Root Canals & Cavitations
Dr. Weston Price is best known for his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration which explains how poor nutrition is at the root of degenerative disease. But before he went off on his travels around the world to write it, he spent 25 years, and was assisted by 60 scientists, researching root canals. This was carried out under the auspices of the American Dental Association. He experimented on over 5000 animals of various kinds. He published 25 articles in medical and dental journals and wrote 2 large volumes of over 1000 pages detailing his research in Dental Infections Oral and Systemic, and Dental Infections and the Degenerative Diseases. It was published in 1923.
If tooth decay is caught early, it can be saved with a filling. But if neglected it can spread into the root canals.
Root canal treatment is a method of saving a tooth whose pulp has become infected. An opening is made through the crown, the pulp is removed and the root canals are cleaned, enlarged, shaped and disinfected. The chambers and canals are filled and sealed, then a gold or porcelain crown is placed over the tooth.
Dr. Price suspected that bacteria accompanied many diseases. And that these arose from the teeth (focal infections). His research involved removing root-filled teeth from people with known diseases who weren’t responding to treatment, and implanting them under the skin of animals. Sure enough the animal developed the same disease. He studied a very wide spectrum of diseases and found this to be the case in virtually every instance. If the patient had heart disease, the animal got heart disease. If the patient had kidney disease, the animal got kidney disease. If they had an eye disorder, the animal got an eye disorder.
He would then take the tooth out of the animal - he usually worked with rabbits - disinfect it and put it in another rabbit. It too got the same disorder. He would then remove this tooth, disinfect it and put it in another rabbit. He would repeat this up to 30 times. In each case the rabbit got the same disease. He found at least 20 organisms are responsible for teeth infections. The infectious agents he found were mainly streptococcus types but also staphylococcus, spirochetes and fungi. If a patient had more than one root canal filled tooth, he might have a different organism infecting each of them. This might result in the patient having several health problems arising from the teeth.
Dr. Price also experimented by putting healthy teeth under the animals skin and even coins, but in no case did it develop any illness. There was no doubt that the problems arose from the infected tooth.
Dentin is full of holes
95% of the structure of the teeth is dentin. Price discovered that this isn’t solid but consists of tubules containing nutritional fluid delivered by an artery that comes into the tooth’s root canal. This fluid keeps the teeth alive and healthy. These tubules are extremely tiny. The tubules of a single front tooth laid end to end would cover 3 miles.
Bacteria from a decaying tooth will find their way into the tubules where they can multiply. Dr. Price presented microscope evidence of this and photographs. Price found that this new and challenging environment would cause the bacteria to mutate and become even more virile and toxic. Disinfectants and antibiotics are unable to reach the bacteria in the tubules. And fillings don’t block off the bacteria’s food supply. Bacteria in the tubules are able to escape into the lateral accessory root canals. From there they reach the periodontal membranes, then into the bony socket. From here they are able to spread into the surrounding bones’ blood supply and from there into the rest of the body. They could end up just about anywhere, in any organ, gland or tissue and set up a new site of infection unless the immune system is strong enough to deal with it.
Dr. Price found 258 of his patients whose immune systems were strong and were unaffected by this treatment. However, when they suffered the trauma of excessive stress, an accident or flu, then their immune systems were unable to cope and they developed health problems.
He found that those whose health was already compromised would develop degenerative disease. For some this occurred almost immediately after root canal treatment.
Although filled teeth may look good and be symptom free, nevertheless the infection will still be present and remain so.
The idea of focal infections was investigated in the first decade of the last century when a Dr. Billings found that the teeth and tonsils were the source of almost all of them. Dr. Price picked up on this when he saw a patient with severe arthritis. He removed an infected tooth from her, put it under a rabbit’s skin, and in just a few days it too developed arthritic limbs and died 10 days later from the infection.
When doctors and dentists first learned of this research they were initially interested and hence the idea got around that anyone with arthritis should have their teeth removed. Of course not all arthritis is caused by an infection. There may be many reasons for it. When not all arthritic patients got relief from visiting the dentist, the therapy got into disrepute and was forgotten about, particularly after the advent of antibiotics.
According to Dr George Meinig DDS, a root canal expert, and author of Root Canal Cover Up, Weston Price’s research was actively suppressed and buried by a group of doctors and dentists who would not accept the focal infection theory.
Focal infections don’t exist - official
These focal infections are not accepted by conventional dentists today either. They believe the bacteria are killed off, and even if they aren’t, they could not escape into the body.
Recently Hal Huggins, who is best known for his research into mercury fillings and their toxicity, repeated Price’s work with the same results, although he worked with hardier animals than rabbits. Sometimes they were able to recover.
Although the dental authorities officially deny the idea of focal infections, they inform their members that no dental work can be carried out on patients who have had a prosthetic joint replacement or mitral valve prolapse without first taking antibiotics. One can only assume this is to prevent bacteria spreading from the mouth to the joints or heart with potentially disastrous results. If it isn’t for this reason I am at a loss to know what the reason could be.
The relationship between heart disease and infections has only been taken seriously in recent years. A number of infectious agents have been linked. One of these being porphyomonas gingivitis, which causes gum disease. But it has also been found in the linings of arteries.
In a large study of 1100 men over a period of 25 years, it was found that those with the poorest gum health had twice the rate of heart attacks and three times the rate of strokes as those with healthy gums.
According to Dr. Meinig, people recover very quickly when the infection is removed, unless it is a very long standing problem. In these cases it may take some time for the problem to resolve and may not always do so. But in most cases results are seen very quickly. Sometimes within a few days. He says many people call the next day to say their arthritis, for instance, has gone. They can now go running. Yet only the previous day, before the tooth was removed, they couldn’t.
He suspects there may be more to it than just the transfer of infection. It could involve electrical transference through acupuncture meridians.
Cavitations and NICO
A cavitation is a hole in the jawbone that was formerly occupied by a tooth. It is produced by a disease process that blocks off tiny blood vessels, causing the bone to die (osteonecrosis). The body responds by sealing it off with fat which will eventually become calcified (calcific fat necrosis). Bacterial colonies are usually found and fibrin sludging.
Osteonecrosis was first described by Dr. G V Black, often described as the father of dentistry, in 1915. This process may take a number of years to develop and be without symptoms initially. Eventually it may cause pain in the jaws, face, head or neck. This is called NICO (neuralgia inducing osteonecrosis). This can occur without redness, swelling or raised body temperature.
The most common location for NICO lesions are the wisdom teeth, especially the upper and lower third molars.
Dr. Boyd Haley, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, has shown that every cavitation tissue sample contains toxins which not only affect localised tissue but may have systemic effects. These systemic effects may still occur even without neuralgia. These toxins can inhibit enzyme systems involved with the production of energy.
Unfortunately, cavitations cannot be seen by looking at the bone, and even x-rays can miss them. An ultrasound devise called a cavitat finds cavitations at 100% of sites treated with root canals.
According to Dr. Michael LaMarche a cavitation researcher who has worked closely with Hal Huggins, of 150 root canal teeth removed, 147 had osteonecrosis in the bone surrounding the tissue.
In the last 20 years papers have appeared in the medical literature linking facial pain, migraine and trigeminal neuralgia with cavitations.
A group of 30 dentists participated in a research programme to see whether there was a link. They found that there was. Moreover they find that when the cavitations are removed not only is the pain relieved, but the patients’ systemic health is also improved.
Dr. Bocho, former professor of oral pathology at University of West Virginia and researcher into cavitations, found that 70% of patients with trigeminal neuralgia saw their pain go away when their cavitations were removed.
According to Dr. LaMarche, very often a patient may visit the dentist in pain and have a root canal recommended on the suspected tooth. However, when tested, the tooth is fine. But behind it is a missing tooth, formerly extracted. The cavitation here turns out to be the true cause of the problem.
The only treatment available is surgical removal of the cavitations. The skin is opened at the site of a previously extracted tooth and the necrotic dead bone is drilled out. These dentists recommend that whenever a tooth is extracted the periodontal ligament that held it in place is also removed, and some of the bony socket that it is attached to. This will prevent infections from occurring.
Dr. Shankland tells of a patient who was suffering with jaw pain for several years, sore throat and leg pain. She saw at least 7 doctors and dentists who could find nothing wrong. It was even suggested she visit a psychologist. As he was cleaning out her cavitation, she surprisingly said her calf pain had disappeared, her leg felt normal.
Root canals and cavitations may well be the source of, or play a part in health disorders. Patients who suspect this, should visit a holistic dentist who is qualified and experienced in the needed procedures.
This article was first published in Enzyme Digest No. 54 Autumn 2001 Any health and medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional.