An Old Root Canal Gone Bad

Featured Image from Flickr.

A few months back one of my old root canals got infected. It was achy all the way up my cheekbone and resigned myself to go to an endodontist to get it addressed.

I have to be honest and say I was really disappointed this happened. First, it has become apparent to me that if I had intervened many years ago when I had a problem with that tooth with functional dentistry techniques, I would never have needed to have a root canal in the first place. Back then, I didn’t know about functional dentistry and certainly it was not as advanced or well known as it is now. Also, back then I trusted conventional medicine to know what to do and so when my tooth hurt, my dentist recommended a root canal, and I went and did it.

Little did I know that conventional doctors, having no better solutions, love to cut things out of our bodies when they are problematic. So it did work to remove the pain, but only up to now when the crown on it finally let some errant bacteria into the area and then the infection grew.

But not risking this get any worse, I went to the endodontist who proceeded to remove the crown, squirt some antibiotic stuff in there, seal it up and then reopen it up to clean it again and put the crown back on. At this point, he then tells me that I better take antibiotics and also recommended pulling the remaining bone of the tooth.

I really didn’t like that. I was working hard to restore the messed up microbiota of my body and here was someone actively saying I should mess it up again with antibiotics. And then again, here was a conventionally trained doc saying I should remove something yet again from my body.

I asked for more information. He said that he had no data on what would happen if we left the tooth as is and whether it would recover on its own. Of course there was lots of data on what could happen if the infection came back. Still, I held firm and said no to removing the remaining portion of the tooth. Annoyingly, he gave me a reply that trying to give me a guilt trip about not taking his recommendation. Doctors love to do this. Why can’t they ever pat me on the back for making a decision I chose to make?

What the endodontist *didn’t* tell me was that his own American Association of Endodontists says in this post:

Clinical trials and a systematic review have shown conclusively that antibiotics neither control nor prevent localized endodontic pathosis, including symptomatic irreversible pulpitis. In one case of a patient experiencing severe pain related to symptomatic irreversible pulpitis, a partial pulpectomy effectively resolved the symptoms. In addition, while antibiotics have been mentioned as an adjunct or primary therapy with a number of procedures related to endodontics, including surgery, the data show that antibiotics have no impact on postsurgical outcomes. Another frequently mentioned recommendation for antibiotics is for so-called “systemic signs” such as elevated temperature, malaise and lymphadenopathy. Campanelli et al. found these to not occur with apical abscess.

So even though I took his prescription for antibiotics with me (which appeased him somewhat), I elected not to fill the prescription nor take antibiotics. I also determined that I had the odds stacked in my favor. My diet was really good, no processed foods nor sugar. I also was taking probiotics for the mouth from my functional dentist. I had a new protocol involving a Water Pik which was critical in keeping food particles out of my mouth between meals. And I had my Frequency Specific Microcurrent units to help keep infection in check if it popped up.

Thankfully, all this proved to be worthwhile and no problems emerged. I did have one instance where I thought there was a bit of an ache brewing in the same area. I slapped on my FSM unit and 2 days later the tiny bit of ache disappeared.

About 2 months after, I went back for a follow up and he reported that the bone was growing back nicely and there was no sign of infection. Most excellent!!

Now know that I am now a doctor’s worst patient. It is more likely I will say no to any medications and antibiotics whenever possible. I also simply don’t trust conventional doctor’s processes any more on anything but the most traumatic of injuries. And I am supremely confident of my life regimen now, having cleaned up my diet and leading an exceptionally clean and healthy life. I would gladly bet my regimen and my body’s own ability to recover than on conventional medicine’s treatment of internal ailments. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone else unless they adopted what would be termed “strict” measures in the 21st century. But it is gratifying to see that it sure does work when you do everything right.