Root Canals: Root Cause of Chronic Disease

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Hal Huggins is known as “the most controversial dentist” for his anti-amalgam (mercury-silver) filling stance, and anti-root canal crusade, via lectures, books, articles and television appearances. Consider him the arch-enemy of the American Dental Association (ADA), an organization whose members administer over 25 million root canals a year.

Huggins began practicing dentistry in 1962 and received a post-doctorate masters in immunology/toxicology. Today, Huggins continues to share his knowledge of disease and dentistry, and runs a dental DNA lab, where he continues to make discoveries linking autoimmune diseases to root canals.

To date, Huggins has successfully treated (and pioneered many of these treatments) over 5,000 patients with autoimmune disorders, caused by dental toxins.

You could say Huggins has come a long way, considering that early in his practice, he modestly acknowledges (in a presentation he gave at Price-Pottenger’s headquarters) that he was “quite good” at doing root canals.

So what changed?

Huggins was introduced to the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, DDS, who, in the early 20th century, was one of the first dentists to make the astute observation that infected teeth from root canals led to chronic disease in many of his patients.

Supporters of PETA might be upset to learn how Price researched the reasons behind his observations. He removed teeth which had undergone root canals from patients and sterilized these teeth. After sterilization, fragments of these teeth were inserted under the skin of a live rabbit. Incredibly, the rabbit would develop the same disease as his patient, including arthritis.

Although animal lovers might shudder to learn that Price’s studies involved some 60,000 rabbits, (which is why, jokes Huggins, “there are no rabbits left in Ohio,” home state of Dr. Price), keep in mind that in the early 1900s, animal welfare lacked the consciousness and support of contemporary times. However, through his studies, Price and subsequent dentists who studied and advanced his work, such as Huggins, have been able to reverse autoimmune disorders in thousands of patients.

What is a root canal?

In an attempt to save an infected tooth, a dentist will recommend a root canal, perhaps out of noble, but ignorant intentions, or perhaps out of economic incentive, since root canals are the most profitable dental procedure.
The pulp chamber (a mini-canyon) in all 32 teeth house blood vessels and nerves. Conventional dental schools teach future dentists that each tooth has one to four major canals. But Dr. Price discovered up to 75 ancillary canals in some teeth, forming an intricate maze similar to how the human body’s large blood vessels trail off into tiny capillaries. On a micro level, the teeth are like the Pentagon, containing a maze of tubules that if stretched out would extend for a mind-boggling three-and-a-half miles.
This complex network of tubules is actually located within the teeth.

Now that you have a picture of this micro superhighway of dental arteries, ask yourself if a root canal makes sense, whereby a dentist drills into the pulp chamber and “sterilizes” (at least that’s what the dentist thinks is happening, says Huggins) the canal with chemicals. Where the nerves and blood supply once were, the dentist fills in with a wax, which is dipped with a lubricating agent and heated. This mixture can have a toxic effect because it contains the poison chloroform which Huggins has observed can easily vaporize when heated.

The dentist performing the root canal then jams the wax into the end of the removed nerve canal. Huggins refers to this procedure as a “violation of physics.” Even though the chloroform is heated, the wax cools and shrinks. This, says Huggins, results in “bacterial heaven.”

Root Canals Lead to Bacterial Infections

Huggins deftly explains that any type of antibiotic (including those natural pathogen-fighters found in our body), and white blood cells (also microscopic pathogen fighters) cannot get into the sealed-off canal, but food and germs can, leading to a horror-show of surviving and mutating bacteria.

Normal, harmless bacteria do an about face, akin to Dr. Jekyll morphing into Mr. Hyde, turning nefarious due to oxygen deprivation around the deadened nerve canals. These bacteria are anaerobic, so although they are encapsulated by a dead tooth they are able to reproduce easily.

Bacteria, such as forms of streptococcus, duplicate in the canal and double every 24 hours. One cell of strep mutates into one billion in just one day. These anaerobic bacteria can eventually lead to chronic disease.

Painful teeth are good

Dr. Huggins, towards the end of the first part of his presentation, explains that a painful tooth signifies that the immune system is doing its job, trying to fight unwelcome bacteria; if the pain goes away, it’s quite possible, Huggins warns, that the bacteria may have migrated, perhaps to the heart, possibly leading to heart disease or a heart attack. Huggins strongly suggests that Crohn’s Disease, ALS, Alzheimer’s and other chronic and autoimmune diseases are relative newcomers, appearing shortly after heavy metals first became administered in dental practices, such as the use of amalgam (mercury and copper) fillings.

Answer this: how many medical procedures leaves deadened tissue in the body? The answer: one…root canals. It’s no wonder that many people who have received a root canal have their immune systems go hay wire.



  1. Can someone please tell me an alternative to having a root canal. I am due to have one. I certainly don’t want to just have a hole where the tooth is. What is a healthy alternative?

    • You have a few options to avoid a root canal.
      1. You can have the tooth pulled. If it is nearer the back, you can simply go on without further worry once the tooth is pulled and the area healed.
      2. You can have the tooth pulled and have a bridge put in. However, this is not particularly advisable as Dr. Huggins has not found any bridges made entirely of bio-compatible material. Non-bio-compatible materials may cause terrible health conditions in the body and lead to further complications.
      3. Lastly, you may be eligible to save your tooth using ozone therapy. In this situation is it used by dentists who have been properly trained in the use of ozone gas to treat dental infections. These dentists have found that when ozone is used as a gas rather than a liquid, it acts as a powerful antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal agent. Gaseous ozone is able to find the infection and eradicate a gum and tooth infection which, otherwise, may not be treatable.

      If you are a professional interested in receiving training in the use of ozone therapy to treat dental infections, we suggest you look into

      Hope that helps Marcie!

  2. Is there anything that can be done if you already have a root canal? Besides removing the tooth completely? Shortly after getting a root canal I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. Even after treatment I still struggle at times. Recently I had all my mercury fillings replaced with Cerec. Is that good? Now I’m concerned with the root canal from years ago.

    • CEREC is excellent. If you can locate a properly trained ozone dentist, then he or she may recommend a six week treatment protocol of ozone injections around and possibly into the teeth which have root canals. Not too many dentists have the proper training. Yes it is possible that there is a connection between your disease and the root canal. The tooth should probably be addressed either way and then you may want to locate someone to work with for support and detoxification.
      For a thorough and complete guide on safe detoxification, see David Getoff’s “Detoxification” DVD, available in the Price-Pottenger bookstore here This DVD provides enough education to give you the right questions to ask your potential healthcare practitioner.

  3. SandyBeach says:

    Oh dear! I worked as a dental assistant for 18 years & NEVER knew this!! Like many others, I was taught the “rule” of removing the infection or dead/dying nerve. It makes total sense, it that’s the only thing you are taught.
    Then again…I had one root canal in my 20’s – no infection per say; an inflamed periodontal ligament that persisted for a year until I finally asked my boss to do the RCT, to make the pain go away. I was DX with hypothyroid in my early 30’s. In my 40’s I had yet TWO more RCT, again for a “hot” tooth – NO DECAY – which had “abscessed” the bone between the tooth with the original RCT and the one next to it 🙁 I must say, even though “the” nerves have been removed this part of my mouth has never felt right.
    Amalgams – another story in itself. Yes, I have them too – many from childhood. I know they should be removed. I’m running out of dentists I can trust. It seems like even the ones I thought were doing the right thing are not and there is still a hearty debate IF amalgam is really bad in our community 🙁

    I’m now in my 50’s, with Hashimoto and wondering if I should have those two teeth that had the RCT extracted? Or, has the “damage been done” ????

    If I have those removed, then I may risk super-eruption of the 2 opposing teeth; resulting in the loss of four teeth. As they are the 2 back molars, it’s not an ideal case for a bridge. I’ll need to research, can the Ozone treatment be done on previously treated teeth?

    Thanks, in advance for your thoughts.

    • Professor Boyd Haley, former head of the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky, proved with much research that most root canals, even those which are thought not to be infected, are toxic waste dumps. At this time, it seems incredible that the “safety” of mercury in the human mouth is up for debate. Mercury is one of the three most natural toxic substances in the world. It can be challenging to locate a quality, natural dentist. A good place to look is Here in San Diego, we are lucky to have Dr. Andrew Zakarian, also a PPNF board-member (

  4. I am trying to find a dentist and medical doctor who can help me determine the best course of action to eliminate systemic infection, namely small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), caused by toxic infection of root canals in 14 teeth. The root canals were performed 1986-1989 and have unknowingly created a myriad of health issues in the decades since. After years of seeking help from cardiologists, rheumatologists, chiropractors, gastroenterologists, dieticians, etc., I realize the source of the bacteria causing so many varied symptoms is coming from my mouth. My teeth and gums are literally buzzing (tinnitus symptom) with what feels like radioactivity. The sides of my tongue feel it too since it rests beside so much crown metal exposed from receding gums.

    My dentist will not even conduct a routine cleaning without my taking an antibiotic prior to the office visit. Infection at the roots of 14 teeth is apparent on x-rays. When I approached her on the subject of the SIBO and failed root canal connection, she sent me to receive ozone autohemotherapy, with the advice that the teeth be saved at any cost.

    You may guess the autohemotherapy did not work, as it is a blood transfusion, for which the blood cannot reach the dead area of the teeth. If we were to re-clean the roots of all these teeth, could the bacteria possibly all be eradicated within the miles of dentin tubules? Is there any possibility of overcoming the monstrous beast this bacteria has become within my body without removing the teeth?

    I feel I am down to two unsavory choices. Live with the toxic pathogens and the disease they wreak on my body or extract so many teeth that will certainly alter the quality of my life. At least the latter would BE a life; presently I am sliding down a slippery slope of losing hope for a disease-free one. Keeping the teeth “at any cost” is seemingly the cost of my life.

    What to do when so many teeth are involved?

    Thank you for any insight you may offer.

    • The ozone was very beneficial and helped to greatly reduce your pathogen burden. In order to get into all the dead tooth areas you would need to locate a properly trained ozone dentist. Ozone, being a gas, can indeed get into the dead tooth when injected properly into the surrounding gum tissues and possibly into the dead tooth itself with a number of weekly treatments. This would need to be discussed with the trained ozone dentist and not in a blog or on a web site.

  5. Poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking, overuse of alcohol, poor diet, lack of physical activity and inadequate relief of chronic stress are key contributors in the development and progression of preventable chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and several types of cancer. Even though doctors encourage healthful behaviors to help prevent or manage many chronic medical conditions, many patients are inadequately prepared to either start or maintain these appropriate, healthy changes. Most patients understand the reasoning behind a healthy lifestyle even if they don’t understand the disease processes that can occur when they don’t maintain healthy habits. This exactly is the root cause of chronic diseases.

  6. Carissa Cady says:

    Hi there, I just came across this site after desperately researching answers to my mom’s health issues. She had a root canal about 16 years ago, and has sometimes major health issues since then. We have been to several doctors and no one seems to be able to help her. Ever since the root canal, she has had fluid that drains from her mouth, rashes, white pustules in her mouth, and so many other issues. You wouldn’t have any doctor recommendations for someone who has treated a patient who has an auto immune disease as a result of a root canal?

  7. I was diagnosed with Hasimotos in July of 2014, I have been working with a functional dr on diet and nutrition my original TPO number dropped by 200 points in the first 90 days and then the next 90 days they were back up to where I started, and I feel my root canal could have something to do with it. I do not have any resources in my area for the proper dentist, is there any blood test that I could take that might indicate the root canal is causing me an issue? And I have recently cracked a tooth which they want to crown so what material is best for that.

    • We suggest you contact the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT). You may need a biocompatibility blood test for dental material. In addition you may wish to look at factors such as food allergies, chemical and environmental exposures, and wireless device inflammation.

  8. Question: When I was about 13 years old, I’m 39 now, I had a traumatic tooth injury, and it died. My dentist did a root canal. I had bleach pellets inserted into a hole (it was closed over with a material) in the back of the tooth for years, to prevent the grey color. About 7 years ago when pregnant with my first child, the gum line above the tooth became inflamed and red. As soon as I delivered, it went away. This did not happen during my second pregnancy. Although the tooth is dead, I can still “feel” an ache within sometimes. About 6 months ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimotos. I’m wondering if any of this might be related? The tooth is in the front, adjacent to my two front teeth, and had a crown put over out about 3 years ago. Thanks for any help or advice.

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