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.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

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?

 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

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 a natural oral health coach and 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 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.

I can help you to turn your oral health around with natural strategies, healthy habits and intuitive insights. 

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Is it really possible naturally heal cavities with tooth remineralization?

Is it really possible naturally heal cavities with tooth remineralization?

Is it really possible to remineralize cavities naturally?

The short answer is yes! Tooth remineralization is a natural process in a healthy body.

Small cavities come and go naturally all the time

Small cavities are very easy to heal holistically because your body is naturally remineralizing your tooth enamel all the time.  I’ve written a simple explanation the body’s natural system for constant tooth remineralization here.

You are probably never aware of most of the small cavities that come and go in your mouth throughout your life because they never reach the point of causing you pain. They may cause some sensitivity but they are gone by the time you go to the dentist.

There is an inevitable ebb and flow to your teeth of the nutrients that cause tooth remineralization. Sometimes poor diet, stress or ill health cause that flow to slow down which allows cavities open up, and at other times the nutrients are flowing free and fast so that small cavities remineralize swiftly, leaving no trace.

Tooth remineralization is a natural process that we can consciously choose to accelerate and direct by applying a range of holistic teeth healing strategies.

Disclaimer: This information is provided solely for educational purposes. It is not a substitute for specialist advice tailored to your individual circumstances and is not meant to take the place of seeing licenced health professionals. You are responsible for your own actions. Please use common sense and make independent enquiries before deciding that the information here applies to your circumstances.  Full Terms and Conditions.

 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Bigger cavities can be healed naturally too

Big cavities can be remineralized in the same way, but you need to be more committed to incorporating holistic strategies into your daily life for a longer period. Even large cavities that are coming close to the nerve or root, when some dentists will suggest a root canal is the only option, can be healed holistically.

Although there is some evidence that dentin (the part of the tooth between the root and the enamel can be regrown (secondary dentin), it’s unlikely that a big hole can be filled in enough to match the original tooth shape.

However, it is certainly possible to remineralise the enamel across the surface of the cavity to create a hard, glassy surface with no decay either underneath or on top. Once a large cavity is remineralised in this way,it should never cause you problems again in the future as long as you keep the indentation, the remaining hole, very clean and keep up a maintenance level of teeth healing nutrients and other holistic strategies.

If you have a dead nerve underneath a filling or just inside an intact tooth surface, it may be that the nerve may be able to be restored. A dead nerve isn’t really dead its just broken. It is possible with commitment, time, and investment in support like homeopathy to restore the health of a ‘dead’ nerve.

What are the limits of tooth remineralization?

There are limits to the tooth remineralization that holistic teeth healing can achieve. If the cavity has already exposed the root or nerve, the pain is agonising and dysfunctional. You simply aren’t able to work, parent, sleep or carry out basic daily tasks when you are in the pain caused by an exposed root.

Sometimes an infection is too advanced and your overall body health is not strong enough to support healing. An infection won’t always be painful, other symptoms include inflammation, infection, abscess, pus draining etc.

When the root or nerve is exposed and/or infected you need to deal with it quickly and decisively. Those kinds of bacterial infections can enter your blood stream and cause serious disease in other parts of your body.

People have died from untreated tooth inflammation. You need to do something if you have a tooth root or nerve that is infected. It is not the time to take a ‘wait and see’ approach. Either go to the dentist, or inform yourself about natural alternatives and put them into action without compromise, but do not do nothing if you have an infection in your tooth.

Can holistic teeth healing complement dental interventions?

If the root is exposed you will be recommended a root canal by the dentist, and if you hesitate they may offer an extraction as a secondary (cheaper) option.

Many people have a blanket opposition to root canals and say that no root canal is a good root canal, but I believe that in some cases it is possible to have a root canal that is stable and doesn’t cause serious health problems. (I recommend reading my blog posts about root canals).

Everyone is different. Some people who are in good overall health, with a low-stress life and can live with root canal in a tooth (that is not associated with a part of their body that is vulnerable to inflammation and disease) and keep it stable with good holistic strategies to support teeth health.

If you have an extraction, it is possible to live with a gap in your mouth without needing an implant and without the bone loss or collapsing teeth that the dentist will tell you is inevitable. It is possible to keep your mouth stable around a gap after an extraction, and there is no need to decide on the spot whether you will get an implant. So even if you feel you have to rush into an extraction, you can take your time deciding what the next step will be.

You are the boss of your mouth

There are limits to holistic teeth healing, but natural, complementary and self help strategies can do an great deal more than most people think.

Small cavities do not need to become big cavities. Big cavities do not need to lead to root canals. Root canals are not the only option for an exposed root, and implants are not the only option after an extraction.

If you are facing a difficult diagnosis from a dentist I encourage you to get a second opinion, to do your own research, and not just passively accept what the first dentist advises. Sometimes what they are recommending is the right thing to do but not always, and its always worth considering all your options.

It’s up to you to make the best decision for your mouth, your health and your life.

Get started now healing cavities!

The FREE Emergency Teeth Relief Toolkit is a great place to start learning about some of the most effective and fast acting strategies that can help to cure cavities and relieve toothache.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

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 a natural oral health coach and 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 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.

I can help you to turn your oral health around with natural strategies, healthy habits and intuitive insights. 

Is there a Spiritual Meaning to Your Toothache?

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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...

Relax your jaw for teeth relief

Relax your jaw for teeth relief

Why relax your jaw

There’s almost no teeth or gum problems that can’t be helped when you relax your jaw!

Carrying tension in the jaw is so common that it’s almost universal. 

Are you one of the millions of people who use a night guard to try and prevent jaw tension from damaging your teeth and gums? It’s what most dentists recommend when they see the symptoms of clenching or grinding.

You may not even be aware that your jaw is tense until someone else points it out to you, or you experience the contrasting sensation of relaxation. 

 I didn’t know that I was clenching, and perhaps grinding, my teeth in my sleep until my dentist pointed out that my molars were cracking from the pressure.

Chronic jaw tension may be caused by a mineral deficiency or intestinal parasites. If that’s the case you can address the problem with diet and supplements.

However, just by spending a few minutes on some simple exercises most people can easily retrain their jaw to relax naturally and find almost instant relief from toothache as a result. 

In fact there’s almost no situation where relaxing the jaw won’t improve your wellbeing!

Not only does it relieve tooth clenching and grinding (bruxism) but it can sometimes help relieve pain and inflammation in the roots of your teeth.

It can also be helpful for sinus problems, mouth breathing, snoring, posture, migraines (and other headaches) and much more.

Some people find that their acute toothache disappears within minutes of massaging their jaw, other people notice gradual changes occurring as they consistently incorporate jaw massage into their bedtime routine.

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

Long term benefits of relaxing your jaw

There are long term benefits for your teeth and gums beyond the (often instant) pain relief that a jaw massage can provide.

There is less friction wearing away at your teeth enamel so your teeth are more resilient to decay.

With less pressure, your teeth are less likely to crack and chip.

Receding gums can stabilize and sometimes even start to regrow without the constant pressure and friction of clenching and grinding teeth in their sockets. 

Blood flows more easily, carrying nutrients and oxygen to your teeth and gums so your body can express its natural inclination to remineralise your teeth and regrow your gums.

Although sometimes professional interventions (eg cranial oesteopathic or chiropractoric treatments or myofacial therapy) may be required, most people notice substantial improvement when they persist with the self-help techniques I share with my clients and Teeth for Life members

Practiced regularly, you can retrain your body to default to a relaxed jaw, even in stressful situations.

If you are considering professional intervention or buying a bite guard, learning to relax your jaw will enable those treatments to work more effectively so you’ll get more value from the investment.

Take the pressure off your teeth and gums right now by trying a jaw massage video for free, as a preview of Teeth for Life membership. 

Register now to watch the Holistic Tooth Fairy's FREE online workshop recording on how to maintain oral health at home. Learn how to:

  • Prevent dental emergencies with teeth & gum nourishing foods, herbs and supplements
  • Protect your gums by fine tuning your oral hygiene habits 
  • Relieve jaw tension to avoid breaking enamel or fillings
  • Do your own oral health self assessments to identify any issues
  • Evaluate whether an issue needs a dentist urgently or can wait
  • Manage issues with holistic home remedies until normal dental services resume

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 a natural oral health coach and 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 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.

I can help you to turn your oral health around with natural strategies, healthy habits and intuitive insights. 

Is there a Spiritual Meaning to Your Toothache?

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Root Cause Netflix Documentary Review

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