If you have an infected root canal, can you get better without removing it?

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Postby paper tiger » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:51 pm

I've read back through some root canal threads, and what I'm left with is this:

I have an infected root canal (as in right now). It's been infected for about a year; I have an abscess on my gum line. I've been really lazy about getting it fixed because it costs a lot and it's an unpleasant surgery.

I had the root canal done when I was 16. I'm 24 now, and my dentist has referred me to get the root canal redone.

I developed Raynaud's disease when I was two months shy of 22. Esophageal problems developed a few months later.

I know there is no guarantee that my infected root canal is the cause of my health problems, but I can only assume it isn't helping. It's my left upper molar, way at the back. I can't get a bridge because there'd be nothing to bridge to. I don't want to remove my tooth and have nothing there because of all the complications that arise from that scenario. But a dental implant costs between $1500-$3000 USD, but sometimes up to $15 000. There is also room for a lot more trauma to be done to the site.

SO!

In your opinion, if I am diligent with AP and I have my root canal redone to take care of the current infection, is it possible to kill any bugs that may have sprung from this tooth without actually having to lose the tooth?
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Postby paper tiger » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:58 pm

And I know it sounds insane to be all "Hey, my tooth is infected! I have this crazy disease that will disable me and potentially kill me! But I don't want to lose the tooth!" but if I can hang on to the guy, I'd like to.
Sine SD
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Raynaud's Jan '08, Esophageal dismobility July 2008, Pulmonary fibrosis <60% lung capacity Sept '10
100mg doxy BID M-W-F Apr '10 on/off
100mg Minocin BID daily since Sept '10
Pantaloc, 3mg LDN, Effexor, NAC, probiotics, Neprinol, Vit D, MSM, L-Theanine
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Postby Maks » Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:14 am

I do wonder if root canals and the bacteria that resides in the dead tooth could be a contributing factor in creating autoimmune disease. I got a root canal about 3 years before I developed raynauld's my only symptom and high ANA.
 
My advise would be to get rid of the infection if it serious. Maybe the antibiotics your taking is keeping it at bay and it would otherwise be more serious?
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Postby Sierra1 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:49 pm

I'm not a professional, but I don't believe an infected root canal will get better on its own. Sounds like your options are to re-treat it or get it pulled and leave the space (because you can't bridge and the expense of an implant is too great). If the molar is way in the back, though, would you even miss it?

Once that infection is out of our body, I think you'll be surprised by how much better you feel (more energy).

Gitter done.

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Postby paper tiger » Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:55 am

Essentially, the reason why I'm so torn is because it's pretty much "some stuff I read on that internet" that's indicating that the tooth should go. And I know conventional wisdom is not always the best wisdom, but... it's pretty hard to make a decision as big as yanking a tooth based on internet advice.

All said, I'm definitely still thinking about it.

As for missing a molar... in a big way! That guy's super important! I'm also a bit freaked out because I had years and years of orthodontics for practical reasons (as opposed to simply aesthetic reasons) and my teeth could shift with the new space. My mom has had tons of problems because of misaligned teeth, so it's definitely weighing heavily on my mind.

I'm going to have my root canal redone, but I think I'll ask my dental surgeon to tell me very honestly how it's looking down there. If it looks gross and more infected than what he normally sees, maybe it's time to say sayonara to my tooth. One problem at a time, right? I can always figure out teeth stuff later.
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Raynaud's Jan '08, Esophageal dismobility July 2008, Pulmonary fibrosis <60% lung capacity Sept '10
100mg doxy BID M-W-F Apr '10 on/off
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Postby annie_hawaii » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:11 pm

Paper Tiger,
Did you end up getting the root canal done? If not, I would search for a dentist who is familiar with autoimmune diseases. Oral infections can worsen and complicate your present health situation. Please keep us updated!
Systemic Sclerosis '06
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Postby swollen » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:04 am

I had my molar removed and I don't have any problems as in teeth shifting.  It was the back one too.  The reason I decided to have it pulled was because it was so far back in my mouth and I don't have alot of room in my mouth anyway and I read about the problems that can happen with root canals.  From what I was reading, root canals can become infected so I didn't want to have that too.  I had mine removed about 2 years ago.  There is info on the internet about infections from root canals.
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Postby A Friend » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:25 pm

Hello paper tiger,

You've touched on a subject that just may trigger even bigger problems.  The infection is so close to the blood supply that travels all over the body, and the bad bacteria can have ready access all over. 

There are even some horror stories regarding root canals, and one of them happened to my cousin just this last couple of years.  The infection apparently affected his omental tissue.

Also, another scary part about root canals is that dentists and endodontists continue to do this procedure, and seem to think (or say) that it is a safe procedure.  I'm come to the conclusion that those who don't seem to have big problems with them MUST HAVE very strong immune systems. 

Since you posted about this subject and asked for input, I feel if I reply I have to be candid.  But, I'm not wanting to scare you, just want you to know as much as possible before making a decision.  (With my apparently weakened immune system, if I had an existing root canal, knowing what I know now, if I kept the tooth, I believe I'd definitely stay on low-dose, long-term antibiotics just to combat the bacteria involved with the root canal.)  Contrary to what is written about the bacteria in the pulp being killed before the root canal is done, other specialists say this is not true, and problems can still arise in it. 

Here are links that discuss root canals and may give you additional information:

http://www.new-cancer-treatments.org/Articles/RootCanals.html

http://www.rheumatic.org/teeth.htm

Good luck with your decision. 

AF

 

 
Best to you all, AF ~Had Dx TMJ; 1991 onset illness+abx &TMJ gone (was infection. Illness recurred every 4 mos for 2 yrs...another abx & would leave (caused systemic fungal overgrowth, to me unseen/unknown). Given Dr. Wm Crook's book abt 1993, ahaa! followed protocols, began recovering/doing well. Relocated to be near elderly parent; mold exposure in apt.1996 while bldg. home; suspected dx'es: RA or LUPUS or MCTD. Found Dr Brown book/1997-AP 6+ yrs, greatly improved. Then, overcame Uveitis 1999; 2003-liver cytokine storm to 2 abx,had to stop AP. Downhill thru 2006; found/corrected acidosis/pain syndromes; resumed AP 2006,improved w/new protocols & attn to pH/acidosis,w MagChlor90, BVits,CoQ10, Budwig Flaxoil EFA combo,VitK-2, Biotin/Boron/ ImmunoPro/Niacinamide..doing great. 2011 stopped Minocin; began ImmunoPro/supplies necessary amino acids+addresses organisms + body's metabolic detox. Jan 2013: Severe IBS to Dr suggested VitD3 5000--IBS ceased temporarily ONLY after I took Abx for dental extraction. Dental metals+4 cavitations just found to have been triggers of chronic illness becoming apparent back in 1990; recent surgery on 4 cavitations 06/2014 makes future brighter! Hi-dose Vit C as powdered ascorbates mixed (per Pauling& Cathcart research). Do Not Stop Vit C suddenly). Still learning/overcoming, and still on the "Road Back."
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Postby swollen » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:27 pm

I want to add to my reply that the molar that I had pulled was cavity filled and an old filling in it.  When the cavity got bigger around the filling the dentist wanted to do a root canal but instead I had it pulled on my own advice.  One reason I did this was to not have more problems from a root canal.  And now , I have no problems with this.
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Postby MajorMelissa » Mon Aug 02, 2010 3:23 am

[user=1359]paper tiger[/user] wrote:
I have an infected root canal (as in right now). It's been infected for about a year; I have an abscess on my gum line. I've been really lazy about getting it fixed because it costs a lot and it's an unpleasant surgery.

I had the root canal done when I was 16. I'm 24 now, and my dentist has referred me to get the root canal redone.

In your opinion, if I am diligent with AP and I have my root canal redone to take care of the current infection, is it possible to kill any bugs that may have sprung from this tooth without actually having to lose the tooth?


Hi Paper Tiger,

I haven't read a lot of posts here on this issue but I have had 2 root canals in my life, on two lower molars.  One was in my teens and one fairly recently - a few years ago.  The first one had to be redone because of an infection; it was done properly or something.  They are sealed with caps.  I'm very happy with the results.  No way to tell if it has anything to do with my sclero situation but I kinda doubt it.

In your question it seems like you're asking if the Minocycline (I assume) will help with the oral infection, and I don't believe that's the case; I think you have to deal with it separately. I think Mino is meant for a certain type(s) of bacteria, not all.

I would say an infection in your mouth is a very serious issue and one to resolve even if it means borrowing the money to do it - especially having had it for a year with an abcess.  An oral infection can spread throughout the body; in some situations it can be fatal not to resolve it (I just heard another such story yesterday).

Depending on where you are you can get medicaid-type insurance with dental benefits.  I'm not sure how the new healthcare bill has improved benefits for people in these programs...

The bottom line is there's no choice without risk.  You're probably better off going with your dentist's advice rather than "stuff" you read on the internet.  I don't believe s/he'll tell you there's a degree of infection considered "normal". 
Mixed Connective Tissue Disease since 2006
Began antibiotic protocol (Clindamycin via IV 5 days, then minocycline MWF) April 2010
Wish me luck!
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