The Link Between Root Canals and Cancer By Dr. Hodges on May 05, 2011

There internet is a great place to get useful information about your general health and dental health. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of misinformation out there as well. Many rumors circulate and magnify, and while there may be some small grain of truth to these rumors, they may not be founded on the most solid evidence available.

A number of holistic and organic dentistry sources, for instance, have speculated on links between root canal therapy and cancer, specifically breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Our Philadelphia endodontist and the entire team here would like to take a brief moment to look at these claims in order to assure you that root canal therapy is safe.

Briefly, a root canal is performed when the pulp inside of the tooth has become damaged or infected as a result of injury, tooth decay, or bacteria. This issue with the dental pulp can result in lots of pain and discomfort. During a Philadelphia root canal, the dental pulp is removed and the chamber within the tooth is filled with a safer material.

One of the claims concerning cancer and root canal therapy suggests that bacterial infection during the root canal process can lead to increased levels of toxicity in the body, thus leading to instances of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Another theory that’s out there suggests that root canal therapy affects the meridians in the body, and that a root canal on a tooth can potentially have negative repercussions on other parts of the body.

These theories are based mostly on pseudoscience and speculation rather than solid research and facts. The research by the American Dental Association and other accredited sources shows that root canal therapy is safe and does not result in a greater risk of cancer. In addition, there seems to be a tendency for people to conflate correlation or coincidence with causation.

In short, just because someone undergoes a root canal does not mean that she will develop cancer or increase her risk of developing cancer. There are other general health factors that have to be considered, and the need for a root canal may be symptom that suggests a larger systemic problem that can lead to cancer rather than the root canal being a cause of the cancer itself. The body is a complex system in that way.

For more information about root canals and how they can be beneficial to you and your dental health, contact our Philadelphia endodontic dentistry practice today. We look forward to discussing these matters with you in greater detail.

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Dr. Eric Hodges

Associated Endodontists, P.C.

Our caring doctors and compassionate staff provide the finest, pain-free results in a comfortable, relaxed environment. Our team of endodontists are affiliated with a number of professional associations including:

  • American Association of Endodontists
  • American Dental Association
  • National Dental Association

Schedule a visit to our Philadelphia, PA, endodontist office today. Contact us online or or call (215) 477-8941.

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