Case Study: Is Your Root Canal Causing Autoimmune Disease?

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I often write about the connection between your mouth and how it directly relates to wellness because I have seen how bringing a patient to optimal oral health has directly impacted their overall health.

The patient in this case study presented with an aggressive case of an autoimmune disease called dermatomyositis. This autoimmune disease is not common and is characterized as an inflammatory disease. The symptoms include skin rashes, muscle weakness and atrophy, and swelling of the face and body. The subject of the case study was a male field laborer. The disease had debilitated his body and made it difficult for him to perform his job. His general practitioner had placed him on a regimen of immunosuppression and pain-management drugs, but nothing provided long-term relief.

After several years of drug therapy with no improvements, he was advised to visit a dentist. In his initial visit, he had a full dental examination and X-rays that showed several sites of infections due to failing root canal treatments, and an extraction site that showed osteonecrosis (lack of blood being supplied to the jaw bone, causing the bone to weaken and start to die). Once the sites of infection were treated (by tooth extraction), the patient’s symptoms started to subside. Although they treated the root cause of his illness, there was still more to do to help his body recover. The patient heard about ozone therapy as a potential treatment plan and decided to try it.

Medical ozone has been utilized for more than 150 years as a therapy to treat disease. During the First World War, its application to wounds showed not only its ability to disinfect but also to aid blood flow and produce antiinflammatory effects. Ozone has the ability to inactivate bacteria and fungi, stimulate oxygen metabolism in the body, and boost the immune system. Today, ozone therapy is used in treating several disorders and diseases, including rheumatism, arthritis, cancer, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), macular degeneration, and many others.

Within the first few ozone treatments, the patient started to see improvements in his strength and had significantly less pain. By the end of his ozone treatment plan, his symptoms completely disappeared and he was back to health, never to experience the pain and suffering he had before.

Jonathan Richter, DDS

An oral infection left untreated can play a major role in the development of disease. It can spread via the blood stream, which increases the work of your immune system, resulting in some sort of autoimmune response that could evolve to disease. If you are experiencing any physical symptoms, it is important to first make an appointment with your dentist and rule out any infections of the mouth that may be the underlying issue of your autoimmune disease.

Source: Jonathan Richter, DDS, FAGD, of Cariodontal (310 E. Shore Rd., Ste. 101, Great Neck). For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 516-282-0310 or visit

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