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January 1, 1927

Why Infections?—In Teeth, Tonsils and Other Organs.

JAMA. 1927;88(1):52. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680270052032

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Preliminary to a discussion of the main subject, focal infection, the author devotes the first seven chapters to a discussion of pathogenic bacteria, general infection, immunity and, superficially, the anatomy and physiology of the teeth, faucial tonsils, nasopharyngeal adenoid tissue, paranasal sinuses, middle ear, the abdominal viscera and the genito-urinary system. Adequate discussion of these subjects in so small a space is apparently impossible, but has been well done. He recognizes focal infection as a fundamental principle in the causation of systemic disease. He properly criticizes the wide application of the principle and the irrational removal of tonsils and teeth that has been practiced in this country. He combats the statement of Dr. H. A. Cotton, superintendent of the New Jersey State Hospital, that focal infection is the chief cause of functional mental disorders. He criticizes the work in clinical bacteriology of E. C. Rosenow and others, and it is

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