International Abstracts

Notes From Foreign Journals


Calcium Therapy

Calcium Therapy – In all cases of calcium therapy a sufficient amount of vitamin D must be given with the calcium, but the danger of giving large doses of vitamin C of of giving even small doses over a long period should not overlooked. All administration of calcium and vitamin D should be intermittent, and not prolonged continuously. I advice all my patients to take the calcium prescribed by mouth for two weeks, and then discontinue for two weeks and repeat. In this way treatment can be carried on for two or three months if necessary. Calcium should not be administered together with animal fat, for it unites with the fat to form insoluble soaps which pass through the alimentary tract without absorption. It should therefore be administered between means, E. V. Tomey, L.D.S. in British Dental Journal per The Dental Journal of Australia.


Child Dentistry

(A Paper given to the Gloucestershire Group, Western Counties Branch)

Although all dental operations successfully performed on children’s teeth are in a sense preventive, I propose first to deal with the purely preventive side of treatment; in short, advice on diet and hygiene given to parents, nurses, and to the children themselves.

Whenever opportunity arises, we should explain to the pregnant mother that the milk dentition is in process of formation and calcification during the whole course pregnancy, pointing out what foods are necessary to ensure an adequate supply of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins.

We shall presume that the newly-born child is to breast-fed during the first six or nine months of its life, and here again we must impress on the nursing mother the importance of taking an adequate supply of minerals and vitamins. Additional vitamin C can be given in the form of orange juice suitably diluted and in small quantities at first.

The Dental Gazette,

Medical Education

When medicine ceases to be a profession, as some critics predict that it will, we shall all have great cause for regret. There are signs today that its ranks are not being recruited from the proper class. medical men are hesitating to allow their sons to embark on a form of livelihood which will not entitle them to rank as professional men as did their fore fathers. Medicine seems to be attracting to a very large extent those who regard it as a more or less high-class mode of earning a livelihood. We do not mean to infer that all those who enter the portals of our medical schools belong to this class. There are certainly exceptions, be we fear that every year these exceptions are becoming more and more conspicuous by their small number. One reason for this great change is doubtless the diminishing character of private practice. The National Health Insurance Act sounded the death-knell of private practice amongst the working-class population, while the establishment of municipal clinics for mothers, infants and others put the finishing touch to a steady movement which has very materially changed the professional nature of medical practice in general.

—–Medical World.


Ownership of Films

The question of the ownership of radiographs has recently been discussed in the French medical press. It seems that the custom in this respect is not identical in France and the U.S.A. In France it is customary for the radiologist to keep his negatives and to give a copy of the proofs or positives to the patient. In the U.S.A. the radiologist keeps his negatives and lets the patient have a note of interpretation thereon but nothing more. In support of this American practice it is pointed out here that the patient is not only unqualified to examine a negative, but is also liable to injure it. Professor Laquerriere, now of Montreal, believes in the radiologist being the undisputed proprietor of this negatives, and the only exception he would make to this rule is in connection with industrial accidents in which the custom in France is for the radiologist to give one proof on paper to the injured person, and another proof to his employer of the employer’s representative

—–Medical World.


      “Concerning a Case of Osteomyelitis of the Mandible in a Pregnant Woman.” Antonio Paul gives the history of an interesting case of osteomyelitis which started in the region of the lower first molar, which had been treated externally with hot applications. The inflammation and suppuration spread alarmingly and refused to yield to ordinary treatment after the extraction of the tooth which was adherent to a sequestrum. After three months of ineffectual treatment the condition spread. Paul, having heard of the good effects of prontosil, gave three injections with an immediate cessation of the flow of pus. The supply ran out and suppuration became evident once more. As he could obtain septazine, this was injected and after three injections the flow of pus was stemmed and at last ceased. The fistula healed and in due course the patient gave birth to a healthy girl. —-Revue de Stomatologie, per The British Dental Journal



Nutritional Influence of Teeth


The title is not intended to convey the idea that tooth conditions are affected very specifically by the intake of certain foods entirely independently of others which are required by the body generally. Recent research is fast reverting to the original concept the organism is a unit entity. Dental health is no less a resultant of those conditions which make for the health and life of the body as a whole than it is itself one of these factors.

Only the balanced diet (including proper supply of oxygen) will meet the food requirements for absolute health – be it tooth health, car health, eye health, the health of any other organ or group of organs. Since life begins in utero, the foundations of normal well-being depend upon the supply of the essential materials made available through the mother- the health of the latter not being of lesser importance. Furthermore, the balanced diet should be viewed as part of a complete medico-dental clinical and laboratory examination. It should be interpreted as a variable depending upon: (1) age, (2) sex, (3) body build (specially weight and height). (4)occupation, (5) climate (season, immediate atmospheric environment), (6) physiological state; i.e. (a) extent of freedom from physical and mental fatigued based on the hours of rest essential to take one through the daily tasks without the feeling of being tired; (b) extent of freedom from disease, be this due to metabolic malfunctions, per se, parasitic invasion, or poisoning by toxins of varied nature other than those arising from infection.

These factors determine both qualitatively and quantitatively the make-up of any dietary and, broadly considered, diet regulation is only part of a comprehensive scheme to bring about scrupulous individual hygiene and in turn controlled community hygiene.

A balanced diet may be defined as one which supplies the body at the required rate with the proper quantity of substances necessary to build and repair tissues and create heat and energy. The substances may be classified conveniently as (1) proteins including all essential amino acids, (2) lipids including all essential fatty acids, (3) carbohydrates, (4) minerals, (5) vitamins, (6) water, and (7) roughage. – The Journal of The Canadian Association.

  • Pain


    Every dentist who extracts teeth or who administers local anaesthetics should be vitally interested in the subject of post-operative pain. Post-operative pain has too frequently been present following the removal of teeth. There is no doubt that many of the discomforts due to the removal of teeth develop from the neglect of pre-operative and operative care. It naturally follows that the dentist should bear in mind the need of pre-operative and operative care in order to prevent post-operative.
    -The Dental Journal of Australia.

  • Metabolic Disease

    Metabolic Diseases chiefly represented by Diabetic Melitis are strong predisposing factors to infection of the gums and teeth. In such cases great care should be taken to discover and correct the underlying condition, otherwise local treatment will be of little or no use. On many occasions oral sepsis was the earliest sign or the main trouble in a case of diabetes. In hidden or intermittent diabetes, or what I prefer to call the stealthy forms, urine analysis may not suffice and blood examination may be required before the disease is disclosed.
    -International Dentistry.

  • Saliva

    The reaction of the saliva in the oral cavity proper, particularly along the sides and under the tongue, is dominated by the secretions from the submaxillary and sublingual glands, and it is improbable that any considerable mixing takes place with the secretion of the parotid gland. Some evidence to support is found in the fact that the soft palate was found to be more acid than the average p.H. value of all the salivas, while the tongue was found to be more alkaline. It would thus seem that the surfaces of all the teeth are seldom subjected to a salivary p.H. environment representative of a mixed saliva. The analytical and p.H. findings of mixed saliva cannot have much bearing on the etiology of lesion of the crowns of the teeth. It may be deduced, however, that the acid parotid saliva has some etiological relationship with erosion.
    -The New Zealand Dental Journal.

    Notes From Foreign Journals


    Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3

    It is a pity, but there is now no doubt at all that vitamin D, which protects against rickets, exists in more than one chemical form. The actual number of forms is uncertain and is chiefly of academic interest, but there are at least two that are of general importance and Windaus has called them vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. They are the purified products of ultra-violet irradiation of ergosterol and 7-dehydrocholesterol respectively. The synthesis of the latter by Windaus and his colleagues was a masterly achievement.
    The discovery of rich natural sources of vitamin D in the halibut, tunny, bluefin tunny, and swordfish has made it possible for Hans Brockmann to isolate the vitamin from liver oils, and he has shown that the antirachitic vitamin occurring in nature is identical with vitamin D3 (irradiated 7-dehydrocholesterol). In cod-liver oil vitamin D is present only in comparatively small quantities, and its isolation from this source presents extra ordinary difficulties; but hardly any doubt is felt that the vitamin D of cod-liver oil, too, is D3. The first suspicion that natural vitamin D and the vitamin D of irradiated ergosterol are different intruded itself in a rather curious way. Vitamin D is much used in the poultry industry for prevention of leg-weakness in baby chicks, and also onwards throughout the fowl’s life. When irradiated ergosterol began to be employed for this purpose in America it was noticed to be much less effective than cod-liver oil; that is to say, if solutions of cod-liver oil and irradiated ergosterol were standardized with rats so that they had equal antirachitic potency, it might be found that twenty times as much of the irradiated ergosterol solution had to be given to chicks to produce the same protective or curative effect in rickets as was produced by the cod-liver oil solution. This observation was confirmed again and again, and experiments with purified.

    Inadequate Diets

    In the Brit. Med. Journ. (Jan. 8th, 1938). Dr. K. H. Coward and co-workers at the college of the Pharmaceutical Society describe a series of experiments carried out on young rats. The animals were fed on the usual diet of poor people, consisting largely of bread, margarine, jam and potatoes, with some meat and a little milk and green vegetables, and in addition cod-liver oil. The addition of the oil should have ensured that the calcium and phosphorus present in the diet were absorbed. The bone-ash percentage in this group was rather less than four-fifths normal. The authors concluded that this proves quite clearly that the ordinary mixed diet of the poorer classes is seriously deficient in the elements required for the calcification of bone. The Brit. Med. Journ. adds: “The importance of this conclusion is so obvious that it requires little comment. It is in general accordance with the findings of American authorities such as Sherman, who have contended for many years that calcium deficiency is one of the most serious dangers of improperly balanced diets.” –The Dental Record.


    Effect of Diet Control on Drug Habit

    Amsler in Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift, through Journal of the A. M. A., reports his findings on the effect of season and diet on the morphine habit. During the spring on an acid diet the morphine habit in guinea pigs develops in from two to two and one-half weeks. Four or five weeks were necessary in the fall when the animals were fed an alkaline diet. Under these same latter conditions the habit could be broken in from nine to twelve days whereas in the spring and during an acid diet, it required fifteen to eighteen days. These experimental results show that the tonus of the sympathetic nervous system, increased in the spring and by acid diet, makes the habit-forming more rapid and the breaking more difficult than when the para-sympathetic nervous system has its tonus increased. The calcium metabolism of the body is decreased y acid diet and increased by alkaline diet thus this factor along with vitamin D. would have great influence on preventing and breaking the morphine habit. Calcium and an alkaline diet should be given to people who must take morphine for long periods of time. –Medical Times.


    Infant Mortality

    Dr. Johanne Christiansen contributes so interesting article on “Nutrition and Disease in Denmark” to the Lancet (Feb. 5th ). It appears that “the Danish nation consumes more fat devoid of vitamins (margarine) and sugar per head than any other nation for which statistics are available. This faulty diet has a harmful effect on the national health. The infant mortality remains high in spite of great efforts made lo lower it.” Diagrams show that the consumption of fats per head is almost twice as great in Denmark as in England, but that the use of milk, cheese, and butter fats is about the same. The consumption of margarine is about five times as great in Denmark and that of pork fat somewhat larger (about 18 compared with 12 kilog.) “The Danish diet is poor in vitamins A and D. The intake of calcium is high among the peasants because separated milk is taken largely, but probably the calcium from it is not properly utilized in the body when the cream and butter have been sent away to England, and not much whole milk is consumed. Facts about the incidence of dental decay are scanty; in 1894 and 1920 respectively 8 and 2 per cent of the school children in Copenhagen had entirely healthy teeth. Since 1920 the situation seems to have worsened (Tofte, 1934), and it is supposed that only ½ of 1 per cent of the children now have healthy teeth. About half the soldiers have very bad teeth.” The daily calories obtained from sugar in Denmark are 594, which may be compared with England, 545; Netherland, 337; France, 282; and Italy, 89. The consumption of eggs and fish is very low, about half that in this country. –The Dental Record.

    Deficiencies in Vitamins

    In an editorial article on nutrition in the Brit. Med. Journ. the writer notes that the study of minor degrees of vitamin deficiency has now reached a more accurate stage by the introduction of quantitative methods of estimating this lack. Thus we have the dark adaptation test of vitamin A (M. K. Maitra and Leslie Harris), the urine saturation test for vitamins B and C, and the blood phosphatase test for vitamin D. Particularly has an unsuspected deficiency in vitamin C been revealed by the test dose of ascorbic acid, which is excreted by those already taking a sufficient supply of the vitamin but retained by those previously inadequately supplied. –The Dental Record.