The Teeth And Heart Disease
( Originally Published 1921 )
Some people will say that suppurating teeth are the cause of heart disease, and that heart disease can be cured by removing the teeth. The author can not subscribe to this radical view of the subject. There are many sources of infection beside the teeth, and the cure of heart disease must depend upon many elements beside that of infection.
The same truths apply to root abscesses of the teeth in relation to heart trouble. In many in-stances they do not constitute a primary cause, but if abscessed teeth are interfering with the general health, they certainly should be attended to. These abscesses are usually discovered by examination of the teeth with the X-ray, and are often not suspected at all before such an examination is made. A few people show vast improvement in health when unsuspected abscesses and old roots of teeth are discovered and treated. On the other hand, a large number of people do not seem to be affected in any way by teeth which to all appearances should be poisonous to the system.
It appears that two things are necessary for infection to do harm. One is the presence of infection, and the other is the susceptibility to the particular germs. Of course, it is always possible for a person in time to become susceptible to damage from any source of infection in the system.
It is a well-known fact that germs from many diseases lurk in the system all the time, but take hold only when people are deprest by some unusual circumstance. Thus a person who gets thoroughly chilled and does not react promptly is likely to develop some germ disease from the germs already lurking in the body such a germ as the colon bacillus that is always present in the intestinal tract. This fact constitutes a good reason for avoiding exposure and for keeping the system in good condition.
If we could live out of doors in an ideal climate, the probability is that we could resist diseased tonsils and teeth for many years; but under modern city conditions they are a constant source of danger, demanding wise treatment in and out of season.