A Survey of Systemic Disturbances Traceable to Infected Teeth

Author and Disclosure Information


Because medicine is a dynamic science, our ideas of the nature and the causative factors in many diseases are constantly changing. In the past twenty years, the possible relation of focal infection to almost every disease has at least been considered. Different observers hold widely different views concerning the role of foci of infection in the causation of systemic disease. This survey is an attempt to summarize the most competent medical opinions on the subject. Such an accounting at intervals is most important in the study of dental focal infection.

Dental infection may cause systemic disease by direct extension into adjacent structures or by metastasis to distant parts of the body. Infection may spread from a tooth into the alveolar process, producing a diffuse osteomyelitis; into the soft tissues, producing a cellulitis, or into the nearly lymph glands, producing a lymphadenitis. The maxillary sinus is not infrequently infected from the upper molars or bicuspids. Occasionally, a sinus thrombosis results from the direct extension upward of an acute dental infection. Rarely, the bacteria entering the blood may multiply and produce a true septicemia. No discussion concerning the role of the dental focus in such conditions is needed. The relation is too apparent.

Metastatic systemic disease is usually due to the actual transference of bacteria from the focus to different parts of the body .The organisms are carried by the blood or lymph stream to the point of localization, where they multiply and incite an infection of the tissues in which they. . .