Focal Infection Theory

I think it is important for everyone to read over the article on Wikipedia regarding focal infection theory

Focal infection theory (FIT) is the idea that a local infection affecting a small area of the body can lead to subsequent infections or symptoms in other parts of the body due either to the spread of the infectious agent itself or toxins produced from it.

Let’s look at an article from 1938 by Russell L. Cecil and D. Murray Angevine, “Clinical and experimental observations on focal infection with an analysis of 200 cases of rheumatoid arthritis,” Ann Int Med 12(5):577-84

“But even in America, the home of focal infection, scientific men are becoming a little wearied of the universal acceptance of a theory as though it were an established fact. For example, one of our leading pathologists has satirically described a focus of infection as ‘anything that is readily accessible for surgery.’ “

Appearing in the Journal of the California Dental Association in 2000 by Thomas J. Pallasch DDS; MS, and Michael J. Wahl, DDS is  “The Focal Infection Theory: Appraisal and Reappraisal”

“It goes unappreciated that dental treatment could just as easily be considered the “cause” of patient systemic disease placing dentists in legal jeopardy” 

“The application of the focal infection theory eventually fell from scientific favor for many reasons including the:  Eventual unfavorable reaction to the “orgy”of dental extractions and tonsillectomies.”

Appearing in the Journal of the American Dental association in 2006 by Michael L. Barnett, DDS (2006) “The Oral-Systemic Disease Connection: An Update for the Practicing Dentist” Vol 137, No suppl_2, 5S-6S.

“Much of the evidence presented in support of the concept of focal infection proved, on closer inspection, to be anecdotal or of questionable scientific merit. Nevertheless, it became common practice to extract all endodontically or periodontally involved teeth to eliminate any possible foci of infection, with the expectation that this would prevent or cure a whole host of local or systemic problems.”

“What we need now is sound science not jubilation that focal infection is the savior of dental practice.”

Again let’s reiterate as described on my website about my experience with wisdom teeth removal. See the about me page as well.

I was told by my dentist to have all 4 of my wisdom teeth extracted after I had just turned 20. I was ignorant and young. I saw an oral surgeon who told me about a few potential complications from extractions of wisdom teeth and then took out the 4 wisdom teeth. I visited some websites on the internet but they also did not provide adequate information.

I was never told no scientific evidence exists to support removing healthy wisdom teeth and in fact wisdom teeth that were healthy were no longer being extracted in young healthy adults in the U.K. since 2000 unless they were causing a specific problem.

Two days after having the wisdom teeth extracted I came down with a 24/7 headache which was has persisted ever since June 2006.

I was unable to recover any compensation for my injuries and there is no universal healthcare system in the U.S.

1 thought on “Focal Infection Theory”

  1. Where exactly is the plethora of evidence disproving focal Infection theory? All I hear are general statements about how it’s been dis-proven long ago etc.but never one single reference in support.

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