There’s a nasty rumor swirling that 97 percent of people with terminal cancer had a root canal-suggesting that root canals and cancer are linked. Of course, with any percentage closing in on 100, it’s crucial to take a closer look at where the rumor started and find scientific evidence that backs the claim. Unfortunately, this kind of fear mongering is highly shareable and it’s easy to spread false information. Hopefully nobody has put off a root canal for fear of cancer (or any other reason). It’s time to set the dental record straight.
There’s no mention of a link between root canals and cancer in any peer-reviewed, credible journal. The origin of this claim comes from a doctor who appears regularly on Quack Watch, who doesn’t believe in vaccines or fluoride, and who makes a living from selling nutritional supplements promising to prevent cancer. Of course, this kind of “root canal causes cancer” clickbait was too much for the media to resist, so it’s no wonder it spread like plaque in a sugar-laden mouth.
A Numbers Game
There’s an issue of correlation when making general statements. Have 97 percent of people with terminal cancer had a root canal? Perhaps, as it’s a very common procedure. At least 97 percent of those people have probably also driven a car, drank milk in their life or have watched television. When you take a very common occurrence, such as a root canal, and try to use it as a basis for a terminal illness with no solid scientific evidence, that’s fear mongering.
The idea that these dental procedures cause cancer first popped up in the 1920s when there was obviously a lack of information, research and testing. Dentistry has advanced a lot in a century! Today’s procedures include digital X-rays, isolating teeth with rubber dams and using YAG Lasers for optimal cleaning. In a contemporary root canal, any bacteria or infection can be completely removed-and even if it’s not, bacteria in tooth pulp isn’t going to enter your bloodstream and cause terminal cancer. It just doesn’t work that way.
Why “Dead Tissue” isn’t Deadly
There are also rumors that the “dead tissue” (disinfected root canals) can be lethal, but that’s simply not true. The human body can and does thrive even with dead tissue-just take a look at your hair and nails. Shaving your head and keeping your nails clipped to minimize dead tissue isn’t going to prevent cancer any more than avoiding a visit to the dentist.
Supporters of the “no root canal movement” encourage tooth extraction and implants instead of a simple root canal. The vast majority of reputable dentists and endodontists agree that saving natural teeth is always preferable to extractions, which should be a last resort. Plus, extractions/implants are much more costly, uncomfortable and have a longer recovery time.
If you really want to minimize your cancer risks, follow best practices that have been established by reputable experts. Wear SPF, eat whole foods with minimal chemicals, sip on green tea and stick with your annual dental checkups. In fact, regular dental checks have been proven time and time again to reduce the odds of diseases and infections in all parts of your body-and it’s a lot less invasive than removing your teeth when a cavity gets out of control.
Source by Jill Smith