This image shows a hidden root canal infection and is a follow up to my post earlier this week showing an infected tooth that was not visible on a normal dental Xray. This is actually happens more often than I could have thought possible without high resolution 3D imaging. In these images we see the infection uncovered because there is no way it can hide in the jaw like it does with 2D Xrays. The bone of the jaws are dense enough to hide some of these infections. Who knows how long they stay undetected.
It’s important to find these infections and treat them because the bacteria is leaking into your body affecting your immune system. These infections never go away because the tooth that’s draining bacteria and is dead because it has no blood supply. So essentially what we have is an infection that is 24/7 and never goes away or heals.
In this image we not only have the infection clearly visible but something that’s even more concerning. The infection from the tooth is draining directly into the mandibular canal, which is the passageway of the nerve, blood, and lymph supply for all the teeth of the lower jaw. What this image is able to show quite clearly is that pus from the tooth has direct access to the blood and lymph supply of the jaw and therefore the rest of the body.
If this infection is not discovered, it can keep draining bacteria into your jaw for years until one day it causes pain or swelling. Not every infected tooth is painful. This is the danger of tooth infections; they may never cause pain. No one wants pain, but having an untreated infection is just as bad or worse, because it will put a stress on the immune system and may weaken it over time.
Carey O’Rielly DDS has been a practicing dentist for 35 years. He went to USC Dental School and Duke University for his undergraduate degree. He grew up in Laguna Beach and now lives in La Costa with his wife Victoria, who runs his office.
He began his career by owning and operating a network of six offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presently he owns a private holistic practice in North County San Diego’s Encinitas.
Dr. O started looking for solutions to his health challenges that resulted from the stress and environmental toxicity that built up over a ten year period running his dental network. He has dedicated himself to learning about oral systemic problems and how dentistry can affect your health. He has applied what he has learned over the last twenty years to ensure he, his staff and his patients are protected from the chemicals and toxic materials found in most dental offices. He has produced an environmentally friendly office that is also peaceful and calm.
He is an expert on dental materials having looked at hundreds of biocompatibility lab tests over the years. He has identified the most bio-friendly materials to use in his practice and which dental materials can be used to replace metal fillings and crowns, including BPA free and fluoride free ‘white’ fillings. He also uses metal-free Zirconia or ceramic implants and PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) grafting materials which come from the patient’s own blood.
Dr. O’Rielly teaches C.E. courses on the systemic effects of gum disease. He is an expert in using phase contrast microscopy for analyzing dental infections, where he shows patients what kind of microbes, i.e. bacteria, amoeba, and yeasts like candida are populating the mouth and affecting the body as a whole.
He has an educational blog and is writing a book on dental health called ‘Hidden Dental Infections: Healing Root Canals and Infected Teeth with the Erbium Laser’ where he discusses dental nutrition, toxic dental materials and the effects of old root canals on inflammation and overall health.