Root canal surgery and allergies – Six things you need to know

After my own recent root canal surgery I have learnt a great deal about the possible pit falls for those with allergies or sensitivities. My dentist was really helpful and looked into every aspect of the surgery and used alternatives to the things that could have made me very ill. So here’s what you need to know.
Gutta percha tooth filler contains rubber latex

  1. Ask about the rubber dam. This is used to protect your mouth from the heated equipment that is needed to finish off the root filling. My dentist bought a special non-latex dam just for me.
  2. Gutta percha is made from natural rubber latex. This is what’s used to fill the cavity once the root has been drilled and nerves removed. Again, there are other alternatives so check these out with your dentist before considering this surgery if you have a latex allergy.
  3. The sealant – This can also cause people problems. Find out what it is and what the possible allergy implications might be and discuss alternatives with your dentist.
  4. Ask about disinfectant – Dentists use Chlorhexidine as an antiseptic to disinfect the root before filling to ensure all trace of bacteria and infection are cleared up. Chlorhexadine is found in Corsodyl mouthwash so is considered fairly harmless but it has begun to cause allergic reactions in some peple. My dentist has seen a lady have an allergic reaction to it. Ask if a simple bleach solution can be used instead. Not ever so appealing but preferable to an allergic reaction on the dentist’s chair.
  5. Latex allergy – If you have a latex allergy ask the dentist and assistant to wear non-latex vinyl gloves. It is possible to get some very good quality non-latex gloves now which many professionals are choosing to use over the latex because there is less chance of irritation for both their patients and their staff. My dentist now only buys the non-latex gloves so I know I’ll be safe from the latex.
  6. Nickel and other allergies – If you are allergic to anything else that is used at the dentists it’s a good idea to book the first appointment of the day so that everything is clean and there is no chance of cross contamination.

Ask lots of questions and if your dentists doesn’t listen or ignores your concerns, don’t get it done. It’s an expensive proceedure so you need to be sure about it before going ahead. However if you have a tooth abscess you’ll be in so much pain you won’t care, not something I’d like to go through again in a hurry.

The treatment itself is not painful, or I didn’t find it so. It is very long winded though and requires quite a few long spells laying back on the dentists chair with your mouth wide open. It’s uncomfortable but I’m so glad it’s over now.

I have had a flushed face since having this proceedure but I’m hoping it will go down with time. It isn’t as itchy and painful as most of my normal allergic reactions, just feels slightly different, wrong, and warm.

It’s a pretty invasive treatment so if you’re body is sensitive the chances are it could put the balance out for a bit. Boost your immune system before having the treatment, during and after. Especially if you need to take anti-biotics to clear up any infection.

My tooth still feels sensitive to the touch and my face is still very red three days after. Have I just spent an offensive amount of money on some useless dentistry? Just a moment of googling this subject is enough to put anyone off ever having root canal work done. I really hope it sorts itself out, otherwise I will be questioning my dentist about why this wasn’t made clear to me in the first place.

The tooth in question is on the top jaw at the back so an extraction would not be the end of the world but does sound like an equally horrendous option. But if you STILL find eating on one side of your mouth uncomfortable what on earth is the point?

Are there any other dangers from root canal surgery?

I would suggest not googling this after having it done, as I have, because you’ll probably wish you hadn’t. I found this website article called Root Canal cover up exposted which is particularly terrifying, which basically talks about the tiny nerve canals that are left in the tooth after the surgery is done which can mean that the patient will still suffer with pain and infection even afterwards because a dead tooth is full of bacteria. Lovely! It does seem wrong to keep something dead inside your mouth just for vanity reasons. It appears the only real solution is extraction.

I wonder whether these website speading doom and gloom about root canal is just scare mongering or whether there is any truth in what they say.

Dentists seem to be loathe to ever extract a tooth and I can see that keeping ones own teeth has its advantages, but when a tooth has died, the nerves have gone necrotic and it no longer has a blood supply, why go through a very expensive treatment that ultimately could make you very sick and not solve the problem anyway?

Is it really a good idea to keep a dead tooth in your mouth? It’s dead. Dead things rot and decay. Don’t they?

My dentist swears it is very normal proceedure and that I should have no problems after a week. SHOULD! That little word rings in my ears. Has anyone else had root canal surgery and is suffering afterwards? Anyone had the gutta purcha filler (thank goodness I found out about this) and suddenly developed problems immediately afterwards?

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She runs a support group for the Anaphylaxis Campaign and also writes regularly for Exchange, The National Eczema Society quarterly magazine.


  1. Good luck Ruth – and no, I am not going to tell you any horror stories about root canal fillings – merely tell you that I have put a link to your blog up in the Latex allergy section of Foods Matter!

  2. Sophie Whiting says:

    hi ruth
    i, too, wish you luck. many people seem fine after rc treatment. i wasn’t one of them. i think if your immunity is a bit rubbish you might suffer. i had rc last may and became quite ill. my tooth never settled down and hurt when i ate certains foods or drank hot or cold drinks. i was in bed on and off for months. i began do some research and found the kind of articles you obviously did! after a few months i developed breathing difficulties and bought salt inhalers/ a humidifier etc. etc. i actually felt awful. so i decided to have the tooth removed and began getting better straight away. i still get migraines from perfumes etc. but the awareness of most breaths has gone and i’m not exhausted and in bed most of the time these days.
    all the very best

  3. Sophie Whiting says:
  4. Hi Ruth

    Just to add, I have a friend who is allergic to local anaesthetics and this caused severe breathing problems at the dentist. She has now had allergy tests and a treatment plan put in place.

    • Hi Michelle, I do get a very odd sensation from anaesthetic, runs in the family apparently. After an op on my shoulder the anaesthetic made me really sick and I had some kind of mild allergic reaction. Never thought it cd be that. And of course with the blooming root canal I’ve had about three doses in just a few weeks. Lovely! Could very well be that so I will speak to my allergy doc in may. Thanks again.

  5. Oh dear! I must stop googling this. A video about root canal dangers

  6. I just had a root canal, but I was aware of the opposition. I just could not tell if it was valid or not. After my root canal, the energy seemed to drain from my body. My tooth was not even infected before, but the pulp was inflamed. Anyway, my immune system is usually great, but like I said, I’ve felt a little off in the few days since the RC. Even ended up in the ER yesterday. I’ll most likely get my RC taken out within the year. I’m normally very energetic, and despite what my dentist calls a “lack of literature” proving that RCs are harmful, I have to listen to my body. My body says something is not right.

    • Mine, which was put in middle of last year, does not feel right. The tooth is still sensitive and it feels like it did before it all went wrong before, with suspicious pains which come and go. I can feel it all the time and I’m really not happy with it at all. Not sure if it’s affected my general health, I’m OK, but it cost so much to get done though I can’t face another visit to the dentists but I hope to get mine removed at some point when I can afford it. It’s not right.

  7. I have had 8 root canals and five have failed and one is still iffy. I was in pain for months with all of them while the dentist/ endodontist tried to figure out why they were not working. The first bad one was pulled and replaced with an implant. The rest were pulled and nothing done. Who can afford 4 imolants and bone grafts and a sinus lift. We r talking$30,000. I am now facing another fractured tooth that is throbbing all day. Dentidt wants to do root canal. I said no. I will now be missing my 4 back teeth on top and 1 molar on bottom. I will never get another root canal.

  8. Hi Ruth, like you I had a root canal done recently (about a year ago for me) and then watched a documentary on the horrors of root canals, because a year later, I am getting mild pain under the root canal filled tooth, as if there is pressure and inflammation there. This inflammation coincided with headaches, blurred vision and swollen glands in my neck on the same side. So, I am getting my root canal removed today! I do believe that it is impossible to remove all the bacteria and root pulp, and have read and researched a lot into the chronic systemic problems caused by root canals. In the past year, my asthma has worsened considerably and I’ve had to see a cardiologist because my resting heart rate increased to 105 and there was a virus in my heart! I believe the root canal was the source of this, as confirmed by 3 different, highly accurate bio-resonance testing systems. I hope this inspires you to get your out! All the best whatever you decide! Rhoda

    • Well Rhoda, I don’t know but my allergies have got WAY worse since having mine done. Coincidence? Who knows. I plan to get all the mercury fillings and dratted root canal out too. I wanted the tooth pulled in the first place there was so little of the blooming thing left anyway. I do not care if I get gaps between my teeth… cost a fortune too. Makes you sick huh? Literally! Do let me know if your health improves once it’s out.

  9. I did 2 RCs 7 years back. One has always been a failure. Can’t chew with that side because it starts paining in a day or two. Right now it’s irritating inside. I feel like plucking out that tooth with my bare hands and giving it a good scratch with sandpaper! It’s really itching inside. Any holistic dentist in India who can extract this RC properly?

    • Hi Manoj, I’ve only had one and I can still feel it over a year later. Not painful, just an itch. I want it out… never wanted it in the first place. Take the tooth out, that’s what I say. I am planning on having my amalgam fillings replaced when I can afford it too. Soon I hope.

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