Root Canals and Your Immune System – Are They Related?
When you have tooth pain, a root canal is sometimes the best type of treatment for it. While this procedure is safe, misinformation about root canals has been circulating. You might have heard that a root canal can affect your immune system, but how accurate is this claim? Learning more about root canals can help you understand how this procedure works and why it’s important for treating pain and other symptoms caused by an infection.
Claims About Root Canals and Immune Systems
Claims are going around that having a root canal shuts down 63 percent of your immune system. Since this would be a significant reduction in your body’s ability to fight illnesses and infections, you might be concerned about having a root canal if you’ve seen this claim. This misinformation includes claims dating back to research done in the 1920s, which supposedly showed a link between root canals and lowered immunity. However, this research has been debunked and was performed by a doctor who was known for recommending tooth extractions at the time. Tooth extractions involve removing permanent teeth and are considered more traumatic and invasive than root canals. By the 1950s, the American Dental Association recommended endodontic treatment for infected pulp rather than tooth extractions based on research reviews.
The good news is that root canals do not lower or reduce your immune system at all. Instead, this type of treatment is highly effective at preventing serious complications if you have a tooth infection. Continued research on root canals shows that they do not raise your risk of getting sick. When you have a root canal done, your immunity does not go down. Keep this in mind when you see claims that you’re more likely to become ill after having a root canal. In fact, delaying or avoiding a root canal can have harmful effects as tooth decay or infections become worse.
Benefits of Root Canals
When you have tooth pain, dentists sometimes recommend having a root canal. This procedure is usually done if you have severe pain and other signs of a tooth infection. Root canals remove the infected tissue and bacteria inside the pulp, which is the inner part of your tooth. Having this procedure done can benefit you in a few ways. Root canals get rid of the bacteria that cause infections, which ease pain and other symptoms.
When you have a root canal, this procedure also lowers your risk of experiencing severe dental complications that could result in tooth loss or other problems. Infections in your teeth put your body at risk of developing sepsis as well. This is a potentially deadly complication that occurs when bacteria enter your bloodstream and circulate throughout your body. Root canals are effective at treating tooth infections before these serious complications can occur. This is why it’s important to make sure you have a root canal done if needed rather than putting it off.
Root canals provide a way for you to save your natural teeth instead of having them removed or extracted. Infections and tooth decay can cause serious damage to your teeth over time. If you leave this untreated, you increase your risk of needing to have a tooth extraction done. Having a root canal done as soon as possible helps ensure that you can keep your natural teeth. Being able to avoid tooth extractions means you’ll be able to chew and talk without difficulty and maintain a healthy smile.
Another benefit of root canals is that they offer a relatively painless way to treat tooth infections. Root canals are believed to be painful based on how they were done many years ago. However, advances in dentistry and the use of anesthetics make this procedure only slightly uncomfortable. When you have a root canal done, you can expect it to feel roughly the same as having a tooth filled. You might have a small amount of discomfort when the anesthetic wears off, but it’s temporary.
If you need to see an endodontist about tooth pain, please contact Largo Endodontics to schedule an appointment. Our endodontist can let you know if a root canal is needed to relieve tooth pain and eliminate tooth decay.
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