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July 7, 1906


Author Affiliations

Assistant in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; Assistant Physician at the Children's Hospital and at the Thomas Morgan Rotch, Jr., Memorial Hospital for Infants. BOSTON.

JAMA. 1906;XLVII(1):25-28. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.25210010025001h

Dentition has assumed a position of varying importance in connection with the diseases of infancy. There is a period in medical history, perhaps about one hundred years ago, when dentition was considered the most important cause of infantile disease. Almost every disease to which infants are liable was attributed to the cutting of the teeth, and at times, the mortality from dentition alone has been placed at as high a figure as 50 per cent. This view still plays an important part in the ideas of the laity. One hears constantly of heat rashes, of the dangers of the second summer, and one constantly meets with the inquiry on the part of the perplexed and anxious parent, "Is it the teeth?"

There has also been a period of reaction against this extreme view of the significance of dentition. All significance in producing morbid processes has been denied to the process

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