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Root2Disease – The root of all evil

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Behind every dead tooth is a sick person – Information regarding the severe health risks caused by root-treated teeth

Many patients wish to maintain their own teeth instead of replacing them by prostheses. One possibility of tooth maintenance is root filling. But endodontically treated teeth are dead teeth. And even the best micro-endodontics, which we performed in our practice for many years, will hardly be capable of realising a completely bacteria-tight sealed root. Particularly the outside of the tooth root presents an insolvable problem for endodontics. 


Accessory side canals and the endo-paro connection via the dentinal tubules remain. The dead tooth, which once was an organ with its own nerve and blood supply, now remains in the oral cavity as a dead pillar. The dentinal tubule openings now become “mouse holes”, so to speak, where various different species of anaerobic pathogenic bacteria penetrate from the outer side of the root, thus decomposing the remaining organic tissue and releasing harmful metabolic products (toxins). These pathogenetic bacteria produce highly toxic and potentially carcinogenic hydrogen sulphide compounds (thioether/mercaptan) from the amino acids cysteine and methionine as by-products of the anaerobic metabolism process. These toxins can become the cause of multiple system and organ disorders by means of irreversible inhibition at the active centre of many vital endogenous enzymes. The inhibition of vital enzymes in the respiration chain of the mitochondria has been proven in vitro. These bacteria and many others, including their toxins, are released into the lymphatic system of the surrounding tissue during each chewing process. From here, they enter into the blood circulation system (focal infection) and hence into the entire body.

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Dentinal tubules, enlarged

Which bacteria lurk in a dead tooth?

In a survey by Siqueira et al., micro-organisms were found in all endodontically treated teeth with apical inflammation, which suggests the suspicion of a chronic infection. Richardson et al. proved the presence of 75 different bacteria strains in endodontically treated teeth with apical osteitis. Enterococcus faecalis, capnocytophaga ochracea, fusobacterium nucleatum, leptotrichia buccalis, gemella morbillorum and porphyromonas gingivalis are found particularly frequently in and around dead teeth. Four of these species affect the heart, three the neural system, two the kidneys and brain, and one the maxillary sinus. If an X-ray indicates inflammation of the root tip, the failure rate of root treatment due to the chronic infection is substantially increased.

Immune response

The vital, healthy pulp and therefore the immune system play a decisive role in our resistance to these germs. The chronic infection arising from the bacterial colonisation frequently develops into chronic inflammation of the surrounding tissue; the immune system is permanently activated. The macrophages activated as part of the unspecific immune reaction release so-called inflammatory mediators (TNF-alpha, IL-1, growth factors, prostaglandins (PGE2) and leukotrienes), which circulate in the bloodstream. These inflammatory mediators encourage the development or worsening of chronic inflammations and autoimmune disorders. In addition, T-lymphocytes are stimulated, which in turn produce TNF-beta, which is suspected of having a positive effect on the development of chronic inflammation and carcinogenic diseases. TNF-beta verifiably increases the risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer. T. Rau from the Paracelsus Klinik was able to prove a distinct connection between breast cancer and teeth. More than 96 % of breast cancer patients had endodontically treated teeth in one or several teeth of the breast/stomach meridian.


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