In November 2017 I had a root canal. It was on my top front tooth second from the middle two (lateral incisor). In mid December I started having health issues, which shocked me as I am only 35. Both of my hands went week and had chronic pain. I had troubles opening and turning jars, had to stop my house renovations as I was just too weak in the hands. The pain was not bad, maybe a 2/3 out of 10, but was constant and frustrating when coupled with overall weakness. I assumed I was developing Arthritis in my hands. To add to this, in October I almost broke a finger, in September I needed stiches on a finger and I had been doing renovations at home so some of my fingers were already in rough shape...(making it difficult for me to relate the hand weakness/pain to a root canal in November)
I went to my doctors claiming I thought I had Arthritis. We ran some blood tests but nothing came back in the results. By January the pain/weakness had moved up both my forearms. By the end of the month my shoulders would heat up an provide a burning sensation every time I lied down. The good news in all this is I'd sleep each night, and wake up feeling pretty healthy with minimal pain. The constant however was the hand weakness/pain. The other symptoms would be very minimal in the mornings and would slowly get worse throughout the day? My arms felt as though I had just finished lifting a rep of weights. As an example, I took a phone call one day in a store, the call was 5 minutes long, and just the position of lifting my arm up caused my shoulder to burn for about half an hour afterwards.
With more doctor appointments was more tests. I had a small vertebrae fracture in my lower back in my early 20's so I asked for an X-Ray there in addition to the one my doctor requested on my neck. As my pain was symmetrical in nature, my doctor assumed I had hurt my neck. Again nothing was found, nor with the extra blood work.
By January I was having weird daily pains all over my body, down my legs, a lot of random muscle spasms in my arms, heart palpitations...while not painful, it freaked me out a bit when added to the fact my arms that were becoming less and less useful each week. It was though I had carpal tunnel in both hands at once. I tried to force myself back on the treadmill as just months ago I had been running miles with no issues. I started the treadmill and had to shut it off after walking for a while. I stretched and stretched and hopped back on and attempted to jog, but soon had to stop, almost wanting to cry as I headed back upstairs without able to even break a sweat. My toes would drag a bit, I was worried enough I dragged the treadmill to the middle of the room in case I tripped and fell close to the wall.
After getting desperate and searching for answers on-line, I came across root canal posts and did some research. I had zero pain in my mouth, all seemed fine, but I was curious. I phoned up a biological dentist, made an appointment, and he recommended pulling the tooth. So back to the doctor I went. I was getting desperate thinking I had ALS or some other degenerative disease. My mind had been foggy for a couple months and I literally felt slower mentally, in addition to being slow physically. I mentioned the timelines of my root canal to my doctor and mentioned there may be a connection and that I was thinking about having the tooth pulled. I did find there was some tenderness in my gums when firmly pressing but little else stood out as being wrong. To my surprise she thought I was crazy, stating there was no way possible it was related to my tooth, almost laughing at the very thought. She then berated the dentists recommendation, stating they will say anything for money. He was a holistic dentist, and I could tell she did not like that word, quite frankly neither did I, but I was running out of options and my doctor wasn't doing much but arranging tests for diseases that did not seem to have cures.
My original root canal seemed to go according to plan. Pain was minable, I heeled fine and I not give it a second thought. Looking back I recall they could not find blood when drilling so they kept going a bit further, they said the tooth was likely dead and that the canal was needed. My new biological dentist had new x-rays taken. There was some slight discoloration of my gums, but he could not definitively tell if the tooth was the problem or see a definitive infection. He recommended pulling it as he had seen enough negative outcome root canals over his long career, but really gave me little confidence that removing one of my front teeth was the right answer.
My EMG came and went, I was told there was absolutely no issue with my muscles and they could rule out ALS. I was relieved many of the scary diseases were being ruled out, but was still getting desperate. The leftover diseases seemed to be pointing to MS or Fibromyalgia, not something I was looking forward to.
But the universe quickly gave me my answer, driving home from the EMG my new dentist phoned asking if I could move up my appointment a couple of weeks until the very next day. I thought it over for an hour and finally gave in and said let's do it, the universe had been sending me signs so I decided to trust it. A big risk, I told the wife there was maybe a 20% chance it would fix me but stated it was a risk I had to take, which she supported.
So the very next day I had my tooth pulled. They saw infection and drilled away bone on my upper jaw bone, used ozone to disinfect it essentially, and even took blood from my arm, inserted it into some type of capsule of some sort an sewed it into my exposed socket. It was a rough procedure, I was in some pain, sweating and flexing as they stitched me up. Mentally it was a battle, I had to collect my bearings for a couple minutes before driving home as the procedure took a lot out of me.
However, despite the pain, I was fixed almost immediately after the tooth was removed, like pressure had been removed. While sore, I was making fists and squeezing my fingers tight while they were still working on me, something I had been unable to do for months. I phoned my wife on the way home and told her I thought I was cured already. What a relief, it was tough to sign up to have such a prominent tooth removed against a doctors advice.
It has been about three weeks since. My gums heeled nicely, no infections that I know of. I'm taking Oil of Oregeno for some added mental confidence, along with an array of other vitamins I had started taking a couple months into my health decline. After 10 days I forced myself on the treadmill, and ran 2.5 miles. I figure I am 95% cured. I'm not quite 100% and still have the occasional pain here and there, but I can do everything I used to do again and am no longer slowed physically or mentally. I can use can openers and open lids once again. The doubt on being 100% may be related to me losing muscle in those 4 months?
I kept the tooth. It revealed the original root canal dentist drilled beyond the root, and when inserting the filling material exceeded the tip of the root by maybe 1.5mm. The biological dentist stated it may have potentially been pathogens in the dead tooth now escaping into my blood stream, or even the infection build up potentially putting pressure on a nerve. It also could have been my body was attacking the foreign root canal filling constantly but was not winning the battle because it was too hard and secured in place.
I'm a manly man, a rural tough it out type, but this affected my daily being and was rendering me weak and slow mentally and physically. This all stemmed from taking a hockey puck to the teeth a couple years ago which I should have had looked at closer, and much sooner. I did not suspect my tooth because I had been fine with no pain for the years prior, and root canals we are told fix the problem. I believe I experienced fibromyalgia symptoms.
My family will not be getting anymore root canals. I have not yet told my original dentist of the problems they caused, and have yet to inform my doctor. From all the info I read I have a feeling they are going to tell me all the pain was in my head, or chalk up my recovery to a viral infection. I do believe had I left it I would have developed a chronic disease of some sort, and believe removing the tooth potentially saved my life as my body was weakening and developing new symptoms on a weekly basis. There was pain, and weakness, and it was 100% very real.
As a side note, my 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with rheumatoid Arthritis at age 3, which is why I originally assumed I was getting arthritis. After all these learning, I'm going to take her in to see if her dental work may have actually caused her JRA. My new dentist saved me, and I can tell he has fought this battle his entire career. In all honesty it was not my trust in holistic medicine that saved me, it was my lack of trust in our medical system, and lack of trust of the FDA scientific studies that made me take the risk. In Canada here our doctors push drugs like they are candy and always seem to treat the symptoms, while too many ignore the underlying cause. My doctor is intelligent, and likely knows her textbooks inside and out, but I needed a free thinker who was willing to question the text books.
I wanted to share my story so others know Root Canals can be harmful, and to talk others into taking the leap of faith that maybe a tooth is the problem. I do have a new temporary fake tooth plate, it is a bit of a pain, but was 100% the right choice. I live in Alberta Canada, am a stay at home dad by choice to two little girls, and can now lift and play with my kids again. Thank you Ellis Dental in Chestermere Alberta for making me healthy again.