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March 13, 1915

Pyorrhea Dentalis and Alveolaris

JAMA. 1915;LXIV(11):928. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570370060026

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To the Editor:  —In their article on this subject (The Journal, Feb. 13, 1915, p. 553), Bass and Johns state positively what they mean, since they define what in their opinion takes place; for they say: "Pyorrhea dentalis and alveolaris is one of the most prevalent diseases of man. In our studies we have found it present to some extent in more than 95 per cent, of all adults examined. Something of its importance may be suggested by the fact that more than half of all the permanent teeth lost are lost from this disease. Each tooth lost represents a suppurative process in the mouth of at least a few or usually many years." One would naturally inquire, Were the patients selected because of pus about the teeth, were they taken from dispensary clinics or were they observed in the office of a reputable practitioner of dentistry? Most adults in

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