Thursday, February 5, 2015

Do Root Canals Cause Breast Cancer?

As I was desperately trying to find the cause of my adult cystic acne that began a few months ago, I ran across a few articles linking root canals and breast cancer.  And I thought to myself, "What kind of craziness is this?"  And I started reading to find out if I could understand the logic behind it.  There seems to be a big debate between a few researchers and the entire dental community about whether or not a root canal is a safe procedure.

I don't claim to know anything about teeth.  But from what I understand, there are tubules, small holes that run horizontally from the inside of the tooth to the outside located within the dentin (see below).  These tubules are shown in microscopic images of teeth (see below).  Some teeth, like molars, can contain up to 3 miles of tubules.

Anatomy of a tooth:

Microscopic image of dentinal tubules in a tooth:

This is where the large debate started 

The researchers, Weston Price, DDS, Dr. George Meinig, and Hal Huggins, DDS, MS, as well as a few others over the past couple decades, have claimed that microscopic bacteria can grow within the tubules, despite treatment with root canal.  The researchers suggest that by doing a root canal and sealing the microscopic bacteria within the dentinal tubules of the dead tooth, it can lead to the bacteria becoming extremely concentrated and leaking into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system.  And if your immune system is not strong enough, they suggest that this toxic overload could lead to heart disease, breast cancer, sinus problems, brain abscess, and many other systemic illnesses, like MS.  You can find out more about Hal Huggins, DDS, MS at, where they talk about some of the systemic issues that this toxic bacteria can cause.

Microscopic image of bacteria growing within the dentinal tubules of a root canaled tooth:

Some doctors, dentists, and especially homeopathic doctors believe this to be true, and they treat patients that have systemic illnesses by first extracting any root canaled teeth and old mercury fillings.  There is a video below of a doctor in New Zealand which shows his ability to reverse early stage breast cancer by removing a root canaled tooth and mercury fillings, then treating with natural therapy.  The way he talks, he acts like we all should know breast cancer is related to dental care.

 See the above chart of Tooth-Organ Relationships at

So is it true? Do root canals cause breast cancer?

I honestly have no idea.  Like I said, I don't know anything about dentistry.  The theory does make sense to me, but that doesn't make it true.  Maybe it's a matter of whether or not there is an issue with the root canaled tooth, since some of them fail and need to be retreated or extracted.  It's also apparently standard knowledge to the dental community that a root canal is only supposed to extend the use of the tooth by about ten years.  It should be removed after that.

To further discuss whether or not a root canal caused MY breast cancer,  I will share with you my own story.  

Back in 2010, I had an extremely painful abscessed molar while out of town one weekend.  I had a fairly new dentist (to me), and he was kind enough to prescribe pain medicine by phone, then scheduled to see me as soon as I got back three days later.  He knew that I would most likely need a root canal, and said that he could do it in the office when I got there.  I agreed, and had my very first, and only, root canal.

April 2010
The following couple months, I made several calls to the dentist to tell him that I still had pain in my tooth and that something was wrong.  He explained that I couldn't have pain because the nerve was gone, but I was convinced the tooth still had an issue.  He suggested that I wait to see if it calmed down, and I ended up just getting used to the annoyance of that tooth and went about my days.  It did hurt, and felt "wrong", but I didn't go back to the dentist.  I thought that maybe that's what a root canaled tooth is supposed to feel like.  I didn't have experience.

By August of 2010, I started to have constant ringing in my ear (Tinnitus).  Then, by September, I started to get a very painful stabbing feeling in the back right of my head.  It was occasional, but would almost bring me to my knees.  It happened about two or three times a month, and by March of 2011, I was certain I had a brain tumor and went to the doctor.   The brain CT didn't reveal anything unusual, but I continued to believe that something was wrong.

I learned to live with the ringing in my ears and the occasional pain in the back right of my head.  And in 2012, I started to have generalized fatigue.  Nothing to be concerned over, as I was a full time mom and it's expected that I would be tired, but still, it was noticeable.  And then I began having occasional heart palpitations and strange body pains, like deep pain the right side of my abdomen.  By November of 2012, the heart palpitations had gotten so bad that I even drove to the emergency room because I thought I was having a heart attack.  They also did an abdominal CT scan.  Again, they couldn't find anything wrong.

In the beginning of 2013 the heart palpitations were many times throughout the day and even causing dizziness and breathlessness.  Around the same time, I discovered my thyroid medication had been recalled and removed from the market.  I assumed that was the cause of my heart issues as the palpitations reduced greatly after switching to a new medication.  However, after a couple months, the palpitations came back and fatigue started to take over.

In August of 2013, I found the lumps in my armpit and right breast.  And in September of 2013, they found six malignant tumors in my right breast and 3+ in my axillary lymph nodes.  When the doctors interviewed me to find out more symptoms, I told them about the pain in the back right of my head and constant ringing in my ear.  They were convinced the cancer had spread to my brain, but the MRI again showed no change.  So I fought my cancer battle, still convinced that something else was going on.

During my cancer treatment, I must have seen the Cardiologist about my heart a dozen times, with the heart monitor having hundreds of "events".  They even put me on a beta blocker during chemotherapy because of the palpitations, but they kept saying that nothing was wrong with my heart despite the flutters.

The cancer was gone completely by mid-2014 and I was starting to get my energy back.  And monthly check-ups at the Oncologist always led me to tell the doctor about the heart palpitations and dizziness.  By October of 2014, the doctor was concerned enough to do another brain MRI.  Again, perfectly normal.

I feel like I know my own body pretty well, so what the heck was the problem??  By November, every time I bent over, I felt like I had water deep in my ear, like I had been swimming.  No matter what I did, I couldn't get it out and I started to feel pressure like maybe I was getting a sinus infection, but it lasted for months.

Then I started to get cystic acne all over my face.  I have NEVER had an acne problem my entire life.  I figured, "Okay, it's probably one of the supplements I take", and I started to eliminate them one by one.  As I did that the acne got worse.  Almost three months of acne and I was on a mission to figure out the cause.  All the websites out there talk about identifying the source of acne based on where it is on the face.  Mine was mainly on my right cheek under the cheek bone.  That indicated a tooth problem.

And that's where all this began with the root canal research craziness.  The only thing I've ever had done before a root canal were some porcelain fillings.  So when I looked up how to identify a root canal gone bad, I stumbled upon all the breast cancer related media.  The research suggested that the breast cancer was due to the root canal on the same side.

Out of curiosity, I posted in a breast cancer support group on facebook asking other women if they'd had root canals and were they on the same side as their breast cancer.  A flood of responses came in.  The majority, but not all, had a root canal on the same side as their breast cancer.  I found it curious, but honestly, that didn't prove anything.

But because I would rather be safe than sorry, and this tooth always bothered me anyway, I made an appointment to get the tooth out.  I read that if I was going to get the root canaled tooth extracted, that it needed to be done the right way.  They need to remove the periodontal ligament and part of the bony socket to remove any adjacent bacteria to the tooth.  I chose to call a Biological Dentist to do the extraction (   Not only do they remove the ligament and part of the bony socket, but they also do a bone graft of Beta Tricalcium Phosphate and Ozone Therapy (a type of anti-bacterial treatment).

So I went last week with the intent of having the root canaled tooth removed, not really knowing if this was all hogwash and hooey.  And this is what they found....

My tooth had major infection that the dentist said had been in there for a long time, most likely since I had the original root canal in 2010.  I didn't feel the extent of it because the nerve was gone.  As they took pictures, I had a crowd around me of employees all talking about how bad the infection was.  It had gone all the way into my jaw bone.

As he extracted the tooth, the decay was so bad that inside of the tooth had turned black and it broke as he was removing it.   Gross pic below....

And as they reached the base of the root, against the periodontal ligament and jaw bone, was a large fibrous blob, which was my body's way to try and isolate or wall off the long term infection (according to my dentist brother in law).  This ultimately shows that the infection left the confines of the tooth.  Another gross pic below of the "blob".

After the dentist cleaned, drilled, scraped and treated the socket and jawbone, he stitched up the area and sent me on my way.  With a Biological or Holistic dentist, they don't typically prescribe antibiotics to treat this type of infection.  They encourage building the microbiome of bacteria with natural supplements.  So I got up from the chair, and.....

By the time I reached the front desk, the ringing in my ear, that had been there for almost five years, was gone.  

When I got home, I bumped up my supplement intake, focusing mainly on wound healing and detoxifying the body.  I had minimal swelling considering the extensive procedure, but it was definitely painful.  And this week, yesterday, I went to get the stitches out.  The dentist said it had healed so quickly that he had a hard time even getting the stitches out.

One week out from getting this nasty thing out....  No more ringing in my ears.  I have not had a single heart palpitation.  And ALL acne is gone from my face.  All fluid from my ear and pressure from my sinuses is gone.  And I feel like my energy has increased, and I am just feeling "lighter" (although that may just be in my head).  

So where does that leave me with breast cancer? 

Honestly, I don't know that the root canal caused my breast cancer.  But knowing the infection was there this entire time, it may explain why my body chemistry was off, and that may have lead to cancer.  My immune system was obviously compromised.  There were even weird things during cancer like my body rejecting the port and becoming allergic to any adhesive material.  But I shrugged those off, not realizing why my immune system was overreacting.

The bottom line is, there is no longer an ongoing, long term infection in my body.   And I feel like there will be nothing but genuine healing from this point on.  Take what you will from this article.  There are perfectly reasonable arguments on either side of the root canal debate.  Just ask questions and trust your body and instincts.  


  1. Wow! That is an interesting study. The bottom line is we should really appraise dental care, as much as we can, and always be in tune with all the benefits it can bring to our lives. Trips to dentists are a learning process as much as a mere habit, and we should really keep onto it because our oral health is just as important as overall wellness. Thanks for sharing that! All the best to you!

    Eunice Greer @ Downtown Dental

  2. Hmm...Eunice are you serious? You do work at a dental office after all...
    The moral of the story is listen to your body and do not trust all dentist. Root canals can be dangerous yet most dentist say they are perfectly fine.

  3. Good for you. The lab work results from the tissues/infection fluids removed from the infected area in my mouth had pre-cancerous cells. The more you learn about this issue, the more you will see the fallacy of the typical dental procedures. Biological dentists are difficult to find, but well worth your search.

  4. I refused a root canal, mammogram, unnecessary X-rays, and colonoscopy. Natural all the way for me.

    1. "Unnecessary radiation" is what one experiences going through an airport. Even standing near those full body scans, one will still be hit with harmful radiographic rays, not to mention all the radiation one is exposed to while flying in the air. So if you are concerned about unnecessary radiation, it is best to avoid all air travel as well as the airport.
      Mammograms and colonoscopies are procedures that could save your life one day and with the advancement of digital radiology, the amount of radiation received from these is so minimal, it's almost non existent.
      As far as dental radiographs go, I work in a dental office as a hygienist. The amount of radiation you receive from a full mouth series of X-rays (18 films) is equivalent to the same amount of radiation you receive standing out in the sun for less than 10 minutes. Dental radiographs not only can show cavities that a dentist can't see with the naked eye looking in the mouth, but can also show abnormalities in the mouth and jaw which could help in the early diagnosis of cancer and other issues. Technically, no office should even treat patients, even for just a cleaning, if they do not have recent (within 2 years) x-rays because it is a liability for both the patient and the practice.
      Of course it is up to you what you choose to do with your mouth, body, and overall health.
      I just wanted to pose another view on the topic of radiology for those that read this very informative article. I will continue in my own research of this topic as well. Thank you for sharing your story.

    2. Would you mind translating those fantastic claims about radiation into physical terms of measurement because I am certain they are incorrect. BCBonarigo, MD, PhD. ACR

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  6. I too had long time problematic root canal in a tooth that was in a breast meridian. A year ago I had a quickly growing, malignant tumor and some lymphnodes removed.
    Since that time I have treated the situation naturally with the first step being the extraction of that tooth by a biological dentist. I would like to suggest that, instead of mamograms, look into thermography. It's not only completely safe, it can detect cancerous spots years before they will show up on a mamogram :-)

  7. Oh my God! Ann thank you for sharing your story. I've been researching this topic for a few days and it was nice to see you had a page about this because I had already liked you on Facebook months ago. When a friend first told me about the connection between root canals and cancer it was the craziest sounding thing I'd ever heard in my life. I mean, people get root canals all the time, how could THAT lead to cancer??? As people love to say, "If it were true, wouldn't everyone know about it by now???" And sadly the answer is, NO. There are so many toxins in our drinking water that are potentially carcinogenic and the EPA actually acknowledges this on their website, but people think, well if it was that bad wouldn't they tell us? Sorry. It's up to us to do a lot of this research on our own. Thank you Ann, for this post and your others as well. The photographs you used are perfect, they really explain it in detail!

  8. Hi, I came across your blog and have a quick question. I'm hoping you will still see this. What was put in place of your root canal? I have 4 root canals, and want to get rid of them, but I don't want 4 holes in my mouth. Were you given any options on how to fill this gap?

    1. Very good question - I would like to know this too please.

  9. I have many root canals and my gut feeling is that unless they are infected (this can be determined with X-rays if symptoms are not obvious enough) then leave them alone. It seems a bit radical to remove teeth, ligaments and tissue, not to mention the expense for grafting bone and I am assuming one would need implants. I also had breast cancer and yes, the natural reaction is why, what caused it? how do I fix the cause so it doesn't come back? We could make sure the whole body is healthy (dental health included) but I don't believe that's it. I have been treated by some of the best independent breast cancer researchers and the reality is that they do not know enough. There's been advancements but we still don't have complete information. I would be very weary of all these "holistic specialists" who make promises which nobody can ever make.

  10. Hey Ann. I also did have my root canals done one year ago. After a month i felt a lump next to the nipple in the same side. Im thinking that this tooth is the problem,but x-ray is fine and every dentist says everything is ok. But i doubt that. My question is did u take an xray of that tooth and if yes how did it look?

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