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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 3 (June 1, 1939)

Health Notes. — Septic Teeth

Health Notes.
Septic Teeth.

We have always been more or less aware that our bodies are battle-grounds for invisible foes—germs—and if these are virulent and the body defences weak, the victory is to the germs.

Sometimes the germs invade the blood stream, as may occur in the case of a septic wound, and sometimes they may settle in some tissue or organ of the body, there to multiply and gradually become a potential menace to the health of all the other organs or tissues. This infection may be the forerunner of any of the following diseases—rheumatism, neuritis, anaemia and digestive disorders of various kinds.

It is really amazing how calmly we ignore the simple precautions necessary to safeguard our most valuable asset—namely, health. Dental decay is one of the most well-known causes of infection. Germs flock to the decayed tooth, and may be instrumental in producing an abscess, which if not dealt with immediately, may become a poison factory within the body insidiously undermining the health of the individual.

Inadequate cleansing of the teeth is one of the main factors which produce the decay, as stagnation of the adherent food particles takes place, and supplies a home for the germs. This is not a pleasant thought—a mouth containing germs—and yet we nonchalantly permit the teeth and gums to be invaded by this formidable enemy. Too much soft, sugary and starch food helps in the decay of the teeth—this is the result of the dietetic habits of civilisation.

For a considerable time the victim is quite unconscious of the harmful germ activity, but the chronic poison is operating, nevertheless. The feeling of “not up to the mark” is usually the first symptom of this invasion by these “invisible foes.” A signpost is also marked “Toothache,” and this should not be disregarded. Some foe is at work and should be routed. A visit to the dentist will probably save you much future suffering and expense.

Periodical medical examination will lead to the early detection of a focal infection and its aftermath of ill-health can be prevented if medical methods of treatment are adopted at once.