The Degenerative Diseases and Focal Infections.

Quite often Price referred to the high number of “rheumatic group lesions” which resulted from dental infections. That terminology produced some confusion as it placed extreme emphasis on rheumatism and arthritis. Although rheumatic and arthritic illnesses often result from oral infections, they aren’t any more prevalent as a result of dental infections than those which affect the heart and circulatory system.

Toward the end of Volume I of his Dental Infections, oral and systemic, Price made this statement:

“It seems probable we will come more and more to speak of them as the degenerative diseases, since they constitute the slow loss of function, with structural degeneration, of various organs and tissues of the body. The government statistics speak of them frequently as old-age diseases, and it is pathetic that so many individuals are slowly dying of old age anywhere from thirty years on.”

Time has proven him correct, as the term degenerative disease is now fairly well understood and is frequently used by the public. For the most part, throughout the book I have dropped Dr. Price’s references to the term “rheumatic group.”

At the time of Dr. Price’s research, most people thought that degenerative disease resulted from accidental exposure of the body to specifically different organisms, each of which attacked either the heart, the kidneys, the joints, etc. – much like catching measles or mumps. Today that feeling is still a predominant one, but it is accompanied by the realization many organ and tissue diseases can be due to nutritional and or metabolic disorders and breakdowns as well.

The most powerful force driving me to report Dr. Price’s work to America and the world is the fact many people are suffering severe ill health, and even premature death, because of these dental and other focal infections. By Dr. Price’s simple experiment of placing root filled or other infected teeth under the skin of rabbits, he has given us an iron-clad method to demonstrate whether a tooth sterilization method is successful.

I trust that not only lay readers but the medical and dental professions as well will, at long last, recognize how easily focal infections in teeth, tonsils or other tissues can be transferred to other organs and tissues and can end up causing endocarditis in hearts, nephritis in kidneys, and a whole host of other devastating illnesses. While not all root canal treatments result in the transference of disease, keep in mind that over 24 million root canal operations were performed last year and most of these surgeries could have been prevented had the initial cavity in the tooth been discovered earlier.

In view of the ever growing cost of health care bankrupting many families and similarly threatening our government, very serious reappraisals of Dr. Price’s research by the dental profession is called for in an effort to eliminate the huge number of degenerative diseaases related to focal infection sources.

What you know now, and what should be public knowledge, is that there is a much higher incidence of the occurrence of degenerative disease in those who have root canal fillings and periodontal gum disease than in those who maintain a healthy mouth. We must accept the fact bacteria find our tissues so attractive and desirable that they mutate and change form in order to survive there. At the same time we cannot ignore nutritional and metabolic effects upon our immune systems.

Dr. Price reported that, in a large number of cases, even when root filled teeth which appeared perfectly normal and without symptoms were extracted, a high percentage of the patients who had been experiencing heart problems found their conditions totally or almost totally subsided.

The physicians who understand the harmful role teeth can play in their patient’s lives will, I trust, keep in mind that none of this information in any way condones the wholesale condemnation of all teeth. Early in my practice I was horrified to find a number of patients whose physicians took the focal infection theory too literally and advised them to have all their teeth out, teeth that were in no way involved in their arthritic condition.

Copyright (c) 2007 Sung Lee, and George Meinig D.D.S