Can a root canal treatment cause cancer? Explained

Hyderabad: A post claiming that root canal treatment can cause breast cancer is doing the rounds on social media.

By Sunanda Naik  Published on  15 Dec 2022 11:42 AM GMT
Can a root canal treatment cause cancer? Explained

Hyderabad: A post claiming that root canal treatment can cause breast cancer is doing the rounds on social media.

The viral post says, "98% of women with breast cancer have a root canal on the same side of the tumour (sic)."

NHS defines root canal treatment (endodontics) as "a dental procedure used to treat infection at the centre of a tooth. Root canal treatment is not painful and can save a tooth that might otherwise have to be removed completely."

FACT CHECK

According to Healthline, "The idea that root canals cause cancer is scientifically incorrect. This myth is also a public health hazard because it could prevent people from getting root canals they need."

It also explained the origin of the myth linking root canal and cancer: "The myth is based on Price's research, which is extremely unreliable." It listed some of the issues with Price's methods—conditions for Price's experiments were poorly controlled, the tests were performed in nonsterile environments, other researchers haven't been able to duplicate his results.

Moreover, it said, "The idea that root canals can cause cancer isn't supported by valid research and is perpetuated by incorrect research from more than a century ago. Since that time, dentistry has advanced to include safer medical equipment, hygiene, anesthesia, and techniques."

It added, "These advancements have made treatments that would have been painful and dangerous 100 years ago extremely safe and reliable. You have no reason to fear that an upcoming root canal will cause you to develop cancer."

According to Medical News Today, "Online articles, a film, and even some doctors claim that root canal procedures are the underlying cause of cancer and other diseases. This is false."

Lastly, American Association of Endodontists (AAE) said, "There is no valid scientific evidence linking root canal-treated teeth and disease elsewhere in the body. Data showing that "97 percent of cancer patients had root canal treatment" has not been published anywhere. There is no causality between root canals and cancer; just because a person has experienced both doesn't mean a cause-and-effect relationship exists"

Hence, the claim is false.

Claim Review:Root canal causes cancer.
Claimed By:Social media user
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:facebook
Claim Fact Check:False
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