The Spirochetes can be more Significant to Patients than Streptococcus Bacteria in Dental Infection
Compared to streptococcal infections, spirochetes are represented in only a small percent of the total number of dental infections. Even less involved, but nevertheless significant to patients when they occur, are infections from parasites.
Dr. Price reported a case in which a woman patient had a huge abscess in her neck from a fistula of a lower infected molar tooth. Even after the tooth was extracted, the chronic abscess resisted treatment efforts for many weeks. A bacterial examination disclosed the presence of a large number of amoeba.
Treatment for amoebic parasites promptly stopped the infection. On the following page are pictures of this womans condition: the fistula training under her chin, an x-ray picture showing her teeth and the infected tooth socket, plus a microscopic slide picture of the amoeba parasites causing her distress.
Amoeba were also found to nearly always be present in pyorrhea gum pockets, and in at least one instance the parasite had penetrated into the adjacent bone. It is hoped that learning of the presence of such organisms and the local and systemic harm they can cause will stimulate all readers to seek regular, competent prophylaxis care by a dentist or dental hygienist every three to six months.
While the foremost difficulties investigated by Price concerned infections in the root canal and other tooth parts involving streptococcus organisms, in this chapter we have tried to point out some other organisms that can be responsible for systemic disease.
Bacteria can also be involved via the mouth in a few other ways. At the time of the Dr. Price studies, tuberculosis was a rather common serious illness. Dr. Price pointed out to his colleagues at the Research Institute that severe tooth decay areas which exposed the pulp could provide an entry way through the teeth into the body for the tuberculosis bacillus.
By traveling through the root canal into adjacent tissue, bacteria could be picked up by the lymphatic system and transported to the lymph grands of the neck, and from there to other body areas. Enlarged cervical glands persisting for periods off time seemed to miraculously disappear when infected teeth were removed from patients, proving that bacteria do travel from the tooth to the neck.
Tuberculosis became a reasonably easy disease to treat when antibiotics arrived. Now, however, TB is again attacking more and more people – and customary treatments are no longer effective. The bacteria are mutating, changing their form and characteristics, much like what Price found to be occurring with organisms in dentin tubules.
Most people know that certain bacterial infections can be transmitted to others, such as scarlet fever, diphtheria, etc. Most also know that a person can be a carrier and transmit a disease without himself being ill of the disease. Do you suppose that those who have badly decayed teeth would be more apt to be carriers of bacterial infections? Dont you suppose that these people would also be more susceptible to becoming seriously infected themselves?
The most prevalent organisms which inhabit the mouth were discussed and it was stated that of the 10 varieties of streptococcus bacteria, the “fecalis” family was predominant in 65 1/2 percent of the cases tested.
Copyright (c) 2007 Sung Lee, and George Meinig D.D.S