Originally published on August 29, 2013
When you’re sick for a long time and your doctors can’t say why or offer much of any treatment beyond “managing” your symptoms for the rest of your life, you may start looking beyond the medical establishment for answers.
This is how many people “discover” biological dentistry even exists, learning that there may be a connection between their chronic health problems and the state of their teeth.
Quite often, oral factors such as mercury amalgam “silver” fillings, root canals and cavitations turn out to be either a fundamental cause or ultimate trigger for a wide array of systemic conditions, including neurological problems, autoimmune disorders, cancers and “enigmatic” illnesses such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivity.
But “quite often” isn’t always. Every person is biochemically and bioenergetically unique. Each faces a particular set of health challenges, environmentally and (epi)genetically. So we insist on especially thorough testing and evaluation for each individual who comes to our office seeking help.
More Than the Mouth: The Mouth/Body Connection
Recently, we received an email from a woman who, after watching a video online, was now certain that the pain she’d been in since drinking a sugary beverage were related to her root canal teeth. She was sure that they needed to be pulled.
Of course her pain and concern are real. But root canal teeth are dead teeth. The pulps are gone; there are no nerves to register pain. Yet because of the way we’re wired, it’s notoriously hard to accurately identify which tooth hurts in your own mouth. It’s quite possible that the source of her pain is another tooth.
The problem with root canals, on the other hand, is that they can never be permanently or completely disinfected. Sealed off, each treated tooth becomes, in the words of Dr. Joseph Issels, “a toxin producing ‘factory.’” Because they’re still connected to the circulation, they wind up polluting the rest of the body. Areas far from the mouth can eventually become infected, generating illness. .
“Only total, thorough dental treatment,” wrote Dr. Issels, “will really succeed in giving the body’s defense a chance.”
This means not jumping the gun and rushing into treatment. It means approaching the dental aspect of health problems in a rational, deliberate and thoughtful way.
Avoid the Rush
Simply, you can’t solve a problem without first knowing what the problem is. Otherwise, you’re left to educated guesses and risky assumptions.
If a person is diagnosed with a health problem after several root canal procedures have been done, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the root canals caused it. You have to investigate. What’s going on dentally? Just as important, what can the patient’s physician tell us about their current health status and other factors that may be affecting it? For we work closely with the patient’s other providers, as well, sharing information and coordinating care.
Only after we have used the relevant diagnostic tools and done the necessary consults do we proceed with appropriate treatment. This includes a thorough review of a patient’s health history and dental history, Meridian Stress Assessment, pulp testing and diagnostic blocks.
We fully honor the patient’s decision to proceed with procedures that are often irreversible – such as having a root canal treated tooth removed.
Understandably, there are some people who don’t want to wait. They feel certain – because of what they’ve read or seen in videos or chatted about in online forums– that their root canals or mercury fillings or suspected cavitations are the cause of all their problems. They are sure (or at least hopeful) that simply having the offending focus removed will restore their health.
If you think of healing as a journey, you realize there are many paths you can take – and just as many ways to travel them. One is to just go haphazardly, without planning or preparation. Maybe you’ll get to your preferred destination, maybe not.
Or you could make a plan in advance: Identify where you want to get to and chart the smartest, sanest course for getting there. That route may be longer than you’d like. There may be unexpected roadblocks and detours on the way. But your odds of reaching your destination are vastly improved.
This is the strategy we recommend: Do the necessary work to identify the source of the health problem, make a sensible plan for addressing it and only then take action. This means first preparing the body to heal before dental treatment and following effective detox protocols afterward.
And this takes time.
Optimal care cannot be rushed.
Image by Derek Bruff, via Flickr