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May 7, 1910


JAMA. 1910;LIV(19):1548. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.02550450058006

The importance of mouth symptoms in the acute infections, such as scarlet fever, diphtheria and measles, is recognized. It is less generally known, however, that in many constitutional conditions the mouth secretions and the mucous membranes covering the gums, cheeks, tongue, etc., furnish early and positive data for diagnosis.

It has been proved that gingivitis is an early and prominent symptom in many cases of diabetes mellitus and continues throughout the course of this disease. Many good books on general medicine ignore this fact, however. Osler, who so seldom misses a point, makes no mention of gingivitis in diabetes, but does say that "the tongue is usually dry, red and glazed and the saliva scanty; the gums may become swollen, and in the later stages of the disease aphthous stomatitis is common."

J. Redier1 makes the definite statement that in diabetes the saliva contains sugar which undergoes lactic fermentation,

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