I stumbled on the site when trying to figure out why I was still having pain from a root canal I had this week. And was incredulous when I realized the complete deterioation of my health started with a root canal 3 years ago. Since then I have diagnosed with a host of rare autoimmune disorders, systemic infections, neurological disorders, tumors, abscesses, with no end in sight. 3 years ago, I was healthy.
The theories represented by George Meining, DDS, on the dangers of root canal therapy, is extremely interesting. The logic, research and documentation supporting his perspectives is compelling. It is almost too simple not to have been given significant consideration by health care professionals and diagnositics decades ago.
I enjoyed 20+ years of decay free checkups, due to what I considered my vigilant bi-annual teeth cleanings. Then in 2003, I had 5 cavities. In 2004, I needed crowns on 4 teeth. In 2005, all 4 of these crowned teeth required root canals.
Finally, in Jun 2006, after a simple dental procedure, I began experiencing severe pain. For 7 days, I called my dentist daily and then started going to his office telling him the pain was excruciating and to do something to make it stop. He had X-rayed the tooth prior to the procedure the previous Wednesday, and said the tooth was fine. And in fact it did "Look" okay. There was no swelling, the gums weren't red, yet the pain was unbearable.
Then as suddenly as it started, the pain stopped. I looked in the mirror and the left side of my face was so swollen I could barely see out of my left eye.
Two hours later, I was being X-rayed by Dr Tony Rainwater, an Endodontist, (and a really great guy). He said I had a really bad abscess at the root of my tooth, which had eaten through the bone, and the infection was now spreading through my face. I was deathly ill for weeks, while I was treated with antibiotics and steroids. After 4 weeks, the infection had cleared up enough for him to perform a 2nd Root Canal. My regular dentist had missed a chamber during the first root canal a few months earlier, and the remaining pulp had become infected.
I never fully recovered. For the next 8 months, I began contracting one infection after another. Each one more severe and lasting longer than the one before. Until finally, I collapsed in the office of my family physcian. X-Rays showed double Pneumonia and a nasal swab indicated the flu (the second time in 4 months). I was hospitalized for 5 weeks. When one infection cleared, I'd go home a couple of days and then be rushed back with increasingly more serious and contagious infections. I was finally put in isolation after testing positive for VRE and MIRSA.
On June 1, 2007, exactly one year, after the infamous Root Canal, I was diagnosed with Common Variable Immune Deficiency.
Dr Elizabeth Borrero, my Infectious Disease doctor, said adult onset IgM Immune Deficiency was extremely rare. And in her 20 year career she had never seen nor read of it. It runs in families and is usually diagnosed before the age of 5, I was 53 years old at diagnosis.
Now today, three years after the first abscess and four days after a 5th Root Canal, I am reading an article with seemingly "valid documentation of systemic illnesses resulting from latent infections lingering in filled roots."
I was a founding officer with an executive level position, in a bank that I loved and had helped build into a $1 billion dollar franchise over a 22 year period. I was now too sick to work and ended up taking early retirement to try to focus on my health.
I have been taking IVIG treatments every two weeks for the past 30 months. The treatments are expensive, time consuming, and have debilitating side effects. But they have been successful at reducing the number of infections I get, their frequency and severity. And most importantly they have significantly reduced the number of hospital stays each year.
But, I am still plagued with a host of infections and autoimmune diseases. During the past 12 months alone, I was rushed to the Emergency Room with breathing difficulties. A CT Scan revealed two six-centimeter pulmonary masses. A Biopsy performed by a Thoracic Surgeon diagnosed the masses as Sarcoidosis, which is treatable with steroids. Unfortunately, I cannot take steroids, since being diagnosed with Diabetes the previous year.
My Infectious Disease doctor, refered my to a Neurologist for EMG and Nerve Conduction Testing, after I complained that I suffered at night with extreme pain in both legs and that I was losing the feeling in my right foot. The test results were abnormal and given a diagnosis of Diffuse Sensory and Motor Polyneuropathy.
For 52 years, I had enjoyed a full and active life. I've been married to my collage sweetheart for 35 years, we've raised 3 beautiful children and have begun reaping the rewards of grandchildren. We traveled, camped, cooked, entertained, worked, gardened, hunted, fished and read.
Today, I am not well enough to drive, do my own grocery shopping, or even take a walk. Most of my outings are for medical treatments or testing. I've become a mere spectator of the life that was once lived large.
"All of the "building up" done to try to enhance the patient's ability to fight infections -to strengthen their immune system - is only a holding action. Many patients won't be well until the source of infection - the root canal tooth - is removed."
It is almost unimaginable that the horrors I've endured these past three years, could have been prevented, by simply pulling a tooth instead of having a root canal. I have forwarded this research to my Infectious Disease doctor, to discuss at my next appointment.
Dental Schools should be held accountable. Instead of teaching the young dentists of today and tomorrow to be mere technicians who work to save dead teeth, they should aspire to educate these young professionals that they are "Healers" and that they are their patients first line of defense. The decisions they make in developing a treatment plan for their patients can either enrich or greatly diminish the lives and future health of their patients
Case Studies, should be reported, and fed to the media.
Hopefully, armed with this information, and the help of an enlightend Endodontist, I can one day, be a success story that may save another wife, mother, or daughter from becoming a spectator instead of a participant in their own lives.