Back pain. Breast cancer. Panic attacks. Arthritis. Chronic fatigue. Bladder infections. Emphysema. Autoimmune disease. Herniated discs. Heart attacks.
Would you believe they’re all related to bad dentistry? In no other branch of medicine would a dead body part or tissue be left to fester. But dentists perform root canals all the time, and there’s just no way to keep a root canal completely sterile. Each tooth has 6-8 miles of tubules, tiny, tiny little tunnels that are basically only big enough to house bacteria and not much else. But a root canal keeps the tooth but cuts it off from the body’s natural immune system so if bacteria gets in, there’s no good way to get it out. And teeth are living things; they are connected in to the larger system of the body. According to the doctors in this documentary, every tooth is connected to particular organs and glands. And it’s weird to really understand the connection, but they’re telling me that, for example, 97% of breast cancer patients between the ages of 30-70 have had either a root canal or a toxic tooth. The worst part is the infected root canals are often asymptomatic. You’re not necessarily feeling tooth pain, so you never even think to have it checked.
A couple of things you should know about me:
- I’m a member of the No Cavity Club, which is an actual club at my dentist’s office. He posts my polaroid proudly.
- I married the son of a dentist, so my excellent teeth have often been remarked upon.
My dentist growing up, and his hygienist wife, were family friends of ours. I’ve had cleanings but no big drilling procedures so I never developed any of the dentist phobias that so many people seem harbour. That said, this film was occasionally difficult to watch, even for me. There is some actual footage of root canals, and that’s pretty gross.
The thing is, I think I have a healthy amount of skepticism and this all sounds pretty simple and easy for something that continues to cause so many problems. Most dentists are still performing root canals. Most patients are still asking for them: it “saves” the tooth (well, allows the dead tooth to remain). But the evidence presented is convincing: of 30 000 root canals studied, and every single one of them without exception was infected. These are not performed badly, it’s just that root canals are just inherently toxic.
I have no science or medicine credentials. I write movie reviews. As a documentary, this film is fairly well-made, with tonnes of qualified experts weighing in. The science is careful. It adds up. But as viewers, you and I need to exercise our judgement. I can’t tell you how much to panic about your root canals, but the truth is, right now I’m awfully glad I’ve never had one.