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What Happened When My Root-Canal Teeth Were Pulled

Robyn Openshaw, MSW - Updated: September 27, 2019 - - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Photo of woman with mouth open and dentist with surgical tools from

When I had two root canal teeth extracted by my biological dentist, I paid a few hundred dollars for an analysis of what bacteria were found in these “dead” teeth. I want to tell you what I learned when got my results back from the lab in Colorado.

Weighing a Root Canal VS Extraction

In this article:


Why My Root Canal Failed

My holistic dentist had told me previously that both of my root-canal teeth were failing.1 Since then, I’ve talked to half a dozen other dentists and people who have extensive experience with root canals about why root canals fail.

Dental Damage from Earlier Years

You would think that with all the good health habits I have, I would have better luck with my teeth. I confess to being more than a little disappointed that a bone graft and so much dental work would be required, notwithstanding my earlier years of eating lots of candy, ice cream, and diet soda.

All Root Canals Fail Years Later

But did you know that the EXPECTED time that a root canal lasts is a max of ten years? That’s right—endodontists KNOW that their procedure has a very limited life.

My brother Dave was in an ATV accident where his teeth planted in the steering wheel and killed ten of them. He had root canals on all of them, and guess what happened ten years later?

Yep, they were all failing.

Signs of Root Canal Infection

Woman holding jaw in pain from

Sensitivity, blisters on the gum, pain, and even rashes can indicated a failed root canal.

But what about those first ten years? Are those pleomorphic organisms trapped in an anaerobic environment, in a dead organ, really contained during that time? Answer: no, they’re not! “Failing” just means that there are visible, discernible signs of rampant infection and decay. Teeth don’t get that way overnight! When a root canal infection is obvious, you can be sure the problem has existed for quite some time.

Failed Root Canal Symptoms

In my case, the signs of infection were mild tooth sensitivity and a blister on the gums covering the tooth. I also had a raging, itchy rash on my trunk and arms that came and went for 2.5 months, until I realized it was related to my teeth.

Sick & Tired? Dental Work May be the Culprit

What Happens to the Root Canaled Tooth?

Have you ever thought about the fact that the tooth is an organ? Biological dentists know this. Each tooth is part of an interconnected meridian in the body. When you decide to keep a dead tooth in your mouth through a root canal, you are truly fossilizing a dead organism in your living mouth. How can we think this won’t cause problems?!

Bacteria Found in the Samples

My test results came back saying that 10 bacteria were detected in the tooth sample. None of them were in the “active” concentration, where the microorganism is alive and well and not being effectively attacked by my immune system.

But two were in the “bright” concentration, which means “heavy concentration of the microorganism.”

The two most worrying bacteria were:

Photo of female scientist looking into microscope from

Getting your tooth tested with a bacteria sample can show if your root canal is infected.

Different Bacteria in the Body

I didn’t panic about this. The fact is, everybody has candida (a parasitic fungi like yeast), everybody has cancer, most people probably have strep and even MRSA micro-organisms too. Everybody has many yeasts, molds, fungi, viruses, bacteria, and the toxic waste byproducts of those critters in their blood and guts and organs.

Believe it or not, candida can actually have valid functions in the human body. In proportion, when we’re talking about tiny amounts in a teeming, healthy ecosystem, it’s not a problem.

When Should You Worry About the Bacteria?

The problem is when those baddies get out of hand, when the good guys in the body, like macrophages and healthy microorganisms, are overcome (by antibiotics! GMO-frankenfoods! sugar-feeding yeast and fungus!) and the baddies get out of control.

Killing tissues/organs such as your teeth, then trapping the bacteria in the teeth, deprived of oxygen, makes the baddies become super-psychos. That’s a gross oversimplification, but a google search on those two bacteria reveal that my own two breeds of baddies cause heart attacks, impaired immune response, and infections!2


After the Root Canal Tooth Extraction

It was weird to be missing two teeth for a while, but I was glad to be rid of the super-psychos.

The dentist offered me an antibiotic the day of my surgery, since he knew the baddies were out and running around. I said no thanks, that I wanted to help my body manage it. And it did. Every time I think of this, I send a gratitude message inward, thanking my body for heroic immune function during a rough patch!

What was the experience like if you’ve ever had a root canal? If you could choose, would you have a root canal or have the tooth extracted? Share your story in the comments section below.

Up Next: How To Find A Good Biological Dentist: 10 Questions To Ask

Photograph of Robyn Openshaw, founder of Green Smoothie Girl


Robyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.



Photo of woman with mouth open and dentist with surgical tools with post's text from "What Happened When My Root-Canal Teeth Were Pulled" by Green Smoothie Girl


  1. Zehnder, Matthias, and Georgios N Belibasakis. “On the Dynamics of Root Canal Infections-What We Understand and What We Don’t.” Virulence, Taylor & Francis, 2015,
  2. Georgalas, C., Kanagalingam, J., Zainal, A., Ahmed, H., Singh, A., & Patel, K. S. (2002). The Association between Periodontal Disease and Peritonsillar Infection: A Prospective Study. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery126(1), 91–94.


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that help support the GSG mission without costing you extra. I recommend only companies and products that I use myself.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on November 23, 2012 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Posted in: Dental Health, Detox, Health Concerns, Holistic Care

354 thoughts on “What Happened When My Root-Canal Teeth Were Pulled”

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  1. You have to visit a crisis dental specialist when there is an emergency. While you are confronting a physical issue to your teeth you have to visit a crisis dental specialist in Chermside and not smother it taking agony executioners. From the start you can visit your family doctor and afterward cause a meeting with a dental specialist to go further to take care of the issue. This is significant as a dental center is outfitted with trend setting innovation explicitly intended to deal with oral wounds. Specialists will ensure that you no further experience any sort of agony. For example, if your youngster is encountering horrifying teeth torment, it gets inescapable to hold up until the morning to visit a specialist. Crisis dental specialists investigate the issue with need and take care of the issue.

  2. Robin says:

    I had a root canal I think about 8 to 10 years ago. Had I known then what I know now I would have had the tooth pulled. At the time, I had no issues with the procedure and suffered no ill effects. Having learned about the bacteria that could build up, I am leaning toward getting it checked out now. I still have four mercury-based fillings that I am trying to get replaced (had five but ended up having to get one of the teeth pulled). I have had nothing but problems with my teeth since I had those amalgam fillings put in in college (I am now in my 60s) – extreme sensitivity and periodontal disease, which I am convinced is associated with the fillings. So, time to get the root canal tooth looked at too! And then do a metal detox.

  3. Lwood says:

    Is this why I ‘all of a sudden’ developed Sinus issues at the age of 55 (never before had any) after a Root Canal?

    1. lwood says:

      Forgot to add, this has been going on for 10 years now …

    2. In my opinion. I would say it’s a definite possibility. Reason being around age 23 I started experiencing excruciating headaches. I thought it was part of life, just getting older. Age 28 I get a dental implant on my molar. I knew I had a cavity. Didn’t know it was rotting and probably had tons of bacteria. The implant changed my life. It was as if a dark fog lifted from my mind. No more head aches. Your teeth are so incredibly important to your overall health. I went six years with bacteria in my tooth, who knows how many years that shaved off my life. So to answer your question, just get your root canal teeth replaced with implants. You may find that was the problem.

  4. Kiran says:

    I had my 7 months rct extracted today. Tooth #19. Doctor gave me ozone oil and homeopathy medicines for faster healing.

    1. Julie says:

      may I ask which homeopathics?

  5. Mel says:

    Wow!! I also had the rash a few weeks ago that was told it was pityrisais rosea. The doctor asked if I had been sick recently which I hadn’t. This week I found out my old root canal is infected. Never would have known there was a connection. You’re the first place to indicate the relationship. Thank you

  6. Olivia says:

    My husband had his root canal extracted a week ago and the smell is horrible. Has this happened to anyone else and what did u do about it?

    1. Lee says:

      I had my root canal removed 9/3 . It was not bothering me after almost 30 years, but wanted it out. I’ve noticed more of an odor, but not really that bad. It’s the bacteria in the mouth creating the bad breath, and the fact that we can’t clean where the tooth was extracted. Ask your husband to brush his tongue about 3x’s a day. He can also get some chlorhexidine gluconate 0.12% oral rinse from doc. Or, at least ask the doc to get it for him – it’s by prescription – rinse 3X’s/day little – just let it roll around in the mouth, and let it fall out of the mouth – don’t actually use any force to spit to keep the site undisturbed. My doctor used ozone to clean the area where the tooth was extracted, and put PRP (protein-rich plasma/my own) in to build up the bone ridge before an implant – 4 months down the road. I hope your husband had that done. However, I’m in pain in the my entire lower jaw and upper. I have bad neck pain, too. Of course I was freaked out in the chair as the whole procedure was horrible. Appears my teeth are really tight and gums healthy. That’s good, but it was bear getting that thing out. I thought it would never end! After looking at photos of removed root canals, I had only one root with a little black on the end of it, but nothing like the photos I saw. I go in tomorrow for another check (my 2nd). I sure hope I feel better soon. It’s 2 weeks tomorrow, and still feel badly. Sometimes I get sick when I’m under stress, but the pain is another thing. Head hurts, too. Glad it is the only one I had. Your husband should still brush as good as he can (gently) everywhere else in his mouth, but not close to the extraction. He should still use dental floss on the other teeth and then brush again. I use a dental pick (you know the thing with the little pointed rubber thing on the end?). I put it between the teeth near the gumline – giving it a little rotation (on the inside and outside of the teeth) – and this helps with circulation in the gums. Then I brush again. Hope this helps! Best to you and your husband.

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