Question: What are your thoughts on root canals?
Before Weston Price embarked on his journeys that led to the publication of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, which is an epic pioneering work in nutritional anthropology, before he did that, he spent 25 years as the first research director for what became the American Dental Association, researching in laboratory science and clinical science what were the causes of tooth decay and the consequences of tooth decay.
Price's argument was that no matter what you do to get the infection out of the main areas of the teeth, you are never going to get it out of the nooks and crannies of the dental tubules. If you basically try to get rid of the infection and then you stuff something in there and make sure it never comes out, you create a hypoxic environment that basically causes whatever is in there to mutate in worse possible form.
George Meinig wrote a book called Root Canal Cover-Up. He was a root canal guy, an endodontist. Now, the endodontists say that Price's work was discredited a long time ago and that this is complete BS.
Now, the problem is I have no idea to what degree modern science has adjusted to this. Now, I can't even ask Meinig to what degree has the evolution of endodontal techniques since you wrote the book, to what degree had they changed how we should view this, because he's not alive anymore, and I don't know anyone who can fill his shoes. Look, if you want a personal story on how conflicted I feel about this, I literally have two root canals in the same teeth on each side of my mouth that were the legacy of my veganism.
My suspicion is I wish I could give you a black and white answer. I know that it's not that useful to have an answer that's just nothing but gray zones. But I'm very skeptical of how good root canals are. I'm not so terrified that I'm highly motivated to get the other one taken out even though it probably is the last thing in my life that I should do more research on what to do about. I'm sorry, I can't give you a better answer than that. All I can say is yes, it is justified to be worried about the risks of root canals. I can say this totally unambiguously. What you should absolutely definitely not ever do is make your decisions about something that has any potential to be a root canal situation without a dentist.
The whole point of Price's work was they're serious from whole body health. Price was a pioneer in so many things. This is another one. Now, there's increasing evidence that inflammation in your mouth and decay in your mouth is tied to other diseases. Like periodontitis is tied to heart disease for example. Price was the pioneer of saying that the infections in your mouth are causing other diseases in the rest of your body.
This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here: https://chrismasterjohnphd.com/podcast/2019/03/30/ask-anything-nutrition-march-4-2019
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