Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns

I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably traumatic, but their current status in my body is relatively benign.

Avoiding what would have been my 7th root canal by changing my diet seemed like a miracle that opened my eyes to the wonderful and wacky world of alternative oral health (or alt-oral as I like to call it).

In the seven years since healing that root naturally, I have become very familiar with the experts and arguments presented in the recently released Netflix documentary Root Cause.

Books by several Root Cause featured experts are on my shelves, but I don’t agree with everything they say. Particularly when their tone veers into fear-mongering, exaggerated extremes and conspiracy theories. Theories which aren’t part of the documentary, but are easy to find in most alt-oral discussions of root canals.

On one hand, it’s exciting to see the root canal debate enter mainstream awareness. Root canals are problematic and the dental profession’s excessive use of the procedure needs to be challenged, particularly when cavities or abscesses are not present.

The flip side to this is the manipulative way that director, Frazier Bailey, presents a mixture of facts, opinion and distortions lacks nuance. These very qualities are what make Root Cause so slick and watchable actually undermine the credibility of its central argument, that root canals can cause harm. And don’t even get me started on the film’s objectification of women – I’ll save that discussion until the end of this review.

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Watch ‘Root Cause’ until the end

The best part of Root Cause is the second half, where some of the more sensible and balanced information and practical advice is presented. Although the ‘sexy dental hygienist’ trope was quite unnecessary.

My highlight was Dawn Ewing and Mark Briener‘s explanations of how every tooth sits on two or more meridians, which is the main mechanism for the whole body health impacts of root canals. This is incredibly useful information to apply to any oral health problem, not just root canals. I was thrilled to see it explained clearly in a mainstream context.

Almost as an aside towards the end, the Netflix documentary mentioned that everyone processes root canals differently. Some people are much more susceptible than others to being affected by toxic root canals.

Let me repeat that, because it wasn’t emphasized enough in Root Cause: not everyone gets sick from root canals.

The dangers of root canals which are explored in such great depth were eventually put into the context of the toxic overload that everyone of us is subjected to. Sustained, cumulative and insidious exposure to environmental toxins, toxic emotions, EMF (electro-magnetic frequencies including wifi), pathogens and of course junk food, overload the body which is already burdened with a root canal.

Root Canal Decision Checklist

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Root Canal Decisions Checklist

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Recoiling in fear

By half way through the Root Cause documentary, my cortisol was so elevated by the graphic, gruesome root canal footage paired with a barrage of cancer statistics. So much so that it was hard to actually hear those quiet voices of reason at the end.

Root Cause uses horror genre film-making techniques (e.g. structure, filters and music) to manipulate our emotions.The sunshine and humour of the first act, contrasted with the dark intensity of main act, are all very effectively scary and disempowering.

Unfortunately fear and powerlessness, along with anger and grief, are toxic emotions which may actually exacerbate the impact of root canals on our health.

Many Netflix viewers are urgently seeking ways to remove their root canals safely because it’s almost impossible to watch and not feel scared. Unless you reject everything Root Cause says.

There’s plenty of dental professionals (a majority) who are using Root Cause’s dodgy statistics and misquotes to dismiss the whole argument about root canal risks. Mainstream dentists are publishing mocking reviews and associations of dental professionals worldwide are lobbying Netflix to take it down on the basis of poor science. Update: it appears that Netflix has now taken down Root Cause*, though it’s still available on Amazon.

And that’s the real problem, because important information is half-hidden in amongst the dramatic license of Root Cause. Root canals are to frequently recommended with little regard to the risks they may carry for some people.

Balance and tolerance

The Root Cause documentary didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know from seven years of research into root canals. I was already familiar with many of the experts that were selectively quoted. Having read widely and in-depth enabled me to put the documentary’s messages in context that many viewers lacking background knowledge would miss.

Root canals can contribute to serious health problems for some people. Most root canals contain bacteria, and along with cavitations, may be a contributing factor with some cases of chronic degenerative and/or autoimmune conditions.

However, everybody is different. We all have a different ability to tolerate a root canal. 

Most people will not develop heart disease, cancer or chronic fatigue from their root canal. But for some people, removing the root canal may help you to recover your health.

Many people are able to tolerate a root canal without health problems for many years. Comparing a root canaled tooth to a toe with gangrene that must be amputated is inaccurate and unhelpful.

Not every case of breast cancer can be blamed on a root canal. The commonly quoted statistic that 90-something percent of breast cancer patients have a root canal on the same side cannot be traced to any published research. Even where a cancer patient does have an infected root canal, it not necessarily the cause.

Review of Netflix Documentary Root Cause

A broader holistic context

I’m a holistic oral health coach. When clients come to me with concerns about their root canal we also take into consideration the non-physical and energetic impacts of getting, removing or keeping it.

In addition to oral and whole body health impacts, we may explore:

  • family history
  • emotional issues
  • dental trauma,
  • social/professional consequences of extracting a tooth
  • the cost and accessibility of the procedure.

Root Cause follows the story of the director, Frazier Bailey. A white Australian man with the privilege of trying dozens of alternative therapies in his search for a cure to his mysterious malaise (the film includes a montage which seems to cover every new age modality- in mocking rhyme).

Once convinced that his root canal is behind his symptoms there seems to be no practical obstacles to getting it removed. Bailey never mentions the cost, or any difficulty in finding a co-operative dentist.

A safe removal and replacement of a single root canal can cost $10,000 and it’s common to need multiple appointments over 3-6 months. The removal process can also include:

  • the preliminary scan
  • tooth extraction
  • ozone cleaning of the jaw
  • rebuilding the jaw bone (if needed), and
  • installing an implant 3-6 months later.

That’s if you can find a dentist who will do it!

Not many dentists are willing to do this kind of procedure without evidence the the root canal has failed, so it’s not unusual to have to travel, sometimes internationally, if you are determined to have your root canal tooth extracted.

Removing a root canal safely is not an easily accessible option for many people, and this documentary has left them feeling scared for the root canals they have little choice but to keep.

There are holistic strategies, including herbs, homeopathics and energy healing that can help to mitigate the physical and metaphyscial impacts of root canals, so that the body can tolerate them well.

In conclusion

Admittedly, Root Cause set my teeth on edge from the very beginning with its sexist montage of women in bikinis. I tried to put aside my objections to the objectification of women’s bodies that cropped up all too often throughout the film… because what does the gratuitous male gaze have to do with root canals?  

I squirmed to see another condescending montage, as the main character rhymed his way through alternative therapies with no regard to the cultural context from which many of modalities have been extracted… because all those therapies weren’t the point of the documentary either.

Nonetheless, I kept watching, despite my discomfort with Root Canal‘s tone, because I want to know why so many people have suddenly started requesting my Root Canal Decision Checklist. This checklist is a free resource available on my website that didn’t get much attention until Root Cause was released on Netflix.

But in fact, the casual sexism and cultural insensitivity of Root Cause are completely aligned with its fear-mongering central message presented through a lens of privilege.

Mainstream dentist’s patronising and negative Root Cause reviews find plenty of material in the film that is deserving of valid criticism. So by itself the documentary is unlikely to sway any dental professionals currently committed to root canals.

The only way that the dental industry is ever going to look critically at the consequences of root canals is if a sufficient mass of their customers expect their concerns to be taken seriously.

Thanks to Netflix, mainstream dental practices are experiencing an increased number of patients refusing root canals, requesting removals and ultimately seeking more sympathetic providers.

Root Cause, for all it’s many flaws, is provoking a new wave of consumer demand that dentistry continues to dismiss at its own peril.

___________________________________

*Update: On the day I published this post, Root Cause was suddenly removed from Netflix. It was unexpected; Root Cause was not included in Vulture’s list of 42 movies planned to be removed from Netflix in February 2019. As yet, there is no explanation for this removal. Why did Netflix take down Root Cause? Was it responding to pressure from dental associations?

 

Has a dentist told you that your cavities or receding gums are your fault because you are drinking too much Coke, you don’t floss enough or you need to stop breastfeeding your baby? And you know that isn’t true!

I’m not going to blame you or shame you.
The underlying causes of your oral health issues are not your fault!

Nature or nurture, ancestry or environment, free will or systemic oppression, unconscious emotions or the degraded food system

These are the factors that make your teeth and gums vulnerable to disease.

Even though your tooth decay and gum disease is not your fault, it is within your power to change.

You can turn your oral health around with natural strategies and healthy habits.

Are your teeth trying to tell you something that you can’t quite make sense of?

In this free Masterclass you’ll learn how to:

  • How to tell the difference between oral health symptoms and the underlying causes
  • Understand the metaphysical meanings of your teeth and gum issues
  • Practice a simple way to tune into your teeth that you can use any time

My 5 Best Websites for Natural Oral Health

My 5 Best Websites for Natural Oral Health

As soon as you start searching for information about oral health on the internet you can quickly become overwhelmed by thousands of choices, most of them fronting small dental practices or large toothpaste manufacturers. Almost all offer the same tired mainstream advice about brushing with fluoride as the best form of prevention.

When you narrow your search down to natural teeth care,  it’s a bit like entering a parallel universe dominated by alt-oral clickbait. You have to navigate through minefields of conspiracy theory and wacky home remedies to find the nuggets of gold.

I try to make sure that the Holistic Tooth Fairy is one of the best websites for natural oral health. If you like this site, you might also like this personal selection of my five favorites:

Healing Teeth Naturally is comprehensive in covering natural, holistic and conventional approaches to oral health in a well-organised manner. The site is all text, few images (except of crystals) and no videos. It’s published in English but translations of some pages are available in German, French, Greek,  Spanish, Slovene and Italian. Ulla Schmid describes her site as ‘humanitarian’  and she isn’t selling anything.

Hippy friendly. 

Ora Wellness offers tons of excellent information about natural oral health, and lots of useful but low-fi videos. Will and Susan Revak have developed their own range of natural products for teeth and gums, which I haven’t tried because shipping from Hawai’i to New Zealand is stupidly expensive.

Family friendly.

Wellness Mama is a natural living website with a smattering of very good blog posts about oral health, including home made toothpaste and toothpowder recipes. Katie Wells is a solid researcher backed by a team, and she has built a substantial business with her natural living blog, books and podcast (while home schooling six children). There’s plenty of valuable free content grounded in her genuine passion for natural teeth healing, just sometimes it’s buried in a mountain of affiliate promotions and advertising.

DIY friendly.

 

Cure Tooth Decay is the website of the book of the same name (which I reviewed here). The site covers a lot of the same material as the book and is easier to search, though still heavy reading. This website was my first experience of alt-oral, and even before I read the book I was able to prevent a root canal by following the dietary advice I found on the site. The book’s author, Ramiel Nagel, sadly passed away last year, yet I find it slightly creepy that his online bio hasn’t changed since he was alive. 

Carnivore friendly.

 

Any dentist can call themselves ‘holistic’ even if their practice is entirely conventional. Because it’s a coveted search term with no regulation, finding a holistic dentist you can trust can be tricky. When you are searching for a local dentist who is truly holistic, try comparing their website to Evolve Dental.  Not many dentists have a blog as good as Evolve’s but if their services and philosophy are similar (e.g. safe amalgam removal and a dietary approach to prevention), then they are probably genuinely holistic. 

‘Looking for a holistic dentist’ friendly

 

Optimize your oral hygiene habit e-book

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How to heal cavities naturally

Our natural inclination to heal cavities Most people are surprised when they learn how easy it is to heal cavities naturally without fillings.  Small cavities are the easiest to heal because they come and go all the time in our teeth. You probably never even...

Stop tooth decay naturally

Holistic teeth healing is different from almost all the dental advice you’ve ever received.  It starts from the principle that the health of our teeth and gums is tied to the health of the rest of our body, in a two way interaction. In order, to understand holistic teeth healing strategies, you really have to understand how teeth, and the rest of your body, are connected.

Channeled Teeth Healing Codes

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Are nuts driving your tooth decay?

Cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds all contain phytic acid which is implicated in both tooth decay and gum recession. People who are genetically or otherwise vulnerable to dental caries and gingivitis should avoid or only consume limited amounts of these foods with careful preparation and accompanied by other nutrients that will aid digestion.

How to make a Golden Milk drink that helps your gums

How to make a Golden Milk drink that helps your gums

Personally I’ve never acquired the taste for coffee, even though I quite like the smell. I’ve long been grateful that I’m not exposed to coffee’s health hazards, for both oral and general health. However, disliking coffee (and regular tea) has often been socially awkward for me. I never take an invitation to ‘catch up for coffee’ literally.

So I was thrilled the first time I saw Golden Milk on a cafe menu: at last there is a delicious, warm drink that is jammed with ingredients that nourish teeth and gums. It goes by many names: Golden Latte. Golden Milk or  Golden Tea, and Turmeric Tea.

Anti-inflammatory Turmeric

There are also as many flavor variations as there are fancy coffees in a Starbucks but they all have turmeric in common, which gives it the golden glow and the powerful anti-inflammatory qualities.

 

Turmeric’s healing powers

The benefits of consuming turmeric extend to the whole body, but because we are focusing on oral health I’ll just mention a few of its amazing powers.  Turmeric is

  •  Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Wound Healing
  • Anti-microbial.

Whether your gums are just starting to recede or you are dealing with chronic periodontal disease, turmeric can help to heal and prevent inflamed gums, abscesses and infections.

 

How to make Golden Milk for gum health

To get the full benefits of turmeric it should be consumed:

  1. warm (or at least room temperature)
  2. with fat for absorption
  3. with black pepper to activate the turmeric.

Extra teeth healing value comes from using butter and  raw milk or bone broth,- all powerful teeth and gum healing foods.

Keep these three things in mind as you take the basic recipe below and adapt it to your preferences and need. Experiment- its hard to go too wrong!

 

Golden Milk basic recipe

Makes one serve.

  • 1 cup raw milk or whole organic milk or coconut milk or activated almond milk or bone broth or water
  • ½ teaspoon or more powdered turmeric, fresh turmeric or fermented turmeric paste
  • dash of black pepper
  • ½-1+ teaspoon butter (or coconut oil)

Optional extras

  • ¼+ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼+ teaspoon ground ginger or grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder  (or 1 pod split)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoons raw honey or 1-5  drops pure liquid stevia or maple syrup

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat for 5-10 minutes but do NOT bring to the boil.
Whisk well to to blend and foam.

If using fresh turmeric ginger or cardamom strain out the lumpy bits.
Serve warm in a mug garnished with a sprinkle of cinnamon or turmeric.

 

Check out Feed Your Teeth my FREE e-guide for more teeth and gum healing nutrition.

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Alternatives to Dentists Course Review

Alternatives to Dentists Course Review

Why I recommend Alternatives to Dentists

The Alternatives to Dentists course is a comprehensive introduction to herbal and self-help approaches to cure cavities and prevent tooth decay

I’m the kind of person who likes to make a thing myself, especially if it is a practical thing. I’m a DIYer around the house, a dressmaker, a life-long crafter and a cook-from-scratch food-growing gardener.

I would rather invest in learning a new skill than buying a new product. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that though I don’t have very much personal experience with different kinds of toothpaste or teeth cleaning gadgets  I can speak from personal experience about books and courses in alternative oral health, like this one that I recommend

Alternatives to Dentists is a video course from The Grow Network who offer a range of educational resources for home gardeners, homesteaders, preppers and folks interested in becoming more self-reliant with food and health in particular.

I’ve watched the video right through at least twice, transcribing extensive notes the second time. I refer back to my notes, and the the accompanying booklet frequently as I work with clients.

I consider it to be one of the more valuable resources in the limited pool of information for natural and self-help approaches to oral health.

That’s why I’m partnering with The Grow Network with their current course promotion. If you choose to purchase the course through a link on this page I may recieve a small payment.

 

 

What’s in Alternatives to Dentists?

The video demonstrates several strategies to help prevent tooth decay including how to assess the health of your own teeth, how to clean your teeth with a stick, and how to make a herbal toothpowder.  It also demonstrates a couple of different ways to heal an abscess in your mouth.

The teacher, Doug Simons, is a holistic healer who spent 20 years living with, and learning from indigenous  Tarahumara, the Tohono O’Odham, and Navajo in the Sonoran Desert and other wilderness areas in North America.  

The video quality is professional without being slick or glossy. It is filmed outside and the camera work is very steady and well lit. The sound quality is good (I especially enjoyed the ambient rooster crowing in the background). There are no flashy graphics or gimmicks and you won’t miss them. I felt like I was sitting in a clearing in the woods with Doug, learning in a very direct and accessible way.

 

 

 

Who is Alternatives to Dentists for?

If you are committed to plant-based diet and serious about your teeth health, this course is for you. You will learn about herbal supplements that can help your body to maintain teeth health without animal-sourced foods.

If you practice wild-crafting, foraging, camping or prepping for disaster survival in anywhere in North America, this is an excellent course for you. You will learn about where to find and how to identify a number of American plants with teeth healing properties.

If you are interested in herbal healing for yourself, your family or your clients, no matter where you live in the world, this is a great course for you. You will learn about herbs (which you can buy online as tinctures or dried herbs from anywhere) and techniques for using herbal remedies both for preventing tooth decay and dealing with dental problems.

If you are serious avoiding the dentist, this course is essential. You will learn practical strategies to manage dental problems ranging from small cavities to dental abscesses.

However, if you like your alternative remedies to be branded and packaged, this is probably not the course for you.

It’s ideal for folks who enjoy sometimes-messy DIY approaches to self care.

 

To find out more about Alternatives to Dentists click here.

 

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Metaphysical teeth: Self-help strategies for oral health

Metaphysical teeth: Self-help strategies for oral health

Metaphysics is the study of abstract ideas, concepts and systems.  There is more to teeth and gums than their existence as physical objects within our bodies. Economics, aesthetics, psychology, spirituality, meridians, family stories and cultural myths are just a few of the metaphysical systems that can influence our teeth and gums.

Metaphysical influences are experienced consciously or subconsciously in how we think, feel and act in relation to our mouths. Metaphysical influences also affect the unconscious biological systems of our bodies at a cellular level.

The metaphysics of the mouth is a fascinating, potent, under-documented arena which I think may have the potential to explain many of the frustrating mysteries of oral ill-health.

Metaphysical teeth and gum self-help

I incorporate a number of metaphysical practices into both my personal teeth and gum care, and my coaching practice. This infographic summarizes some of the common metaphysical associations with oral health along with some of the most easily accessible non-physical self-help strategies.  This is a snapshot of my current thinking, which is constantly evolving in response to my own experiences and those of my coaching clients.

Metaphysical teeth and gum self help suggestions

Metaphysical teeth and gum self help suggestions

How to use metaphysical teeth and gum self help

Metaphysical teeth and gum strategies complement physical strategies such as diet, exercise and oral hygiene. By incorporating these non-physical approaches that address underlying issues, it is possible extend the scope of holistic teeth healing which is particularly helpful in cases where the physical strategies, including mainstream dental interventions and advice fail to prevent continuing tooth decay and gum disease.

I do not recommend attempting to heal your teeth with metaphysical self-help only. This approach should be part of a multi-faceted plan that incorporates diet, exercise, oral hygiene and professional dental advice. The chakra framework is my own way of organizing these ideas as a sort of mnemonic (aid to memory). Please don’t consider the chakras as boundaries that limit the interplay of these metaphysical associations and strategies. For example, feel free to use grounding as a strategy for responding to dreams about teeth; or use forgiveness/self-forgiveness to help with feelings of shame relating to teeth.

Learn more about the metaphysical themes associated with different teeth by downloading the FREE Psychosocial Teeth Chart.

Spiritual Meanings of Teeth

Root cause vs immediate cause  The biggest difference between holistic oral health coaching and mainstream dentistry may be coaching’s consideration of the spiritual meanings of teeth.  The spiritual meanings of teeth can help you to identify the root cause of...

Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

Root Cause is the Netflix documentary stirring up root canal concerns I had to write this Root Cause review because root canals loom big in my life. I’ve had six root canals in five teeth, I still have three in situ. Their origins are, without exception, memorably...