Root canal or tooth out with afib ? - AF Association

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Root canal or tooth out with afib ?


Hi all.

I don't want to kick off my afib again. I posted a week or so ago about gum infection affecting my heart rate and afib.

Sorted now with antibiotics. However it needs something doing - just chewing on one side. The dentist said either have a root canal or just take it out. It's a back tooth but I would like to keep it if possible (root canal job).

Anyone had experience of a root canal with afib and did it cause any heart problems ?

Thanks in advance for any advice.


53 Replies

Just make sure that you ask for non adrenaline local Paul.

Paulbounce in reply to BobD

Thanks Bob. I'll check that out and make sure I ask for a non adrenaline local.


Hi Had a back tooth extracted 2 years ago with no problems! Just had to stop my morning Apixaban and as Bob has already said make sure you ask for a non adrenaline local.

Have no experience with root canal procedure since Afib diagnosed.

Hope this helps



P.S. Thought I had posted this reply over an hour ago. Don’t know what happened to it !!

Must be gremlins at work!

Ty Lynne. Darn gremlins 😎

I had it done with no adjustments, just stopped morning Pradaxa. Normal injection all ok no problems.

Just my experience though

Paulbounce in reply to sotolol

Cheers Sotolol - pleased to hear no problems ;-)


Had a root canal done this time last year no issues whatsoever also had adrenaline free local hope all goes well .

Paulbounce in reply to oliviab9

Ty Olivia ;-)

I've had two extractions without any trouble but I take Flecainide which controls the AF but not my nerves! All was OK.

Paulbounce in reply to Finvola

Ty Fin. I can understand your nerves 😜

Yes had root canal, no it didn’t cause problems but it’s a considerable procedure & an expensive one these days. Not had an extraction since AF. Good luck.

Paulbounce in reply to CDreamer

Ty CD ;-)

Yes I've had several with no probs. Just been told that one done 4 years ago will need redoing 🙄 and as CD says pretty expensive . Been quoted £550 plus £700 for crowning "😨

Paulbounce in reply to Jalia

Ty Jalia. The denist said about the same for crowning. I'll have to start a 'Go Fund Me' page to pay for it all hehe ;-)

Jalia in reply to Paulbounce

Interesting to read other opinions on root canal treatments. They don't always last very long and as such are a ridiculous price and can be quite traumatic. Alot depends on your dentist of course but decent honest ones are a rarity in my experience.

Paulbounce in reply to Jalia

Ty Jalia ;-)

Personally, I wouldn’t have anymore root canal treatment. I had quite a lot some years ago. The tooth dies and becomes brittle to the point of just breaking off. When they have to come out they always break. It’s an good earner for a dentist, then another charge when tooth needs to come out.

I did have an extraction since having AF, no problems, didn’t even have to stop Rivaroxaban. Obviously, as others have said, no adrenaline.

Paulbounce in reply to Mrsvemb

Ty Mrsvemb. Food for thought !

CDreamer in reply to Mrsvemb

Well my first root canal on my eye tooth lasted for 25 years so I thought that excellent. I ended up having to have an implant to replace it - now that was expensive but very worthwhile IMHO.

Jalia in reply to Mrsvemb

I'm inclined to agree with you here !

cuore in reply to Mrsvemb

I would like to disagree with you. I have had several root canals; they have not become brittle or broken off. I am so thankful to be able to have root canal treatments because the alternative would be extractions leaving holes. In a root canal, it is the nerve that is removed which I guess you term " dies."

Paulbounce in reply to cuore

Ty Cuore - again food for thought ;-)

I have AFib and dental issues. Extraction and root canal quite doable - and my US EP recommends against stopping anticoagulant. But I would skip the root canal and go straight to extraction for the reasons a previous poster gave. I have dealt with a failed root canal - awful awful awful. You can have the extraction site prepared for possible later implant without actually committing to it right away. I would recommend that. It’s what I did 3 days ago. And make sure to follow recovery procedures so you don’t get a “dry socket,”

Ty OM. Useful to know ;-)

Buffafly in reply to Oldiemoldy

That is a very good point - I tried a root canal on a molar but halfway through the dentist informed me that one root was calcified so the tooth would have to go anyway. Half the tooth broke away soon afterwards. I won’t bore you with the saga in between but I am going to have to have a somewhat dangerous dental procedure in hospital at some point 😱

I would check with your dentist that they are sure it will be successful and can be crowned too.

Paulbounce in reply to Buffafly

Ty Buff. Good luck with your dental procedure 😁

Had several Paul, and a bone graft for an implant plus implants x 2 no problem at all, stayed on apixaban as well bled a little but soon stopped ! Bit of swelling for a couple of days is the worst you'll get !


Paulbounce in reply to Andyc934

Cheers Andy ;-)

I had root canal work done last year and had no problems. It is essential to tell the dentist in advance that you have AF as he will then use a different anaesthetic (without adrenaline I believe). You could also ask him not to have sessions in the chair which are too long. Btw, the anaesthetic I had was totally effective, but left little of the usual numbness afterwards. I don’t know why they don’t use it with all patients.

Ty Sam ;-)

I have had AFib for about ten years and in that time have had three root canals with no effect on my AFib even though I am quite susceptible to episodes of AF with other kinds of infections. Hope this is the case for you.

Paulbounce in reply to Maunei

Ty Maunei. Hope I'm the same ;-)

Hello forum friendYes I have had root canal work and an apicetomy on a front tooth as well as an extraction.

No AF effects.

Make sure you double check you are having adrenaline free anaesthetic,even as you sit on the chair. I had a near miss!

My dentist put me in first thing so I missed first dose of Apixaban took layer in morning and adjusted evening time.

No bleeding issues other than took a bit longer to stop. He did put a little stitch in the extraction to aid healing .

All the best nothing worse than toothache ! 👍👍

Paulbounce in reply to wilsond

Ty Wil. Hope all ok with you ;-)

wilsond in reply to Paulbounce

Yes all good here. Get vaccine today 🙂🙂

Paulbounce in reply to wilsond

Great news Wil - pleased all ok with you and you have had your jab.

Take care and have a lovely weekend.


Not had the root canal Paul but have had teeth out as Bob and others say ask for non adrenaline. I was sent to my local dental hospital for the extractions, they put a seaweed dressing (only way they described it) on top to stop bleeding before they stitched me up. Good luck.

Paulbounce in reply to sapphy

Ty Sapphy ;-)

Hi Paul,

I was in the same boat as you in January. I was a-fibbing badly after having Covid (another talking point here), but still scheduled a tooth extraction after I'd broken it a couple weeks previously. It was the last molar and I chose to not have a root canal or implant. I had no a-fib problems whatsoever during and after the procedure, despite the frequency of which I was having them at the time. Stick to your antibiotics -- inflammation is a trigger for a-fib.

Ty Snowgirl. You are quite right - inflammation can be a trigger. Pleased all ok with you now ;-)

Yes indeed -- it's nice to be able to chew on both sides of the mouth!

Yes to root canal, no to problems but AF as a result of infection.

Paulbounce in reply to Buffafly

Ty Buff - I think for sure us afibbers need to look after our teeth. Indeed it's very important. I'm turning off the computer for the evening soon but I have suggestion for us all (or a question). I'll draft it out - maybe tomorrow or the weekend when I have more time ;-)

I would not have another. It was not a good experience for me. Watch the documentary titled Root Cause There is a connection between root canals and heart problems according to the documentary. My husband has to make the same decision and he is going for a tooth extraction and then possibly a ceramic post with tooth. Expensive but better than root canal.

Ty Louise - again food for thought ;-)

I had a root canal about three years ago. I have AFIB but had no problem with root canal

Paulbounce in reply to Rubyray

Ty Ruby ;-)

I’m on Apixaban and have had a right load of dental treatment this year. My dentist has been brilliant checking everything for me re AFib and Apixaban. No AFib.

Good to hear FMS ;-)

Ugh...I have self care issues and have neglected my teeth..BADLY. . I need a good dentist NOW ( yesterday, really 😐).Does anyone know a great kind skillful holistically minded dentist in lr near New York City?

Thanks, Wishing everyone all the best, heart and healthwise.

Paulbounce in reply to Sparky143

Can't help Sparky as UK based. Tried a Google and a look on Trustplot ?


I had bad teeth and cleared them by root canal two weeks ago. Since I was afraid of dental checkups, I refused to go to dental clinics. If pain occurs, I usually have pain killers for controlling the pain. However, three weeks ago, I had severe pain and swelling in the gum, and I couldn't even open my mouth properly. And I went to my nearest dental clinic [ ] for a checkup. My dentist scolded me for not taking proper care at the right time. He said that if we do not clear bad teeth problems, the bacteria may pass to the surrounding teeth and damage those teeth. If I could check it at the right time, my problem could be cleared by taking minor treatments. But now I have had to do a root canal because of my carelessness. Root canaling is not a very complicated treatment process, and the dentists gave minor anesthesia before doing the root canal procedures. You will notice some irritations for two days, and you will be alright after 2-3 days. So I would recommend you remove it as soon as possible to avoid further complications to your oral health.

Thanks Jem for your reply.


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