Gluten Sensitivity and Dental Fillings..

By on September 6, 2009
gluten in dental fillings

Here’s another question from one of my readers about whether there might be gluten in dental fillings.

I have a strong suspicion I have a gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease. I haven’t yet been tested, but have felt much better on gluten free diet until recently. But then I had a root canal about a month and a half ago and it went well. I had another several weeks ago which also went well until my tooth broke before the permanent filling could be put in. Within a few days I began getting my old symptoms back. I tried to figure out what I was eating that was causing it, but it was getting more severe. After a few weeks, I went to get the tooth fixed at which time the root canal filling was removed and a filling was put in place. I almost immediately started to feel better, but symptoms are gradually returning again. Is it possible the root canal filling that was used has gluten in it, and the one that remains is now leaking into my system? I tried to find any info, but have had no success. What do you think?

Thanks in Advance:
Laurel in Pennsylvania

Hi Laurel,

While I think that it is likely that you are gluten sensitive because you felt better on a gluten free diet, I DON’T think that it’s very likely that you’re filling has gluten in it and that that is what is making you feel bad. What I think is happening is one of two things, or a combination of both.

The first possibility is that the material from your fillings, which INVARIABLY contain either Mercury or Bisphenol A or a whole host of other chemical possibilities are leaking into your bloodstream from your mouth making you feel ill.

The second possibility is that a bacterial infection in your tooth root from the root canal (which can never be sterile and always harbors bacteria) is leaking pretty much directly into your bloodstream and making you feel ill. I base this theory on the fact that you:

    a) Felt terrible when your tooth broke. When your tooth broke, it likely released all sorts of bacteria into your bloodstream.

    b) You felt better when it first got fixed because your dentist likely cleaned out the root of a lot of infection- and you might have even taken some antibiotics to clean up some of the infection.

    c) You began to feel worse a couple of weeks after your root canal was fixed again.

If you think about this, you “needed” a root canal because you had an INFECTION in your tooth root, right? Well, the ONLY way that you can get rid of an infection completely is to sterilize an area, right? Well, there is virtually no possible way to sterilize the root of a tooth. It is living soft, delicate tissue. The dentist will clean that area and use disinfectant, but that is a far cry from sterilization. So, when he cleaned out the root and then placed a filling on top of that, he essentially placed a cap on top of an infected hole.

Root canals are always infected and will nearly always be dripping bacteria into your bloodstream forever. If the dentist did not clean the area extremely well, then the infection will grow and drip right into your bloodstream which is right at the base of your tooth. Your dentist likely won’t agree with this and will tell you that you couldn’t possibly get sick from the bacteria at your root base. But be sure to ask your dentist if he completely sterilized the root of your tooth.

Your dentist will tell you that it is impossible to sterilize the root of your tooth. So, there you have the answer. If the root can’t be sterilized, then what is to stop bacteria from reproducing. And there is a good blood supply to the root of every tooth, so where is the infection supposed to go if it can’t come out the cavity? It will go into your jawbone or your bloodstream.

And if you have a constant stream of bacteria into your bloodstream, could you feel sick? Of course you could. Laurel, you may want to look up “Biologic Dentists” or “Biologic Dentistry” in your area and find a good biologic dentist that might be able to help you with this situation.


In the meantime, it sounds as though you are having some major issues with your teeth if you have needed 2 root canals in a short period of time. And if you do have gluten sensitivity, it’s likely that you have not been absorbing nutrients well for the past few years and are likely deficient in many different nutrients- many of which are responsible for building teeth and keeping your immune system strong.

So, I urge you to learn what the dental industry doesn’t want you to know:

  • That you CAN rebuild your teeth
  • AND

  • That there are better ways to deal with issues that need a root canal


Money by the Mouthful is the end result of Dr. Robert O. Nara, DDS’s passion to teach people that they DON’T have to suffer with dental problems and that there are alternatives to dental procedures that your dentist is just NOT going to tell you about! If you are having dental problems, you really need to download this Ebook today!

About Kerri Knox, RN

The author is a Registered Nurse and Functional Medicine Practitioner. With 20 years of experience in health care, she has the unique perspective of being solidly grounded in both Conventional Medicine and Alternative Medicine. She can help you to to find and repair the underlying causes of chronic illness, while empowering you to take charge of your own health. She is the owner and author of this blog and website.

I know this is an old post, but for those who come across it, I thought I should throw in my 2 cents worth. I agree a lot with the "answer" to the posted question, but there is some missing information in there that people should really be aware of.

Root canal treatments are needed for 1 of 2 reasons. Either the tissue in the tooth died and the immune system is having trouble dealing with it (bacteria free infection), or bacteria has gotten deep into the tooth and started to spread out the base of the tooth (actual bacteria based infection). In my experiences as a dentist, bacteria free infections are the more common cause for root canal treatments and are very predictably treated. Bacteria based infections are much harder to treat, and are less predictable (but there are techniques for treating these that have a very high success rate).

Ultimately, in either case, it is impossible to guarantee the dentist will get all the infected or dead tissue out of the tooth. If the root tip is well cleaned and sealed, success rate is very high. If not, then there can be perpetual problems. In some cases, yes it is bacteria leaching from the area. In other cases it is just the immune system reacting to the dead tissue and essentially rejecting the tooth (like an ingrown hair). In both cases, if there are issues, treatment should be considered (either retreating the tooth, or extraction).

Something the author of the "answer" is failing to mention is the presence of the immune system. We don't have to perfectly sterilize a tooth as we have the immune system to help deal with left overs. The less we leave for the immune system, the better the result, but the immune system is there for a reason. People get infections all the time that the immune system takes care of. Someone goes in for an operation, gets an infection, and the body takes care of it. You don't go in and remove the organ that got infected, that ludicrous. Teeth are a little different in the sense that the root tips are fine and it is hard for the immune system to get in there to treat it.

Ultimately, I believe Biologic Dentists often take things to far to one side, and other dentists take things to far to the other side. There should be a fine balance with a greater understanding and patient education. Patients need to understand what is going on and what the risks are to the various forms of treatment. To extract a tooth because there may be a 5% risk of failure for treatment is rather excessive and to not give the patient the option of root canal treatment is unethical. Likewise, to not give the patient the option of extraction and to not inform the patient of the potential risk of failure of root canal treatment is unethical.

In the end it is the patient's decision as to which is the best treatment, and up to the health care provider to provide the best unbiased opinion they can that presents the pros and cons of treatment/non-treatment. That is the type of dentist an individual should be looking for rather than "biologic dentist" or "cosmetic dentist" or whatever other classification you give them.

Personally, I am just a general practice dentist who is not a biologic or wholistic dentist, but I do pay attention to them and do my best to form a well balanced opinion that is well based in science and reason.

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