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July 13, 1912


JAMA. 1912;LIX(2):94-97. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270070095005

Uncleanliness of the mouth is probably the indirect cause of more bodily disease than any other source. This fact has recently been forcibly set before us by such men as Hutchison, Turner, Lang, Hunter and others.

"Chronic ulcerative stomatitis," "putrid sore mouth," "fetid sore mouth," etc., as described in works on medicine, and as spoken of by physicians, are simply stages of a disease of the alveolar process and gums, popularly known as "receding gums," "sore," "spongy" or "bleeding gums." These conditions are preventable by proper daily cleanliness at the hands of the patient. They are caused by local irritants against the gums, calcareous deposits being by far the greatest factor. Any irritant, however, such as bands, rough edges of cavities and roots of teeth, rough fillings, splinters, or improper approxiinal spaces may be the exciting cause.

The various conditions or stages of the disease should be described under a

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