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What Happened When My Root-Canal Teeth Were Pulled

Robyn Openshaw - Updated: March 21, 2024 - - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

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

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 "What Happened When My Root-Canal Teeth Were Pulled" by Green Smoothie Girl

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 "What Happened When My Root-Canal Teeth Were Pulled"

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 GirlRobyn 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.

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.

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.


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

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

Leave a Comment
  1. 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?

  2. 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

  3. 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.

      1. Mindy says:

        I am considering having this done and just read your comment. Since your follow-up, is the head and neck pain a normal part of the recovery process? I have 3 that will be removed, more than likely all at once. I am working with a biodentist and I know he plans to use the ozone, but not sure of the plasma.

        1. Gayle Swanson says:

          I just had 3 root canals removed yesterday…it wasn’t horrible, and I have 3 flippers to replace the teeth immediately. I was treated with ozone after….the teeth were very discolored, and she had to scrape the bone to remove the diseased areas…..I have had so many crazy symptoms that Dr.’s couldn’t diagnose, then I started researching and reading about root canals. I feel better today than I have for quite a while…less body pain…back, and knee…..If you have this done go to a Bio dentist…not a wholistic…..good luck, Gayle

      2. Donna P. says:

        Thank you for your post. Wondering how you are doing now?

        I have one that is over 30 years that needs to come out soon.

      3. Nancy says:

        I hear you!!! I’m having the very same issue with a pulled root canal tooth!!! The root canal should never have been done last year this time! It failed…that tooth has been under severe traumas throughout 51 years. I wish I would have done research on this last fall…I should have just had the tooth pulled back then, and I would have saved over $3,000! I’m now paying on that root canal and bridge for nothing (nothing to show for it because it all has been ripped out)! I don’t know if I’ll ever be right. It’s going on 10 days. I was given a powerful antibiotic because I can’t take any penicillin products. I’ve now developed the side effect of diarrhea. Such a lousy experience, I can’t tell you!!!

        1. cindy says:

          you need probiotics for and least 10 days
          there are capsules/drinks and yogurt
          if the diarrhea continues, it may have to be treated
          really important

    2. krt says:

      I have found that holistic essential lavender oil, therapeutic only, can be put on a q-tip and be used to clean the site. It reduced my gum inflammation and helps in healing too. It is concentrated, so not a lot, taste not great, but it works.

    3. Veronica says:

      I’ve had constant discomfort, not pain, but a constant feeling of pressure on my root canaled tooth from 2 years ago. I went to the dentist, they did xray and said root canal is fine. I have no answers as to why I feel this. I’ve called several oral surgeons and they’ve all said they won’t pull out my tooth unless there’s something wrong with it. It’s really frustrating, I just want the tooth out. I’ve been feeling a lot of things on that side of my face, itchy inside of ear, pressure on cheekbone and congestion, which I never had before but doctor says it’s unrelated. I truly feel that root canal has something to do with all this.

      1. Laura says:

        Please look up Dr. Kelly Blodgett. He specializes in removing root canals and will answer all your questions through his website.

      2. Andrea says:

        I had the same experience as you. Look for a biological dentist and ask for a CT bone scan….that’s how I found out my canal was failing. Had the tooth removed and feel so much better.

      3. Marcela Ortiz says:

        I totally understand your frustration, I’ve through the same freaking experience, sorry but those doctors just don’t understand that they have to LISTEN to the patient and if you want it removed they should just do it. I finally found a dentist that will remove mine but she still told me yesterday to give it 2nd thought before our next appointment I had several painful months to think about it. I have the same symptoms as you plus now I get the sensation that I have needles in that place. I follow Dr Leedia on insta, she’s amazing and look for Blodgettdentalcare as well, if I lived in the USA I would had reach them long time ago. I hope you get rid of that tooth soon

    4. Doug says:

      Oh my gosh yes! I had a crown fall off of a healthy tooth last year and it was horrible! The smell was just like dead rats! I am looking for an holistic dentist to extract two root canaled teeth now. I have an unexplained condition where my heart races for no apparent reason. All pathology tests have came back normal. Do you know of any in NC, or even SC or VA would be fine. I need to fix this.

  4. Mark says:

    I have a question. Are the people removing the root canal-ed tooth getting an implant? Ceramic or titanium? I have one root canal and my dentist wants to remove it. She does both titanium and ceramic. I am leaning toward the ceramic as other dental work I have had has worked better when ceramic. Thank You,

  5. Nancy says:

    I had a root canal and bridge put on my right back molars last October/November. Because of the Covid issue, I was not able to go to my April, 2020 cleaning appointment and did so September 21st. At the cleaning appointment, the hygienist discovered that the gum was quite puffy around that area, so she x-rayed it. It showed that the root canal had failed, and either one of the roots or the total tooth had to be removed. Well, I had the tooth removed (and the bridge had to be cut off). The extraction was fine, but ever since 10/5/2020 (when this was done), I’ve been battling with severe pain. The antibiotics he prescribed have made things more difficult as I now have developed diarrhea. Looking at the area makes me sick. It is definitely not healing very fast, and the white bone is exposed. That is where most of the pain has evolved. I was so angry with this dentist because the tooth he pulled has been under a lot of trauma in 51 years. I’m approaching 70–had a lot of dental work done in those 51 years. I believe the root canal should never have been done because of this, but I didn’t do my research last year when I should have! He’s fixing everything for free, so I highly doubt he will send me to a specialist as I would end up footing that bill, too. I wasted over $2,000 or more with this being done for nothing!! The bottom line here is to NEVER, EVER HAVE A ROOT CANAL, NO MATTER WHAT!!! I have bridge work and veneers on my top teeth (and 3 root canals up there). It’s just a matter of time before those fail!! I’m beginning to disrespect dentists! The one I saw is a prosthetic dentist with 45 years of experience!! Go figure!

    1. cindy says:

      the white should not be there. you need to go back in
      or see another oral surgeon. you need probiotics for the
      diarrhea capsules drink or yogurt for at least 10 days
      you can do it at least twice a day

    2. Marcela Ortiz says:

      Check Dr leedia on Instagram, she is amazing!!! And she does virtual consultations in case it’s not near your area. I hope you feel better soon

  6. Janie says:

    I had a root canal 7 1/2 years ago, but I would not have ever agreed to it, had I known what I know now. Recently, it began to hurt when I put pressure on it by chewing. Since the soonest dental appointment was a month away, I wanted to prevent it from becoming a dental emergency in the meantime, so I started oil pulling 2x day, and now it only hurts if I bit on it hard. My appointment is on Monday. Since I’ve learned about the dangers of root canalled teeth to the body, especially immune system, I’m thinking I would like to have it extracted now, regardless. I’ve also read that common x-rays in dental offices often miss the more mildly infected root canals, and I’m wondering, how should I respond if the dentist tells me that the tooth is fine, and I don’t need it pulled?

    1. Janie says:

      So I guess I’ll reply to my own comment, to update. The dentist, to whom it was my first visit, offered to extract the infected root canalled tooth on the spot. I was surprised, but I agreed. First they did an x-ray, and there was no missing the decayed spot. It was right there under the root. They offered the apicoectomy procedure as an alternative, but I chose the extraction.
      I was very happy with the result–at least at first. After the procedure, I had a feeling like things were going on in there (good things). It did not smell (verified by another person). It was sore for 3 days, but this is normal, and now I just have to go easy on the area. Happily, my IBS-D cleared up overnight, and has for the most part stayed in remission. My maintenance insomnia did go away too, initially, and I found myself waking up at a healthy time, feeling rested; however, it seems to have returned since 3 days ago. I’ve been feeling my heart pounding a bit at night, and my resting heart rate has gone up, without doing anything else differently. (Of course, I don’t know for sure whether it’s related to the tooth, but I think it makes the most sense to look there first.)
      Since I had been in pain, I took the soonest available dental appointment, but since doing more reading, I believe it’s better to go to a holistic dentist. It seems people tend to develop cavitations if the area is not thoroughly cleaned and the periodontal ligament removed. I’m planning on getting a holistic dentist to take a look as soon as possible.

    2. Lynn says:

      They said mine didn’t need to be pulled, just needed a new crown. I insisted that it get pulled. He said ok as long as I got a referral from my primary dentist which she understood how I felt.

  7. David Walker says:

    It’s good to learn that rampant infection and decay could be a sign that you need a root canal procedure. My wife is wanting to improve her dental health and she was wondering what she should know if she needs a root canal. I’ll be sure to tell her that she should get a root canal if she notices her teeth decaying.

  8. krt says:

    I am getting root canal and extraction, is the article still relevant if tooth is extracted? I am getting an implant.

    I was wondering how long the swelling takes to go away after procedure, and the pain in an upper molar, near the sinus??????? Anyone please….

  9. Jewel Sowell says:

    This article is spot on. I went to Dr. Yolanda Cintron, Awesome Florida Dentist. Check out the website about root canals.

  10. Diana Baxter says:

    Hi, I just had 2 bottom root canaled teeth extracted a week ago. they were 44 years old. they had already been through two sets of crowns when the decay, I mean disgusting decay, was discovered. I had no taste or pain

    About a year ago I started to have strange rashes. then sudden allergies to shellfish. My knees, my elbows, my sacral joint was throbbing and stinging. now for the past 25-30 years I’ve had all sorts of mysterious symptoms but nothing comes back from the doctor’s reports.
    When I had the crown taken off back in February 2021, she said the teeth have to go. okay, shocking.
    They put a temporary crown on until I could get to the periodontist on one of the teeth.
    That seems to have opened up Pandora’s box. My strange pains and muscle fatigue was out of control. I knew it was the bacteria from tooth amping up.
    The periodontist extracted both on Monday. They came out in pieces. the pain, has been off the charts even with the meds. they did bone grafts for collagen prepping them for implants down the road. they want everything to heal for the next 5 to 6 months and I’m on strong antibiotics.
    I’m not one to take antibiotics but I have no choice since the infection was really bad. I also am taking probiotics to counterbalance.
    it is unbelievable what bad decaying root canals can do to your immune system.
    I’m on the road to recovery but it won’t be quick. I work with nutritionists and I’m going to start with ion foot baths and a detox. by the way, when the dentist took a picture of what the tooth look like it was filled with Mercury! 45 year old poison. both teeth.
    my body believe it or not, it feels lighter.
    when I was reading your post about the rashes, it just clicked!! thanks so much!

    1. RC says:

      How do you know that all the immune responses were from your tooth? Are you just guessing or is that what the dentist said? I’m just curious and thinking about having one extracted.

    2. Cindy says:

      This is so interesting to read! I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease 3 years ago, I had a root canal almost 4 years ago. Most of the time gradually since then I was fatigued, didn’t sleep well, rashes, strange reactions to food, all over body pain, uncomfortable neck, shoulders, back, feet, hand joints swellIing, tight chests on and off etc.. the list has been endless! .I had an abcessed gum recently and went to the was the upper root canal tooth, it got pulled and strangely enough most of my above symtoms have disappeared! I too feel lighter!

  11. Jolene says:

    Hi Robyn,
    How long did it take you to get better after the extraction of your root canals?
    Also, would you recommend something in particular to detoxify?
    Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. jo says:

      Charcol Pills after the extraction. Absorbs the toxins released from the removal

  12. Lisa Perrin says:

    Every root canal I’ve ever had has since been extracted. Going in today for another one.
    I hate having all these holes. Guess it’s one step closer to dentures.
    I have severe dentist anxiety. Due to the fact that I dont like being treated like a hillbilly redneck. If there was another way, I would choose it. And the $$$ spent, of course.
    Man, I wish we were born with a little shark DNA.

    1. Beth says:

      Why did you have them all removed?

  13. Beth says:

    I am freaking out. I am a major dental phobic person and just hearing the words, "your root canal tooth #19 is old, infected and needs extracted", had me balling in the oral surgeons office.

    I am terrified. he said this was going to be a "very bad" extraction…WTH? What should I do in preparation?

    I’m crying my eyes out…

  14. Vanessa says:

    thank God! for the information , I’ve been in pain for 5 months, and been diagnosed with a infected tooth, where the dentist telling, me nothing’s wrong.. I need a extraction. because pain pills, is not helping…Thanks people for you helpful comments..

  15. Tara Poirier says:

    Careful Picking a Dentist !??
    As Long as He Cares More For Your TEETH Than He Cares About MONEY Is the Answer !
    Some Dentist Will Tell You That You Need a ROOT CANAL
    And You Really Don’t !! Or You Need a CROWN !?? And You Really Don’t ???!! Or They Have to Pull This Tooth ???
    Think About it Long Ago They Tried to Save Your Teeth There was No Such Thing as Root Canal or Crown. They Would Either Give You a Very Large Filling or if the Tooth Had Hardly Any Root Left From Decay They Would Pull it !!!
    Very Sad !!!

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