Does root canals cause cancer? Separating the truth from the myth

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Does root canals cause cancer

The question does root canals cause cancer is not new to us. The myth that root canals cause cancer has been around since 1920. The truth is, root canals are a safe procedure with no link to cancer.

What are root canals?

A root canal is a dental procedure that endodontists perform on an extremely bad tooth. Root canal therapy involves the drilling, cleaning, and filling of bad teeth instead of removing them. Following the procedure, the question “does root canals cause cancer?” is certainly a vital question to ask.

Blood vessels, nerve endings, and connecting tissues fill up the center of the teeth. These nerve endings and tissues known as root pulp help keep the teeth alive. Infection can sometimes occur on the root pulp. The major cause of infection can be as a result of crack on the tooth. A root pulp infection can lead to other infections like toothache, abscess, bone loss, and swelling of the gums.

According to the American Association of Endodontists, there are three different myths people associate with root canals. People believe that root canal procedures are painful. In the past, root canal treatment was painful, but today, with the advancement in technology, the process is less painful. It is like having a standard cavity filling.

Another myth that is also common is that removing the infected teeth is better than a root canal. Tooth extraction is never better than saving your original teeth. Whatever you can do to save your original teeth is a viable option.  The third myth is that root canal treatment can lead to illnesses. There is no link between root canals and problems such as breast cancers, heart diseases, and arthritis.

Does root canals cause cancer? Origin of the myth

According to an endodontist (AAE), the idea that root canals can cause cancer stems back to 100 years ago. The myth originated from Doctor Weston Price’s research. According to Price, root canals have a potential cancer risk.  He explains further that the dental procedure involved in the root canal can be harmful to oral health.  

According to Price, bacterial in the dental tubules can leak during a root canal, which can cause different diseases. According to Price, it is preferable to extract the infected tooth to prevent the spread of bacteria. Other researchers over the years have come to dismiss Price’s result as inaccurate. The new finding has found patients with root canals less prone to cancer risks.

Does root canals cause cancer
Does root canals cause cancer

Possible Complications

It is important to note that, like other surgical procedures, the root canal also has possible complications. One such complication is pain. The patient may experience pain for a few days after the normal procedure.  For some reason, the cause of your original discomfort may be from more than a tooth. The endodontist will have to repeat the process for all infected teeth.

There is also the possibility that the crack may be so small and unnoticeable. It can allow the growth of bacteria that can affect your tooth’s root. An endodontist may prescribe additional treatment for affected teeth root.

Getting a root canal, how vital is it?

If you suffer from a cavity or have a broken tooth, it is vital to get a root canal. It can help prevent the spread of infection from the tooth. When an infected tooth/teeth are left untreated, it increases the risk of spreading around the body.

If you begin to notice symptoms such as tooth pain, and swelling of the gum, you need to see a dentist. These can be possible signs that you may need a root canal. The dentist will examine your condition and determine whether you need a root canal or not. The dentist will always discuss with you the importance of a root canal over tooth extraction.

Root canal: the success story

With 86 percent general success rate, root canals remain the best way to deal with teeth infections. However, it is important to visit a licensed endodontist to avoid unforeseen complications. A root canal can also help reduce pain and your chances of infection.

According to the AAE, about 25 million root canals record success yearly. The number is true proof that the procedure is safe. Modern medical procedures have made it even safer.

The question “does root canal cause cancer?” and all theories that associate with it are all myth. It is, therefore, important not to take them seriously. Taking care of your teeth is the best way to prevent ever needing the endodontic procedure. Good oral care requires that you brush at least twice a day. When brushing, ensure you make use of dental-grade toothpaste.

Ensure to maintain good oral hygiene after root canals. It can help improve results and prevent reoccurrence. Avoid smoking after a root canal procedure.

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