What I learned from 3 root canals on the same tooth in a single year

This video goes over my 4-year struggle to relieve pain from a bad filling that I received in Feb 2020. It resulted in having a chronic sinus infection and needing a root-canal. During a 10-month span, I had 3-root canals completed, and had several salicylate-related reactions due to poor knowledge, communication, and labeling of products.

A few things I learned along the way:

  • Deep fillings can use cavity-linings made of calcium hydroxide and may not be salicylate-free. In my case, Kerr Life cavity lining and temporary adhesive was used in my mouth. The tubes were out of the box, and the tubes had no indication that they contained salicylic acid. Only when I smelled it, was I able to recognize salicylates were being used, and later I confirmed in a research article that the product contains salicylates.
  • Cavity-linings can serve double duty and be used as temporary adhesives for caps while you wait for the permanent crown to be installed.
  • My dentist (the second time) used a permanent adhesive to put the temporary cap/crown on, until we were ready to put the permanent crown on. Since we were “waiting to heal” for so long, it worked out really well, because I got the final root canal about 6 months later. The permanent adhesive and temp crown held up well.
  • Once the pulp and nerve is removed from your tooth, it is filled with Gutta percha and a filling resin. My endodontist use AH Plus Root Canal Sealing Material. It looked like it was pretty safe, and definitely didn’t contain salicylic acid.
  • Gutta percha is very processed and is considered low-allergen and may be low-risk. They even make a latex-free version of it. Here is a research article about gutta percha.
  • Endo-ice is a carbon-flouride molecule and is safe for people sensitive to salicylates and phenols.
  • Dental Dams may be mint, vanilla, or fruity flavored. Make sure to check with your dentist that they are using a scent-free/flavor-free dam. These are inexpensive, so maybe pick some up from Amazon – ask them what size and thickness they’ll need before doing so. Green is a popular color to use because it provides a high-contrast background against red tissue and white teeth. Even the gray and black ones may be spearmint scented. One of the main supplier of dental products, Coltene, have a latex-free teal (blue-green) dam. This teal one does look like it may be unscented.
    ->Also, Coltene doesn’t clearly include mint in their listings or on their box, but their catalog includes a breakdown.
Coltene’s Dams: Light dental dam is vanilla scented, pink/purple/blue colors are fruit-scented, and green is mint scented. Teal doesn’t include a scent and may be safe to use.

The last part of the video talks about Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)/ hypermobility. Some complications may include increased dental issues, restricted diet and deficiencies, the importance of vitamin C in my life, and dental pain while on carnivore diet. EDS, redheads, and fast metabolizers may require more topical anesthetic during their treatments.

Transcript

Provided for easier browser translation.

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

root canal, tooth, dentist, dental, adhesive, eds, cavity, ended, mouth, infection, lidocaine, salicylic acid, casts, gouda, lining, allergic, mast cell, day, checked, minty

00:00

Hey everyone, welcome to the low-sal-life. I’m Sarah. Today we are going to be talking about some dental stuff. Last year, I was sick for probably about five or six months at the beginning of the year. And that was due to a chronic sinus infection that I had. That was due to some dental problems. First of all, I want to say that my teeth have been very, very healthy, especially in the last four years, and even more so, my mouth has been much healthier since going low-sal. I don’t have any like bleeding gums, or which I did have before I used to get cavities a lot more often. So overall, my new lifestyle being low-sal has contributed to a healthier mouth. I actually haven’t gotten a cavity in over four years. And that, the whole time, for at least the last three years I’ve been using that Chocolate Tanner’s Tasty Paste with fluoride. I know fluoride is controversial, but I’ve decided because my of having cavities in the past that I would continue to use fluoride toothpaste and so far, it’s working out okay for me. [My nose is so itchy! It’s tree season tree and grass season.]

I had two cavity-fillings that needed to be replaced in 2020, February 2020. And it’s on my number two and number four tooth. And these were pre-existing cavities that I had the fillings replaced by a dentist. Within like two or three days of having those fillings redone. I started having immediate pain on both teeth and sensitivity. And I got chucked out right away and there were no problems with that tooth. He said that I probably had dentinitis… is something to do with the dentin where it there’s like, kind of like this fluid and it gets inflamed. It will go down over time. Well, I went back in September about six months later. And he ended up redoing the back filling on my very back tooth. And that helped relieve some of the sensitivity, but it still didn’t resolve it. He said the roots look good and healthy. No problems. No problems, no problems.

Okay. So fast forward. I waited, to, I got a new dentist. I got everything checked out. And they were like, you know, you’re fine. So I went and saw my new dentist, let’s see, December 2022 was a new dentist for me. And I told them that I had some pain on the side of my mouth still. And I just wanted to get it checked out. So they had the there’s like these, I don’t know if they’re CAT scans or MRI. They’re like these portable 3d image X rays that they can do. And so they did that. And they came back to me with their mouth completely dropped, asking me how I was even standing. Because I had such a bad chronic sinus infection. And I didn’t know. So at that point, we got booked for a root canal in like, you know, two or three weeks, they offered me antibiotics. I said, No, I’ll decline. I’m not really in that bad of shape. Like it’s just normal status for like the last two and a half years. Right? Why? Why panic now?

So within two weeks, within that two weeks, I got really, really sick. And so I figured it was like oh my gosh, all of these things started making sense, that it was related to infection rather than just me feeling bad, for my normal chronic health issues. So I went in like, mid January, early January, and I got my first root canal on this back tooth, tooth # two. And I was I had started antibiotic I called and got an antibiotic started over the

phone. And so it was like on day four or five when I went in and got this toothwork done. Now this is where things get weird and why I’m telling you about this because as long as much as you love juicy, gross stories about people’s health and dental trauma. I actually started having a reaction that day when I was at the clinic. But I didn’t… it didn’t make sense to me. So what ended up happening was they did the root canal and they put on a temporary cap on my tooth. And the next couple of days which I figured they just like stirred up the infection right. And I was healing and I had a gash, you know my mouth and stuff like that. While I was healing I actually started having a reaction, which I thought was reaction to the antibiotic. Well, it turns out it wasn’t a reaction to the antibiotic. Well, it could have been, but it probably wasn’t!

What I realized, when I went back about a month or so later. So I finished up the antibiotic, the root canal healed, and my pain never went away. So I went back, like four to six weeks later, or something like that. And I was like, I’m still having pain. So they did… they scheduled me for another root canal, with the same guy in the same clinic and everything. And basically, he said, You know what, it’s possible by looking at the 3d image that maybe we missed, we missed the little root, which happens, excuse me, and I should say, nerves, it’s not actually roots. So okay, so he said that maybe they missed something, and he kind of see something, but he wouldn’t know unless he got in there. So he started drilling in there. This is my second root canal on the same tooth, and they finished up early. And they realized that they couldn’t really see anything they, you know, they had no answers for me. So they finished it up, they sent me to another endodontist in town, which I realized that my first doctor was just a dentist, which is fine – dentists can do root canals. But if you have more complicated health issues, you may want to actually go see an endodontist the first time.

So, they signed me up for just a root canal right away. And I said, No, let’s stop. And I want a doctor’s appointment before like an actual appointment and assessment beforehand, because I don’t want them to just drill into my mouth a third time without, you know, thinking about everything. So I made that appointment for the following week with the endodontist. And he said that I probably just need to heal. My sinus infection was starting to clear and I just needed to give time to heal, I should come back in a month, especially if things started improving. So I felt hopeful about that.

But let’s back up to the second appointment. So during that time, the the gal was, now remember my sinus infections clearing, right? So I’m smelling better. So the so the gal is putting my temporary cap back on, so that I can eat during the week. And she slipped when she slipped, she put ended up getting some of that adhesive and stuff on my mouth. And it smelled super super minty. Well, I immediately panicked. And what actually ended up happening was they were using an adhesive, a temporary adhesive for that cap to get… to put the cap on. So I was like, Oh my gosh, I that smells minty and probably has salicylates in it. I’m allergic to salicylates, I told you this, this is why we went through all the stuff right? Like, so I was really upset. They made me feel like it was in my head and that this was the same stuff that I had the last time and I didn’t react the last time. But I said but wait, I got sick the day I had the root canal. And I thought it was just the antibiotics. But now it makes more sense because I’ve had the antibiotic before.  It makes more sense that was reacting to the adhesives you used for my root canal.

08:28

They had already finished it by the time I was talking and advocating for myself, they were like, Well, don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about it. It’s sealed in you won’t be exposed. You should be okay. All right.

Not all right. The cap ended up breaking like a month later. And I was exposed to all the adhesive. It broke on Friday night, of course. And so I didn’t get in until Monday morning at like 10 in the morning. So literally, between Saturday, Sunday and Monday I had three days worth of migraines, which I blame on the adhesive that they used to my mouth that was now exposed and making me sick. So but at that time, I had seen my dentist who, the times before I saw this other dentist who was doing the root canal, and then the endodontist.

So I’m back to my normal dentists who knows me. So which kind of is kind of a new dentist, but he’s taking me very seriously, I appreciate him. So I was like, Look, I’ve got adhesive in my mouth that shouldn’t be there. I’m freaking out about that. And I don’t appreciate it, and like I was so upset. I said and I had looked at the adhesive and I learned that it can be used as a cavity liner. I’ll show it to you in a moment. So he ended up listening to me and they ended up using a permanent adhesive for my cap. And I was like, Are they gonna be mad about that when I go in for the work later? He’s like, No, it’s fine, because basically that cap’s like pretty much disposable. So they’ll just like rip the cap off and then grind off the permanent adhesive. So I got settled in with that. So that was good. And I continued to have pain, I didn’t really get better, and I got busy.

So that was in like March or April. And I finally went back and got a third root canal with a different endodontist, not the one that told me to wait a month, and I just needed time to heal. But I went and found a different endodontist. And he took me seriously. And he did an excellent job I had before and after pictures, basically, there was just like a little tip at the bottom of my route that got missed. And then I actually have, I should say, nerve, my root, my nerve ended up starting off as one and then it splits into two, and then it went back to one. So that’s reason why it was missed. Simple, it happens, like whatever, no, no fault to them. But my mouth was quite traumatized.

But I wanted to talk about a couple of lessons that I learned during that time. So the first thing I did that day that the gal, that I accused the gal of using something maintained my mouth, I said, Hey, can you please let me know what was used? So I could take a picture of it and make sure number one is not used again. And then two that, you know, I can verify if there are salicylates in it or not, I got really close. Still not 100%. Sure, but I feel 99.5% Sure. And my personal dentist validated me later. And the endodontist that did my final root canal also verified with me, the kind of adhesive he used. So the one that they used was this, it’s called Kerr, Bass and, and Catalyst, and it’s a calcium hydroxide, and it’s no fault to the dental clinic. This is reason why I’m letting you guys know that you can, you know, and eventually I’ll put together like a checklist for dental stuff for us. So this, these tubes outside of their box, only say calcium hydroxide. It doesn’t say what the catalyst is. And so, what, what it means, though, is that it needs some kind of acid for it. And in this paper, is that the right paper, yeah, this paper here, which is an open sourced literature link, they actually explain that a lot of products, including Kerr actually use a salicylic acid as the catalyst. That’s a danger for us.

Not only that for using as an adhesive, but this product is also used as a cavity lining. So we’ve been pretty much taught that going in and getting a cavity is really low risk for low-sal people. But that is not true. Because if the if the filling is deep enough, they may use a dental lining, like this Kerr product to actually line the bottom of your filling. And before they put in all the resin and everything. So I mention this because just talk with your doctor before having any cavities or anything like root canals or anything like that. The reason salicylic acid is a great product to use in this, is that it also has anti-microbial properties. So what they’re doing is trying to prevent infection from coming from your body into the tooth. And using salicylic acid in there actually helps a lot. One thing that I talked to my dentist about, I said, you know, I’m not so worried about the root canal because basically that tooth becomes dead, kind of, but if you’re getting a dental lining in a cavity that that lining is right up against tissue. So make sure that you’re not putting an allergen that you react to where you already have a potential place for infection that you’re not putting something that is touching living tissue, next to, you know… on you. So that was Lesson number one that I learned calcium hydroxide linings may use salicylates in the ingredients and it will not be listed on there. I also contacted the company twice and they never responded back to me. So thank you Kerr.

Okay, so that was one that I ended up using, there is another one that I came across with Kerr, and that one is called CalviTech… “Cavitec”. And it is eugenol and zinc oxide. And that one I would also say is probably a problem because that eugenol is derived from is like the same active ingredient as like eucalyptus, and other it’s a plant derived ingredient. So another one to be worried about.

I’ll show you a picture of the one that my dentist, my endodontist use the last time I saw a dentist about this. And it just as paste a and b and he swore up and down that it didn’t have any salicylic acid on it. He seemed familiar with the concept, not like completely surprised and was like, oh, no, you know, you know, the response. He was like, oh, no, it doesn’t use salicylic acid for that. I haven’t really had any problems with it, I will say that my root canal is not 100% fixed, it’s like at 98%. So I can start, I can put pressure on it and eat and it’s fine, but it’s not. It’s not returned back to… to painless. Unfortunately. Back to the Kerr lining. One thing that I ended up doing, after talking to my dentist about it was that I had him redo this tooth here, this filling. Remember how I said it was two number two was the one with the root canal, three root canals. And number four had a redo on the filling, I ended up having him redo that filling without any dental linings. That one also still hurts. But there’s no infection in it. And there’s no need to have a root canal. So I’ll just live with a little tiny bit of pain. It’s not too bad. I can, I can eat on the side of my mouth.

Now another thing that I went through with my doctors was about Gutta percha. And this is a concern for a lot of low-sal folks, is about using a plant-based item in your root canal. Now I ended up having Gutta percha. They’re like basically little toothpicks are kind of like a latex and they get they get shoved in there to add some support to your tooth. … My doctor was kind enough to give me a couple of extra spares of Gutta percha. If I go and see a dental allergist, I can take that and we can do like a contact reaction to see if I react to it. I did come across and my endodontist did mention that the Gutta percha is so processed that a lot of the plant chemicals are taken out of it. And I think that that’s pretty amazing. If you have a latex allergy, my dentist said that they have latex free Gutta percha now. So I think that when I was kind of going through everything, I felt like the Gutta percha was probably the least of my concerns

18:11

…could also be a source of solace legs, I’m not going to worry about it. I don’t react to like cork or latex or a lot of those plants. So we’re just gonna leave it, maybe someday I’ll post another video saying Guess what I’m allergic to Gutta percha. Anyway, if you’re interested in more reading this article, it’s really interesting had a lot about plants related to Gutta percha and different options available. And ultimately all the other options seem pretty terrible. Again, they’re what they’re trying to do is have something that is both providing some kind of stability but also preventing infection from coming back up. And so having something that has a little bit of that natural oil in it can actually help prevent future infection.

I do know one person there only three or four years into their root canal, but they ended up having nothing put in there. So that is a risk that you can take. There’s been at least one dentist who has done that and one person who hasn’t had a failed root canal but we’re only a few years in so I just want to say that that’s an option.

Another thing that made me panic, but I want to let you know so that you guys can be at ease. That is endo-ice. Now anything that’s cool and minty I kind of immediately like tense up I wish I didn’t because maybe like it’s my stress response and it’s making me sick. But I didn’t react to this. But I wanted to let you know I looked it up. So when they go through and test all your teeth for sensitivity, they will take like a cotton swab and they’ll spray it, so there’ll be like, you know (spray sound), and then they’ll take that cotton swab and touch your teeth So they want to see you know, if you have cold sensitivity, and also if the pain goes away. If the pain goes away it means that your tooth is still healthy. So this endo-ice is nothing to be concerned about. It has it was a carbon and fluoride compound. It doesn’t have a phenol on it or anything like that. So it’s not it’s not remotely close to salicylates. It’s cold, like mint. It might even smell a little tiny bit minty, but it is nothing related to it. I did not have a reaction to it. So I just want you to know, endo-ice = cleared.

The last thing I want to talk about is my dentist was so good. We talked you know, I brought my little lidocaine and this, this is unflavored lidocaine that I got at a compounding pharmacy, so you can watch I have a different video about like dental stuff and preparing for the dentist. So this year, so I brought my lidocaine I brought my flavor-free toothpaste, my flavor-free dental floss, everything that I needed. I brought extra Benadryl know that I was super sensitive to a lot of things. You okay, okay, yeah, we don’t use any mint stuff here.

So all of a sudden, they’re putting a dental dam on me, and it smells so so minty. And I got brushed off on this, I am not very happy about it. But they swore up and down that it was not mint-scented. And I tell you, it was mint-scented, because I’m not exposed to this on a regular basis. And it’s a dangerous smell for me. So I wasn’t happy about it. But I tried it… I’m like, it’s not going inside of my body. It’s just touching my body. My body’s not super sensitive. I mentioned it later, to, you know, the little check in I was like, This is so minty and I am not feeling very good with this. But you have to remember from the dentist’s perspective, that they’re expecting you if you’re really allergic to it, you’re going to swell up in this area where you’re exposed to it. And that’s not how my body works for contact stuff. It goes into my body and then it goes into my in my bloodstream and then it starts affecting different … different systems, right? My skin’s not very sensitive. So he checked to make sure I wasn’t like red and swollen and swelling up and he was like you’re not swelling up or anything like you’re not getting rashy, like duh, because there’s no mint in there. And it’s like, well, no, I don’t think so. So later I ended up getting hives. I took several Benadryl that day. [Oh my gosh is getting so hot. So hot in here.] Um, I ended up getting hives, to Benadryl, whatever, take Benadryl go to bed right call it a day later I did look, and I cannot find a single green dental dam that is not mint flavored or mint scented. So just wanted to let you guys know that if you’re starting with a new dentist double check that they have dental dams that are not green or not mint scented. And I did not like getting brushed off but you know what, he fixed my tooth. So we’ll call it even.

A couple more things that have come across my mind since doing all of that dental stuff. I am not… this is not medical advice. I’m not a doctor, I’m not your doctor. I do have a biology degree. I do live with this condition. So I will tell you though, some of the most important things that I’ve come across for my dental health, regardless of what I eat. Vitamin C is probably one of the most important vitamins that I take. I’ve just been taking ascorbic acid, just like the cheapest stuff you can get at like your Rite Aid or drugstore. You know, nothing with rose hips or any anything else like that. Nothing fancy.

So I’m getting checked out for MCAS, mast cell activation syndrome. And I think that that really is the main driver behind salicylate sensitivity and we can talk about that more later. But when I was going through the MCAS checklists before meeting with my new immunologist, I noticed that about a third of MCAS patients also have EDS, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. And I just …. I just breezed right past that because I don’t have stretchy skin. But it turns out that I am hypermobile. So I’m also working through that. So if you have dental problems, and you’re salicylate sensitive, and you’re hypermobile You may want to get checked out for EDS, as well as MCAS. And there’s a couple of extra things that are complicated related to dental health with both MCAS and EDS. So just run on this past you guys. First of all mast cells that can be localized anywhere in your body that can be really upset, but they’re in your connective tissue, for the most part, and you can have an allergic reaction, I’ll say “allergic” to any kind of stimulus. If you have mast cell activation syndrome, you can literally have a reaction to vibration or pressure or temperature changes. It’s not just chemicals, or proteins, it can be a lot of different things. So keep that in mind. When you’re trying to figure out what your sensitivities are, it could literally be other things – exercise I’ve talked about. So that’s mast cell stuff.

So with the EDS and hypermobility, it actually affects your dental, there’s a lot of dental complications with it. I wrote down a few things: It can result in weak and thin enamel, gum issues, and poor tooth stability. Now I mentioned this because I know a lot of you guys are on carnivore diet, I go in and out carnivore. And the reason why I mentioned Vitamin C is because I’ve come across videos where people are asking about tooth pain related to carnivore, I do think it’s, it’s something. I’ve had tooth pain a few weeks into carnivore diet. And I’ve also had loose teeth, like I’m a grown up with a healthy mouth and healthy teeth. But every once in a while I’ll get like a loose feeling tooth, and that could be a connective tissue issue. So make sure… so one of the things about EDS is that Vitamin C is like one of the most important compounds that you can take. And if you are intentionally reducing your diet because of salicylates, which is fruits and veg, right, those are high in vitamin C. And then you’re also increasing it with meat which meat has some vitamin C, but I think for people like us with mast cell, and EDS and hypermobility, all these other issues, you probably want to bump up on on your C. Also, vitamin C has some stabilization, mast cell stabilization/ antihistamine compounds, I need to look into that more because I don’t know if it’s a mast cell stabilizer or if it’s antihistamine and knowing the difference between those are important might have the same effect. Still important though. So

27:41

Oh, yeah, and one more thing with the EDS and connective tissue issues is that local anesthetic may not work very well for you. So lidocaine works for me really well I respond to it. However, I, I need a lot and it wears off fast. And I’m also a fast metabolizer, like I’m one of those people that can have caffeine and it’s gone within two hours, maybe three. Let your dentist know because they may want to keep some stuff nearby or handy, or let them know that that could be a complication that you may experience. For me I’ve had to have so much either twice as much injection or basically the anesthetic wears off really quickly. I had my toenail removed last September, and my doctor told me that it should be numb for at least four hours, so we’re like great we’ll go do some errands I’ll sit in the car Randy can go run in and I all the anesthetic wore off before I was out of his office. So. anyway, some complications. So keep that in mind get checked out for MCAS or EDS. If you are have some of those other, we’ll call them comorbidities.

All right. If you have other dental things I’ve got a compounding pharmacy stuff about how I got this lidocaine and why. And then I also have another video on toothpaste and different dental products. All right, that’s it for today. Take care. Bye!

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