishers which purportedly detailed all the dangers involved with having root canals done on your teeth. A very, very few dentists recommended against them, and others said you should save as many of your real teeth as possible by doing root canals. I only looked into it a little bit, but never really did learn all there was to know about the topic. I sure wish I had.
Decades ago, all dentists routinely used mercury amalgam fillings in their patientsí teeth. At the time, there were only a few Ďfringeí, radical dentists who believed the mercury was dangerous, wouldn't use it, and some that recommended having them removed. The latter often had their dental licenses revoked. Now, you'd be hard pressed to find one that uses it still. One I spoke with, won't even allow a sealed container of it in his office, he feel's it's that dangerous.
Now, a similar thing seems to be occurring with root canals, with new information about the after effects of having a root canal rather than getting an extraction and partial.
The movement has begun, dentists are slowly starting to realize the seriousness of the problem. I firmly believe this will be the wave of the future.
The first dentist I spoke to about this, is a brave man, who actually had his license pulled about 20 years ago because he openly opposed the use of mercury fillings and recommended their removal. He harped on their dangers, which is a subject for another newsletter- perhaps the next. As with all trend-setters and progressive people, he paid the price for his forward thinking in a world that suffers from ignorance and selfishness. He is still not allowed to practice in the U.S., yet today, itís quite common to find dentists who specify they specialize in the removal of amalgams and replacement with more innocuous materials.
I don't know if you've ever seen the movie Star Trek 4, but it was one in which the crew had to go back in time (to our present day time) to save the last Humpback whales, and bring them back with them. It was a very amusing movie too, but one part, is one of the officers falls and gets very bad brain damage. The crew attempts to rescue him from the hospital, so they can bring him back and save him. While going through the hospital, the crew's doctor is in shock, and says something like "My God, it's like we're still living in the middle ages". It's all a matter of perspective how advanced and how many modern marvels we have, isn't it?
And the dental profession seems to have moved far more slowly in advancements than the medical profession. Besides the above instances, it seems like they should commonly be using a version of a small version of a CAT scan or MRI scan to see the teeth and infections far clearer, and in 360 degree views. There shouldn't be any pain or stress. Because of traveling so much, I have gone to over a hundred dentists, and could be my own dental referral service. In all that time, I have seen cracks in my teeth, asked about them, and had my questions blown off. Only recently did I find the very first dentist that said "sure, it happens all the time, and if it goes deep enough and we can't save it with a crown, I'll have to recommend you to a root canal specialist". And he couldn't tell if it was even cracked on the surface, without drilling the filling out first, then the x-rays didn't reveal anymore. But a CAT or MRI would.
Back to my recent root canal, since the teeth were in pain in the manner that accompanies an infected tooth, which I was very familiar with, and being certain they were infected, I got a root canal. But not after arguing with the dentist that he didn't want to do root canals on healthy teeth because he saw no signs of infection on the x-rays, but he finally agreed to do them and prep them for a crown, if I signed waivers. While doing them, guess what - they were infected. But later, after having them crowned they started acting strange and rising up out of my gums little by little. I went in for about 13 different "bite adjustments", they'd get ground down to the right height, and slowly start to rise again. Then an infection "pimple" started forming on the gum where the roots split.
Then we called the dentist we mentioned earlier, who can't practice in this country anymore over the old amalgam/mercury argument. He said that the root canal abscess can mutate into another type of infection - more deadly and debilitating, and give symptoms in many ways, from memory loss, to back pains, to death, to... you name it.
We've since done a great deal of studying (we'll provide links at the end of this story). There are a few facets of the story here, so I'll start with giving you a picture of what goes on in there, inside your tooth. Most people think of the root of your tooth as one single nerve running down the center of the tooth, like a polished carrot. Your dentist will show you this on the x-ray. Itís not as simple as that.
Have you ever pulled a little weed up from the soil? Many have multitudes of tiny little hair-like extensions coming out from the central, large root. This is true of your toothís root, and itís all nestled within the softer interior of the tooth, called Ďdentiní. So now imagine that the root has been infected, the nerve has died or is dying, and bacteria and accompanying puss are filling the root canal, have infected the tiny roots and dentin, and are even oozing up into your bones through the tip of the toothís root. Anyway, your dentist will drill down into that root, and clean out just the main, large canal. Thatís the first problem. Those microscopic little hair roots are infected too, and don't just die off with some chemical or other methods. You can't see them with the naked eye, but to a bacterium, itís the grand canyon in there, a popular tourist destination for Staphylococcus and other unwelcome visitors like them. So, what happens to all of those bacteria that don't get removed/killed? Some of them die in the now dead tooth, but some manage to mutate into a slightly different, and in some ways, much more dangerous organism- an anaerobe. Perhaps the most famous anaerobe is called Botulism. You've probably heard news stories at times when it kills people who eat canned food thatís been contaminated with it. Anaerobes live in an oxygen free environment, and their waste products are neurotoxins. The quick summary on neurotoxins is that they are indeed deadly in the right concentrations, and they have an affinity for damaging the kidneys, liver, heart and brain. But heck, those are pretty unnecessary parts of the body, right? So anyway, your poor little dead tooth ends up being a breeding factory for these anaerobes, and they, like we humans on this planet, are throwing off copious amounts of toxic waste (poison), sure and steady, over the long and short haul. Thereís just no good way to purify and seal the dentin properly.
There are a small, but growing number of dentists who are aware of this problem, and who care. Some of these progressive (or nutty, depending on which side of the fence you're on) dentists swear that you can take these root canalled teeth, soak and grind them and pull out enough neurotoxin that if you put it into a personís bloodstream all at once, it would kill them. Some say they have had patients so sick with them, that they died in the chair
. However, short of such catastrophic actions, when you just leave the tooth in your body, what it does is less obvious. It slowly trickles the poison into your bloodstream, doing its damage much more silently and less dramatically. This is the perhaps the worst kind of damage really, because itís easy to overlook, and hard to pin down. If it were more obvious and quick, like a huge aching, bulging abscess, you could spot it and take quick action. Instead, itís dealing you blow after blow over years, and depending on your stamina, constitution, diet, purpose for living, and the amount of infection, etc, you may carry on without noticing the drain on your system. It can be that subtle. Or, as in my case, it can become an actual short term, life- threatening situation.
I know someone who hasn't been able to get out of bed for well over a year, except to go to the bathroom with assistance because of loss of equilibrium, strength, etc. He also have Alzheimer's disease-like short term memory loss (that disease has been ruled out). Sex drive and capability, gone. Here's a weird one. He's been an excellent touch typist for decades, and can still perfectly do it perfectly with his left hand, but has to look at the letters frequently with his right hand. He isn't even strong enough to get into a car and go to a dentist anymore.
He also got liver damage. Some from drinking, which wasn't serious. Then from a dentist prescribing an anti-biotic called Chlindomycin or something that sounds like that - then I heard from a pharmacist who read the warnings, that one out of ten people with healthy livers get liver damage from it. Secondly, he got more damage, apparently from the neurotoxins. His physician couldn't figure out the various liver enzyme signatures - they didn't match anything the doctor had seen before. But the first dentist we spoke with about this new anaerobe, said "don't tell me anything - I'll tell you what the various liver enzymes are, and their levels (I think there's about 7 different ones) - and he did. The dentist knew, without being told, that my friendís liver profile was off and what strange ratios the enzymes were in. He said he sees this type of liver damage every day. This same dentist attests that many people are actually Chinos of root canals. He says it may appear that they areChinosg of liver failure, heart problems, kidney trouble or any of a host of auto-immune diseases, but that the root cause (pun intended) is their toxic root canals.
Another point that the maverick dentist made to me was this. He asked me, "If I were an orthopedic surgeon, and you had a massive bone infection in your leg, and I had to operate on you, should I leave large pieces of dead bone in there to rot? If I did, would they take my license?" I answered no and yes. He replied, "Yet dentists do it daily. They are leaving a large chunk of dead and infected body matter imbedded in your bone. It makes no sense." What he said did make sense indeed- just from a simple Ďhorse senseí perspective.
Another tentacle in the controversy is the Ďgutta perchaí they put inside the hollowed out root canal. After they've drilled out the pulp from inside your tooth and sterilized it as best they can, they melt this rubber- type substance (which some say is toxic) and press it as deep into the tooth canal as they can. The problem with that is shrinkage. Virtually (if not all) substances on the planet Earth, which has been super heated, is going to contract and shrink when it cools, right? One of the important aspects of a good root canal is that it should have no openings or hollow spots for infection to reside. The progressive dentists state that thereís no way the gutta percha canít be shrinking and creating microscopic (or larger), havens for bacteria.
The dental industry is slowly catching up with what a few intelligent people knew all along. Sucking someoneís blood out with leeches to cure ailments was also all the rage and completely the norm for medical professionals just a few generations ago, yet we did manage to grow out of that idiocy (In fact, thatís what Thomas Jefferson died of, but thatís another story.) The same will be true of root canals one day, at least I hope so. Slowly but surely, true science and the facts of the matter may overwhelm stagnation, ignorance and irresponsible profit motive, just as it has with the amalgam use. If any of us live long enough to see those days (remember to keep up with the news updates on the web site - and just look around without fear of death.)
So after studying a lot about root canals, hereís the skinny: the dentists we consider the forward thinkers allege that itís much safer in the long run to just pull the infected tooth out, clean out the surrounding infected bone, let it heal and create a partial instead. Some people also use implants now. These same dentists believe that implants can cause the same problems. They recommend replacement of the teeth with partials. Crowns and such are also another issue that belong in this newsletter. Did you know that if you get a Ďgoldí crown, itís not really gold? They're mixed with varying degrees of other materials, including a common, cheaper one, called Palladium. Itís banned in parts of Europe. Palladiumís side effects as looked up on-line, read a bit worse than mercury, in fact. Next, people think that Ďporcelainí or Ďceramicí crowns are the safest way to go, (and they may be) but it turns out they have aluminum content in them. And of course, thereís much controversy that aluminum contributes to or causes Alzheimerís disease. Unfortunately, much of the plastic used in partials also have very high degrees of aluminum oxide, and some of the metals are considered toxic by many experts). It seems that if you get to this point in a dental problem, you just have to choose between the least of evils, and thereís no single easy answer. Again, depending on how old you are and how many teeth have given you trouble, full partials can at least be taken out for less time of exposure, and donít insert into your bones either. And recommendations we've received from holistic dentists, are to find a dentist that will use titanium for the metals in the partials, clear acrylic for the non-cosmetic parts (much lower aluminum), and only the pink acrylic for the cosmetics (higher aluminum).
TESTING FOR TOXINS
We did find an at home test, which we're not too sure of the accuracy of, which allegedly measures the toxins and also certain proteins that usually accompany this problem. It was interesting, but we're not sure about it, because it didn't catch a badly infected tooth that this friend of mine had. It did, however, show both of my root canalled teeth to be toxic and high in damage- related proteins. Itís called the TOPAS test, and can be found on line.
I canít say if this is all true or not, but I can definitely say that it warrants further investigation if TO PAS thinking of getting a root canal, or have any already (regardless of whether or not the root canal you have is Ďbothering youí or not). Our personal experiences are too compelling to ignore or brush this new information off as unscientific and unproven. Here are some resources that we've found for you to peruse. We haven't read all of this ourselves, so we canít verify or contest their validity, but you can check it out and see what you think. Also, there are a lot more of them out there that we haven't checked out yet. Stay tuned for the next in our dental series about the energy effects on acupuncture meridians from using metals in the mouth which can create a sort of battery, and be giving you a permanent long term "bad" acupuncture treatment.
Hug Net: Your Health, Our Concern
The Doctors' Medical Library
Root Canals - Infected vs Toxic great site - has actual microscopic shots from studies researchers did.
The Root Canal Coverup by George Meinig - this site has several interesting books on it.
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