October 18, 2022
If you have a tooth that is severely infected, antibiotics and waiting for the infection to heal on its own won’t do you any good. The only way to repair an infected tooth is with a root canal. Though this procedure has a success rate of around 95%, there is a ton of misinformation about the treatment that’s spread throughout the years. In fact, some people have even been led to believe that they might develop cancer after undergoing root canal therapy. But do root canals cause cancer, or is this a myth? Read on to learn more about how the procedure works and if it puts you at risk of developing cancer.
How Root Canal Therapy Works
As previously mentioned, root canals are the only way to treat a severely infected tooth. Tooth infections often form when a cavity is left untreated for too long and continues to get worse. This will eventually allow bacteria into the tooth, where they can access the pulp. This is the innermost part of the tooth and contains blood vessels, nerve endings, and connective tissue. Leaving it untreated may allow the infection to travel to other parts of the mouth or busy and can also cause the tooth to die.
A root canal procedure is performed to remove the infected tooth pulp. Your dentist will then clean and sanitize the tooth before filling it with a rubber-like substance called gutta-percha. The tooth will then be sealed off with a dental crown or filling to protect it from additional harm.
Do Root Canals Cause Cancer?
So, do root canals cause cancer? A dentist named Weston Price ran a series of experiments in the 1920s that revolved around the link between disease and root canals. He concluded that even after someone gets a root canal toxins are still left in the tooth. This was thought to contribute to medical conditions, such as arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
There is no valid scientific evidence that links root canals to disease or health issues anywhere else in the body. In fact, a study held in 2013 found that patients who had multiple root canals actually experienced a 45% drop in their cancer risk.
So, as you can see, the answer to the question “do root canals cause cancer?” is definitely no. Though a study linking cancer to root canals was performed over a century ago, this treatment doesn’t put you at risk of disease. In fact, this procedure will be just what you need to get rid of the infected pulp in a tooth so you can get your smile and your oral health back on the right track!
About the Practice
Drs. Luciano Marini, Ann Marie Mancini, and Alexandra Galante are the three skilled dentists who lead the team at Waterbury Smiles. They care deeply about what they do and love using their skills to help patients keep their pearly whites healthy and bright. If you have an infected tooth, they can repair the damage and help you get back to enjoying a pain-free beam. If you are ready to make an appointment with Waterbury Smiles or want more information on their services, you can contact them at (203) 575-9097 or visit their website.
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