There’s one health-related email you may want to delete, or move to your spam folder. It’s about root canals and cancer
The claim on these spurious emails involves the focal infection theory presented by a Dr. Weston Price in the 1920s and 30s, which suggested that bacteria trapped in a root canal during treatment may seep into the bloodstream and wreak havoc on the body.
This theory has long been dispelled; and in 1951, the Journal of the American Dental Association published a scientific paper, saying Dr. Price’s research techniques “lacked many aspects of modern scientific research, including absence of proper control groups and induction of excessive doses of bacteria.”
This “spurious correlation,” according to Susan Perry of MinnPost, is no different from the study that linked margarine consumption with divorce, a story which made news early this year, and which was born out of what its source, Spurious Correlations, called “a fun way to look at correlations.”
Sadly, unsubstantiated claims like the root canal/cancer correlation have been instrumental in further fanning dental fear among many patients, who choose to suffer the effects of decayed teeth rather than go to a dentist for treatment.
Root canals have been practiced by dentists for decades, serving to remove abscess in a tooth that has badly decayed, and sealing the cavity afterwards, in the effort to save the tooth from extraction. In dental care, a skilled dentist in Wilkes Barre and elsewhere will always examine a problem tooth first to see if it can saved, and will resort to extraction only when this remains the only viable way to arrest the spread of bacteria in the mouth
Root canal is generally painless, particularly with the administration of dental anesthesia. Patients with extreme dental fear, however, may resort to sedation dentistry as offered by a reputable dentist in Wilkes Barre, PA like one practicing in Back Mountain Dental. Sedation dentistry is a revolutionary solution that allows patients to feel relaxed, and alleviates their anxiety during a dental procedure.
Rather than fear unproven stories about dental procedures, patients should be more wary of the spread of infection from a decayed tooth. Recent medical research has shown that, in worst cases, the bacteria in tooth decay can affect vital organs such as the heart. Root canals and other treatments performed by highly trained dentists effectively address this threat, preserving not just a person’s oral health, but also his general well-being.