Is there a Connection Between Root Canals and Breast Cancer? We’re Debunking This Myth

Are you considering postponing a root canal because you heard it may cause breast cancer? Let’s debunk that myth right now.

There are so many myths surrounding dental treatments. One of them is that root canals cause breast cancer. But nothing could be further from the truth! The fact is, there is no connection between root canals and breast cancer or other illnesses.

The American Association of Endodontists reports that 25 million endodontic treatments, such as root canals, are safely performed yearly, with no scientific evidence linking the procedure to cancer. In fact, a 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a root canal doesn’t raise a person’s risk of cancer, and those with multiple endodontic treatments reduced their cancer risk by 45 percent. 

So how did this myth even begin? We’ll explore this below and debunk other misconceptions about root canals that may prevent you from treating oral pain.

Other root canal myths 

The debunked theory about root canals and cancer isn’t the only myth surrounding the procedure. There are many others, but here are the truths that you should know:

Myth: Root canals are painful. With anesthesia, a root canal is no more painful than filling a cavity. You shouldn’t feel anything at all during the procedure. Endodontists have practiced pain management for years, so every precaution will be taken to ease your discomfort. By removing the damaged tissue in the tooth, the endodontist is actually putting an end to your pain. 

Myth: It’s better to pull the tooth. When the endodontist recommends a root canal, they believe your natural tooth can be saved. And it’s always better to keep your natural tooth than to extract it, and putting a cap over the root canal preserves your smile and tooth alignment. When done correctly, a root canal can last a lifetime. Moreover, additional complex and expensive dental procedures, such as a bridge or implant, usually follow an extraction. So if you’re considering cost, a root canal is a cheaper alternative in the long run.

Myth: Root canals cause illness. This myth traces back to the 1920s when the “focal infection” theory was introduced. It theorized bacteria released by the root canal could spread elsewhere in the body and cause illness. However, as scientists learned more about how illnesses are contracted, this theory was quickly discredited by the early 1950s. 

Myth: Root canals cause Alzheimer’s disease. According to the American Association of Endodontists, this misconception was based on a very small study that speculated Alzheimer’s disease could be spread during medical procedures, like root canals, because of contaminated tools. Yet no evidence has come to light linking Alzheimer’s to root canals. Endodontists either use single-use instruments or thoroughly sterilize tools between treatments to protect patients from infection.

Now that you know the truth about root canals, what are you waiting for? Get that painful tooth treated and preserved with one of the safest, most effective dental procedures available today.

Don’t postpone your root canal

Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Fort Collins, Colorado, location today! Our highly trained dentists have performed hundreds of root canals with minimal discomfort to our patients. Don’t live near our Fort Collins, CO, office? Find one of our other locations near you.

Fort Collins
2117 Custer Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525