The Story of Tooth #8

Four years ago our then 7th-grade daughter tripped and fell during indoor track practice, cracking her front tooth.

Accidents like this were not uncommon in our family. Our struggles with coordination and balance would only become clear in hindsight.

An attempt was made to save her tooth, but it soon became apparent that the tooth was dying. The dentist advised a root canal. We didn't think twice.

Kristen had been our "seizure child," developing complex partial seizure disorder soon after our move to Colorado. A root canal seemed like a minor issue in comparison.

One year after her root canal we vacated our home. Her seizures abated, and for the first time in seven years she was off all seizure medications. She was struggling with knee pain, however, and wore a knee brace most of the time. She was fatigued and struggled with mood. The mold exposure had taken its toll on Kristen, just as it had on the rest of us.

As I searched intensively for dietary options to recover our health, I came across an article titled "The Effect of Root Canals on Health" by Paul Pitchford in his book Healing with Whole Foods. According to Pitchford:

. . . root canals may cause dangerous weakening of the internal organs; people with seriously imbalanced health who have had root canals performed or recommended should consider how to treat this dental problem as a priority in their healing process.

The idea that Kristen's tooth #8 was holding back her recovery was a new thought. New and overwhelming. I made an appointment with a holistic dentist. "It looks fine to me," he reassured me. "I think you're fine to leave it." It was exactly what I wanted to hear, but I still felt unsettled.

We began an aggressive "attack" on Kristen's knees through acupuncture. We also launched an all-out offensive with a strong anti-fungal diet, eliminating all grains, fruits, nuts, and sugars.

Kristen began to turn the corner. Her knees improved, her fatigue improved slightly, and she began to show signs of new life.

But there was something missing. Something holding her back. She showed very few signs of detox. No rashes like the rest of us. I thought again about her root canal and made an appointment with a different holistic dentist. He advised against extraction, suggesting a crown because of her age and the obvious cosmetic issue with front tooth #8.

I couldn't get past the nagging feeling that something was wrong with the root canal. And if I've learned anything in these last four years, it's to listen to that feeling.

I continued to research and came across the website Huggins Applied Healing. (Dr. Huggins is one of the world's most controversial dentists because of his stand on mercury fillings.) I read an article that shed some light on the issue of root canals, stating:

Extremely toxic anaerobic bacteria have been found and identified in and around root canals.

I called the Huggins office and requested a referral for a dentist in Arizona. I found one in Phoenix. Upon checking this dentist's website, I found a meridian tooth chart which shows the relationship between specific teeth and the rest of the body. According to the chart, tooth #8 has a direct relationship with the knee. In addition, tooth #8 is linked to conceptual connections and a whole host of emotional issues which have plagued Kristen for the last several years.

I felt sure the tooth needed to go. But what about Kristen? I presented her with the options.

1. Keep the root canal and get a crown, which will successfully deal with the tooth discoloration.

2. Extract the tooth and have a removable fake tooth.

She thought for a moment. "I think I would feel better without the tooth." She said it with strong conviction. I knew she was on board.

Kristen's tooth was extracted on May 31. It should have been a traumatic experience. Perhaps because a missing tooth pales in comparison to losing a home, health, and a community of friends, Kristen took the surgery in stride. In fact, later in the day she looked at me, smiled with a big toothless grin, and said, "I feel better."

A cloud had lifted from Kristen. The change was dramatic. Even one of the dental assistants commented the next day, "Kristen, you look better!"

Three days after the extraction Kristen began to show signs of die-off—the evidence of detox we had been waiting to see. She grew feverish and broke out in numerous rashes.

The symptoms slowly passed and Kristen continued to show signs of new strength and health. With tooth #8 now sitting in a Ziploc bag, Kristen has a new lease on life and an empowering story to tell.