Frequently I’m asked, “How do I know if my root canals are infected?” As I have explained in the past, EVERY tooth which has experienced root canal therapy will be filled with bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi within a timeframe of merely weeks. The facts are simple: (1) The roots of teeth are porous. (2) Root canal therapy removes all of the native defense systems of the tooth (nerve, blood supply and lymphatic drainage). (3) The roots of the teeth are generally under the gums where many varieties of anaerobic organisms live. Without any defense system to hold them back, the pathogens which live under the gumline start to breach the root of the dead tooth.
I also get asked, “If my tooth is dead and infected, why doesn’t it hurt?” Your teeth are surrounded by living tissues where your immune system is present. This barrier does all it can for as long as it can, but ultimately the infection will win (as least this has been my experience). Even when X-rays “look fine” as they do in this case, the teeth will be loaded with pathogenic bugs.
Last question I receive frequently on this topic is, “If they are infected, why does my dentist tell me that it’s healthy?” Keep this in mind: most dentists use X-rays as their “evidence” that a tooth is fine. Unfortunately, X-rays don’t diagnose infection. They only show density. Next time you see your dentist, ask them how many DNA reports they have run on extracted root canals. If the answer is “Zero.” I would recommend getting an opinion from a dentist like me who is well versed in DNA diagnostic sciences. The truth is that if you’re not looking for infection, you’re not likely to find it!
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Dr. Blodgett completed his pre-doctoral sciences at Portland State University and graduated from the Oregon Health Science University School of Dentistry in 1999. As a modern pioneer in progressive dental care, Dr. Blodgett has become a leader in minimally-invasive dentistry, dental lasers, computerized dental technology, and holistic care. He is widely recognized for the innovative care he provides and is dedicated to helping his patients optimize their whole body health.