Validity of Focal Infection Theory

The most successful determining medicaments and germicidal rinses-those which prevented bacteremias to the highest degree – were summarized and reported by I.B. Bander,D.D.S. and Steve Montgomery,D.D.S., in the Journal of Endodontics. The very best results of numerous research studies were obtained with topical application into the gum crevice of an iodine-glycerine medicament. No bacteria whatever were found in the blood when it was applied and left to set and act for five minutes before proceeding with planned dental treatment.

Good results were also achieved using 0.5 percent hexa- dine with 10 percent providone-iodine solution. If your dentist is not familiar with this study, which involves 51 references, he or she can obtain a copy of the article from the American Dental Association Library service.

The acceptance and understanding of how easy it is for bacteremias to occur is, in fact, understanding the focal infection theory in action. This should help everyone to better visualize how bacteria present in the dentin tubules of infected teeth can eventually create such severe illnesses.

In view of the current concern regarding the production of endocarditis and/or knee-hip infections from oral dental sources, a more complete consideration must be given by the medical/dental profession and public to other ways focal infections can be induced. A variety of research projects designed to give humans a better chance in their war against focal infection microorganisms must be undertaken.

Suppression of the Dr. Weston Price accomplishments was unfortunate for the development of medicine and detrimental to the health of our people. Mainly responsible was a dispute which took place among health professional as to the validity of the focal infection theory.

Simply stated, the focal infection theory takes the position that infected teeth, tonsils, tonsil tags, sinuses and such areas of infection contain bacteria which can travel to another gland, organ or tissue and set up a new infection site. Dr. Weston Price was not the only doctor carrying out research on this subject.

Among the 60 members of the American Dental Association’s research institute governing body were such famous doctors as Charles Mayo, organizer of the Mayo Clinic; Milton Rosenau, professor of preventive medicine at Johns Hopkins; William Welch, professor of pathology; As in so many disputes about medical discoveries, even though the majority of leading doctors believed in the focal infection theory, these leading scientists were overridden and silenced.

The fight against the focal infection theory was mainly carried out by doctors Percy Howe and John Buckley. Howe based his opposition on a study he conducted injecting rabbits with the normal placid streptococcus bacteria secured from the mouth, not bacteria from an infection site or a root filled tooth. In his investigation, none of the animals became sick or died. Buckley was unable to see how infected teeth which showed excellent evidence of bone repair after root canal therapy could possibly still be infected. Then too, because some who root filled teeth removed did not recover, he questioned the validity of the conclusion that a percentage of patients did get well due to the removal of a tooth or teeth.

The arguments of these two men were weak and they failed to consider or believe. The poor nutrition and inherited generic problems are also causes of degenerative diseases. That oral bacteria do not act in the same manner as do the germs that cause measles, smallpox, mumps, scarlet fever, etc. That when teeth become infected, oral bacteria find the dentin tubules an ideal cave-like hiding place, and these germs and their toxins – like the viruses that cause cancer – metastasize and escape to infect hearts, joints, kidneys, lungs, the stomach, eye, and countless other tissues.

That what makes these bacteria so dangerous is their ability to become polymorphic; that is, to mutate, adapt, change, become smaller, anaerobic, more virulent and more toxic. That pregnant women or others experiencing a higher than normal degree of stress become particularly susceptible to diseases arising from oral infection sources. By the mid-thirties, most physicians and dentists believed the focal infection theory to be correct and valid.

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