Connection between Root canal and Cancer


Last Updated on October 30, 2022 by Dr Gustavo Assatourians DDS


Root canal treatments are the commonly advised dental treatment in clinical practice. When it comes to root canals, many myths are circulating about procedural pain, post-procedure difficulties, and supposed systemic health conditions that can develop. Before you believe any of such information, it’s time to pay a visit to our nearest dental office and clear all your doubts about dental health and root canal procedure. Our dentist at Channel Island Family Dental Office will make sure this false information is nothing more than a scare tactic you should disregard, and root canal treatment is a common procedure that is completely safe and effective.


The root canal is a procedure used to treat infection in the tooth to the end of its length. Three main layers, outermost enamel, then dentin, and the innermost known as the pulp of the tooth, form the tooth. The part of the tooth known as the root canal contains the pulp of the tooth. Pulp is the part of the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue cells. When bacteria get into this area, an infection can develop, which may eventually lead to cell death in the pulp.

The infection in the root canal of the tooth can cause several symptoms, including pain when chewing, sensitivity while having hot or cold food or drink, and loose teeth. The initial symptoms can get worsen involving the connected tissues leading to additional symptoms, such as:

  • the return of pain when biting or chewing
  • swollen gums near the affected tooth
  • pus oozing from the area
  • visible swelling on the face

Root canal treatment is a procedure that effectively cleans out the dead and dying pulp from the infected tooth. The dentist will remove the bacteria and then seal the tooth. They will fit a crown on the tooth to prevent future problems from occurring. This procedure leaves the original tooth in place to help maintain the integrity of the jaw. Root canal treatments are the only option to save an infected tooth, and the only alternative for this kind of dental issue is removing the tooth. Removal of the tooth is not only traumatic to oral health but also for the patient. Most of the dental specialists around the globe agree that it is always best to keep as many natural teeth in the mouth as possible to maintain the integrity of the jaw and facial structure.


If you are wondering how this myth was started, it states back to the early 20th century, when Weston Price ran a series of poorly designed tests that led to his false belief that individuals who received root canal treatments contain harmful toxins in their teeth that could be the prime target for cancer.

A recent documentary on Netflix called Root Cause is causing quite a stir. Many questions are arising regarding the safety and effectiveness of root canal treatments and their possible connection to cancer. In the documentary, the connection of root canal treatment with cancer and other systemic problem is explained by the focal infection theory that states that chronic diseases are caused by localized infections. It was stated that because it is not possible to remove all the bacteria in a root canal-treated tooth, a chronic inflammatory response is induced that could lead to systemic diseases such as cancer, arthritis, heart disease, chronic fatigue, and male impotence.

In this documentary, the case is made by one osteopathic physician that 97% of terminal cancer patients (breast cancer) previously had root canal procedures suggesting a connection between root canal treatment and the development of cancer.


The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) states that over 25 million root canal treatments are carried out every year in the US. If it were true that root canals caused diseases like cancer, there would be much more information about it available in peer-reviewed scientific publications, and root canals would not be the preferred treatment option to save teeth. To conclude, Some people who have cancer may have had a root canal treatment at some point in their life. This does not mean that the root canal procedures had anything to do with the development of cancer.

Advancements in medicine, techniques, and technologies have made endodontic treatment a more predictable, successful treatment than ever before. Today, digital imaging, rubber dams, rotary instruments, powerful disinfectants, and medicated filling materials help ensure successful root canal treatment. When a severe infection in a tooth requires endodontic treatment, that treatment is designed to eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal, prevent reinfection of the tooth and save the natural tooth. If a dentist can save the tooth by performing a root canal procedure instead of removing a tooth, it is the most likely recommended treatment.

The myth about root canal procedures may be prevalent on the internet, but there is no scientific evidence to back up these claims.

It is not advisable to overlook the signs and symptoms of any persistent pain and infection. We, at Channel Island family Dental Office, dentists in Ventura, Oxnard, and Port Hueneme, thoroughly examine the patient, take required X-rays to determine the cause of infection, and plan the course of treatment.


At the Channel Island Family Dental office, we provide a wide range of dental services at our various branches. Improve your smile and health with us. Feel free to call or contact us through our Facebook page and book your appointment today with our dentists in Oxnard, Santa Paula,Ventura,Newbury Park and Port Hueneme.


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