Root Canal Treatments
There is a long standing debate regarding retaining root filled [i.e. basically ‘dead’] teeth in the mouth [and, thereby, the body] with the initial research done by an Amercian dentist [Weston Price] back in the 1920’s. The debate is whether or not, these root filled teeth can affect the health of the body
It has been shown that these teeth [no matter the clinical perfection of the root seal and, despite lack of localised symptoms], are never totally sterile and release a microscopic amount of bacteria into the body.
The body’s organs and immune system then have to deal with this blood born bacteria. Strong immune systems may well control the possible destructive element without noticeable symptoms but, in weakened ones, may exacerbate or create new symptoms anywhere in the body and functioning of its immune system.
Cavitation was a term coined in 1930 by an orthopaedic researcher to describe a disease process in which a lack of blood flow into the area produced a hole in the jawbone and other bones in the body. The current day term for these dead areas in NICO – Neuralgia [nerve inflammation] Inducing Cavitational Osteonecrosis [dead bone] lesions
When a dead or root treated tooth is removed, without cleansing out and sterilising the residual periodontal ligament [elasticated fibres that hold the tooth in place], may leave behind bacteria in the socket which prevent the blood clot forming new healthy bone and leave a local often local symptom free area in the bone which becomes isolated from the body [as blood supply cannot get to it leaving antibiotics unable to access the site] and form what is called a cavitation with the bacteria attacking the general nerve supply.
One theory behind their development is that, unless on extraction, the residual tooth socket is not thoroughly cleansed, the healing process [which should lead to healthy bone]is deficient, blood vessels do not permeate the extraction site – leading to a top ‘lid’ of bone with the ‘dead bone’ area in its marrow centre.
For the above reasons, when removing any tooth [but especially prior root treated ones], I remove the actual tooth very carefully, clean out its residual socket to ensure any potentially contaminated bone support tissue is eliminated. I then sterilise any residual micro bacteria with Ozone, check for a good blood clot [which is the 1st stage of new healthy bone formation] and have the patient return in 2 weeks to check this healing.