Did You Know?

Dr. Diane Meyer

Save a Tooth or Save a Life?

The Root Canal Controversy

The controversy surrounding the safety of the root canal procedure has continued for over a hundred years. It began when Dr. Weston A. Price discovered there is no procedure that can completely sterilize a root canalled tooth. Thus, the root canalled tooth becomes a harbor for anaerobic bacteria and their associated toxins. These toxins and bacteria seep into the surrounding tissues and circulate throughout the body causing various health issues. Did you know this procedure is still practiced and promoted by endodontists today and is one of the most detrimental procedures to a person’s overall health?

It’s important to understand why and how root canals are performed. When the tooth becomes sick due to decay, poor nutrition, traumatic bite, injury, poor dentistry or stress/emotional conflicts and the dentist makes the call that the tooth can no longer be saved and will eventually die, a root canal or extraction is ordered. A root canal typically requires a local anesthetic. After the patient is numb, the insides of the tooth are stripped with a file and once the chamber(s) are stripped of all tissues sodium hypochlorite, also known as common household bleach, is used to “disinfect” the tooth. The inside of the tooth is then dried and filled. The filling material is typically gutta percha, the same material used inside golf balls, and then the tooth is sealed. The whole procedure is accomplished in one or two visits and the tooth is now considered “dead.” Additionally, a crown or reinforced filling will be placed on the tooth to prevent any fracturing.

Take a closer look at what’s really going on and here’s what we find: The main chamber has been cleaned out and packed with an inert material and supposedly disinfected. However, if you were to zoom in to the micrometer scale (the average width of a human hair equals 100 microns), the tooth would no longer look solid. In actuality, the tooth is porous and full of what are called microtubules. These microtubules permeate throughout the entirety of the dentin. The microtubules are supported by their own vascular system, which connects to the main chamber. This whole network is why teeth are able to sense hot and cold sensations.

In truth, it is not possible to completely disinfect the tooth with all of these microtubules. Many biological/holistic dentists claim that a tooth can be completely disinfected using ozone. These dentists use this assertion to justify utilizing the root canal procedure within their practice. My personal experience with ozone shows otherwise. The ozone does not completely disinfect the tooth and you end up with the same situation as with conventional techniques.

The controversy surrounding the efficacy of root canals has been ongoing for years. It all started in the early nineteen hundreds by Dr. Weston A. Price. Motivated by the death of his only child at a very young age from endocarditis after having a root canal, Dr. Price began his research to prevent other parents from having the same experience as he did. He embarked upon a 25-year journey around the world where he studied the teeth, diets and bones of native populations. He was determined to find a group of indigenous people who were free from dental decay. Furthermore, he conducted numerous studies about the dangers of root canals.

Over the course of his studies, Dr. Price learned that many degenerative diseases originate from root canalled teeth. The most common diseases associated with root canals are heart and circulatory diseases. The next most common diseases are of the joints, arthritis and rheumatism, followed by diseases of the brain and nervous system.

Fast-forward 100 years and this procedure is still being performed today despite all the evidence against it. In fact, 25,000,000 root canal procedures are performed every year in the U.S. alone. Additionally, many new and different ailments, primarily autoimmune disorders, have been correlated with root canalled teeth.

Personally, I was first introduced to Dr. Price’s work 16 years ago. I’ve been very fortunate to study with Dr. Boyd Haley and Dr. Hal Huggins. Dr. Huggins has been carrying on Dr. Price’s work by studying the bacteria found within root canalled teeth. Through DNA analysis, he has identified at least 90 different organisms that can have detrimental effects on the human body. “When we examined root canal teeth, using DNA identification, we found microbes 100% of the time in hundreds of samples. Not just one microbe was found, but sometimes as many as 30 or 40 different primary anaerobic ones” (Huggins, 2012).

What many fail to realize is that a root canalled tooth no longer has any fluid circulating through it, but the maze of microtubules still remains. Due to this stagnant environment, the odontoblasts (i.e. cells in the tooth responsible for the creation of dentin) will shrivel and die. The once aerobic bacteria have now morphed into anaerobic bacteria. Worst of all, these anaerobic bacteria are no longer accessible to antibiotics. The lack of circulation throughout the tooth as well as no blood supply to the area is responsible for this unfriendly situation.

The ability for bacteria, in general, to move throughout the body has a long history in both the medical and dental communities. Likewise, a root canal treated tooth produces the same result. For example, a single branch of the central nervous system; the 5th cranial nerve or trigeminal nerve supplies the face. Bacteria from the mouth have been found to travel retrograde up the axon of the trigeminal nerve and elicit toxic infectious encephalopathy (i.e. infection of the brain) (Speransky, 1935).

Bacteria also have a negative effect on the meridian system of the teeth. The idea that teeth have energy meridians associated with them originates from the foundations of acupuncture. In acupuncture, there are various energy meridians that permeate the entire body. It has been documented that if the meridian system is interrupted (usually with a metal needle) there will be a noticeable effect elsewhere in the body. Building upon this logic, each tooth is connected to a certain area of the body and if it’s somehow interrupted (bacteria, dead, etc.) there will also be an effect elsewhere in the body.

Throughout his career, Dr. Price published numerous articles on his research into the toxicity of root canals. Unfortunately, the American Dental Association (ADA) denies his claims and asserts that the root canal is a “safe” dental procedure. However, they have no published data or actual research to support this. In the end, the ADA deliberately buried Dr. Price’s work and there it remained for a number of years, unread and unappreciated. Fortunately, his work did not go unnoticed forever.

Dr. George Meinig, an endodontist, was born in Chicago nearly 100 years ago. Early on in his adult life, Dr. Meinig was a Captain in the U.S. Army during World War II. Afterwards, he decided that dentistry was the life for him and attended dental school shortly after being discharged. Following dental school, Dr. Meinig moved to Hollywood where he happily performed root canal therapy for many A-list actors. Eventually, he even became one of the founding members of the American Association of Endodontists.

Dr. Meinig’s notions of root canal therapy experienced an upheaval in the early 90’s when he was introduced to Dr. Price’s life’s work. He spent 18 months of intensive study reviewing all of Dr. Price’s work regarding root canals and was incredibly moved by what he had read. He decided to expose the truth about root canals to the public. In June of 1993, Dr. Meinig published Root Canal Cover Up. Thanks to this book, all of Dr. Price’s work was recognized.

Deciding to lose a tooth or not is a question many people struggle with. This is an irreversible decision that should be made once the Dentist and Doctor have exhausted all conservative efforts. It’s important to look at all your options before making a final decision. Look at what is causing the tooth to be in this position. Is it diet related? Is it bite related? Has the tooth been compromised by many dental fillings/crowns? Is the cause possibly emotional? Just because the tooth has an infection doesn’t mean that you have to lose it. Identify the cause and remove the cause if possible. If the tooth is condemned, please consider extraction over a root canal procedure. The evidence against the root canal is monumental and only grows with time. In the end, your health is in your hands and the choice is ultimately up to you.

Dr. Meyer, B.S., DDS, is an Illinois holistic dentist who practices mercury free and mercury safe dentistry catering to the chemically sensitive and auto immune challenged individuals. She corroborates with the individual’s practitioner(s) to formulate the best possible treatment plan and outcome using safety protocols that protect the individual during the amalgam removal process. She has extensive knowledge in the mouth-body connection and has been trained by the most reputable doctors in the dental and medical fields. She offers biocompatible dentistry through serum blood testing for material compatibility, and/or biofeedback. Visit the website www.holisticdentistillinois.com to learn more about Dr. Meyer, the services she offers and the safety protocols she utilizes in her office.

What’s the Difference Between Probiotics and Antibiotics?

Many people don’t understand and misuse the terms antibiotic and probiotic. These terms often appear in print, online and in commercial advertising without providing accurate definitions of either. Although the words look very similar, they are very different concepts. Broken down, the words have three distinct parts but there is much more to their definitions than just the meanings of these three components.

Anti – meaning "against." Antibiotics are drugs that are used to treat bacterial infections. Most of these antibiotics are derived from bacteria or molds and either kill the intended bacterial target or stop them from reproducing. This allows the body’s natural immune defenses to take over and remove them from the body. However, it is important to realize that one antibiotic does not treat all types of bacterial infections. For this reason, doctors and veterinarians prescribe a specific antibiotic for the specific type of bacterial infection. This means that penicillin is not a magical cure all. More often your doctor or veterinarian will prescribe a different antibiotic. Most importantly, when a doctor or veterinarian prescribes an antibiotic, make sure to follow their directions, i. e. continue to take the full dosage, even if you see signs of improvement. If the dosage directions are not followed, the antibiotics will not be in the system for enough time to make a full recovery and most often a relapse infection will occur.

Pro – meaning "for." Probiotics by definition are organisms that contribute to the overall health of the digestive track. Sometimes you will hear people refer to probiotics as friendly, beneficial or good bacteria, which is an easy way to remember the difference between these bacteria and bacteria that cause diseases and infections. Naturally, all organisms have probiotics in their digestive systems, most of which line the walls of the digestive system. Newborns get their first probiotics from their mothers’ milk. To improve the amount of beneficial bacteria in one’s digestive system there is a wide array of products available on the market for both human and animal use. A good example of a widely used probiotic is Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is most commonly found in yogurt, but now can be found in many supplements. There are many other strains of bacteria that are probiotics, and specific probiotics have different uses and benefits. That’s why you may see multiple types of bacteria in a probiotic product. Using probiotic supplements is a great idea because they can be used to administer a large number of the beneficial bacteria, which then can effectively colonize the digestive system. The more probiotic organisms that colonize the lining of the digestive system means that there are fewer spaces for bad bacteria to infect.

Biotic – meaning, "having to do with life or living organisms."

Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that act as food for probiotics. When probiotics and prebiotics are combined, they form a synbiotic. Fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir, are considered synbiotic because they contain live bacteria and the fuel they need to thrive.

Probiotics are found in foods such as yogurt, while prebiotics are found in whole grains, bananas, onions, garlic, honey and artichokes. In addition, probiotics and prebiotics are added to some foods and are available as dietary supplements.

Although more research is needed, there's encouraging evidence that probiotics may help:

Treat diarrhea, especially following treatment with certain antibiotics

Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections

Treat irritable bowel syndrome

Reduce bladder cancer recurrence

Speed treatment of certain intestinal infections

Prevent and treat eczema in children

Prevent or reduce the severity of colds and flu

Side effects are rare, and most healthy adults can safely add foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics to their diet.

Can you use both probiotics with antibiotics? When looking at these definitions, it may appear that antibiotics work against probiotics, but most times, this is not exactly the case. If you remember, most antibiotics treat specific bacteria or bacterial infection, so taking an antibiotic will not kill all the bacteria in a digestive system, but it will kill a portion of the beneficial gut flora. However, one common problem associated with taking an antibiotic is antibiotic-associated diarrhea. This may be true for both humans and animals taking antibiotics. This is why using a probiotic in association with taking an antibiotic is especially beneficial, because taking probiotics can help prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea and other related antibiotic health issues. To help keep everyone healthy, human and animals alike, find a probiotic and keep it handy for use in association with antibiotics, or better yet, start a daily probiotic regimen for even better results.

Sources:

http://www.probioticsmart.com/blog/probioticvs- antibiotic

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/probiotics/ AN00389