- By Dr. George Meinig, D.D.S., F.A.C.D.(1) The Poorer the Defense Capability of a Patient, The more Probable Bacteria will Reestablish themselves in a New Tissue
By Dr. George Meining,D.D.S.,
* Dentists at the time of Dr. Price's research, as well as those practicing today, generally consider that the larger the area of infection seen on an x-ray picture and particularly those which had fistulas indicated the severity of the disease. A careful study of 1400 patients showed the type and size of the lesion as a predictor of symstemic body involvedment was a false assumption.
* For example, those showing condensed bone and very little change at the root end of the tooth proved to be the more serious infections. People with this condition were frequently found to be prone to a degenerative group of disease.
* On the other hand, those with large areas of alveolar bone loss and/or fistulas were generally found in patients in good condition with little or no systemic involvement.
This has led to some confusion in the medical and dental professions, as the large numbers of patients presenting in outpatient clinics of hospitals - often those with low incomes -
usually have more abundant infections than are found in any other group. On the whole, these people were found to have quantities of pus flowing from any number of broken down teeth, but Dr. Price found most of these patients did not exhibit signs and symptoms of systemic illnesses. He demonstrated that the physical change about the root of the tooth was not a measure of its infection but was primarily related to the patient's body defense capability.
* Today we refer to the body's defense capability as the ability of the person's immune system. If a person's defense mechanism is strong, Price speculated, there is localized spread of the infected area without the spread of organisms to other parts of the body - until the infection is present for a prolonged period.
* Dr. Price reasoned that when the patient's defense is poor, the body tries to wall off the infection by surrounding the area with dense bone, and it is this dense bone which slows the growth of granulomas and stops fistula formation and its function of quickly carrying
off pus. In these cases, the organisms' main means of escape to other parts of the body is via the bloodstream.
* The poorer the defense capability of patient, the more probable that the bacteria will reestablish themselves in a new tissue or organ. Teeth in these cases tend to become more tender and painful than those which appear more seriously involved.
* These results and conclusions encouraged Dr. Price to examine the bacterial content of granulomas, fistulas and other areas of infection.Best wishes,