CAVITATIONS ...the problem of hidden jaw bone infections
Everyone knows what a cavity is, but cavitations are much less well known. Both words come from the same root word, “hole.” A cavity is a hole in the tooth, whereas, a cavitation is a hole in the bone that cannot be detected through visual inspection!
The term “cavitation” was coined in 1930 by a well known orthopedic researcher to describe a disease process in which the lack of blood supply to an area of bone resulted in a hole or “hollowed out” portion of the jawbone or other bones in the body. This was also described in 1915 by Dr. G.V. Black as a progressive disease of the jawbone which kills bone cells and produces large hollowed out areas of bony tissue or a soft mass enclosing particles of necrotic (dead) bone. He was intrigued by the unique ability of this disease to produce extensive jawbone destruction without causing redness, swelling of the overlying tissues or increasing the patient’s body temperature. Black suggested that surgically removing this dead necrotic tissue was necessary to promote healing of the jawbone.
Current Use of Term “Cavitation”
In the last decade, the term “cavitation” has been used not only to describe lesions appearing as empty holes, but also various types of lesions in the jawbone, found through tissue analysis to be lacking in oxygen, necrotic (dead), bone infected and toxic. These lesions are often located in old extraction sites and under or near the roots of root canal teeth, avital (dead) teeth and wisdom teeth. Sometimes they seem to spread extensively from these locations throughout the jawbone and may penetrate the sinuses or totally encompass the jaw nerve.
Recent research by Dr. Boyd Haley shows ALL cavitation tissue samples tested contain toxins which significantly inhibit one or more of five basic body enzymes necessary in the energy production cycle. There are indications that when these toxins combine with chemicals or heavy metals, such as fluoride or mercury, that more potent toxins may be formed. Research from Germany indicates the jawbone may be a holding tank for chemicals and heavy metals (especially wisdom teeth sites). Clinical experience indicates it is sometimes difficult for some patients to successfully detoxify mercury from the body until after cavitations, as well as fillings containing mercury are removed.
NICO-Cavitations Accompanied by Pain
The term NICO, neuralgia-inducing cavitational osteonecrosis, has been used when severe facial pain, neuralgia, headache or a phantom toothache accompanies this disease. Even if pain symptoms or localized jawbone symptoms are not present, systemic symptoms can be extensive. The intense concern expressed by several researchers and physicians earlier this century about the systemic influences of these lesions has finally become a concern for contemporary, progressive dentists, physicians and researchers.
Dr. Bob Jones, the inventor of the CAVITAT (an ultrasound instrument designed to detect and image cavitations) found cavitations of various sizes and severity in approximately 94% of several thousand wisdom teeth sites that he scanned. He also found cavitations under or located near 100% of root canal teeth scanned in both men and women of various ages from several different geographic areas of the United States.
Wisdom Teeth Sites
One source of data indicates that 45% of all jawbone cavitations are located in the third molar (wisdom teeth sites). These areas are particularly predisposed because they contain small terminal vessels (microvasculature) and osteonecrosis is a disease of such vessels. Injections for dental procedures are often given near these areas. If the local anesthetic used contains a vasoconstrictor (often epinephrine), it may shut down the blood supply to the bone in these areas. For this reason, the use of non-vasoconstricting anesthetics is indicated.
The recommended treatment of cavitations at the present time remains the same as that proposed by Dr. G.V. Black: surgical debridement (scraping clean) the area to remove all unhealthy bone and all pathology such as abscesses, cysts, etc. It is not sufficient to “punch” a small hole in the bone, drill a little and rinse it out. In fact, this, and the practice of injecting these lesions with homeopathics and other substances, may very well increase the severity of the lesion instead of lessening it. After the unhealthy bone is removed, the goal is bone regeneration. Success of this occurrence, up to this point in time has depended a great deal on the healing capacity of the individual’s body and the treatment or elimination of predisposing and risk factors, which is not always possible. Lack of healing or reoccurrence of a lesion and the need for retreatment is always a possibility, no matter how well the surgery is performed.
There are very few dentists who are trained in effectively diagnosing and treating these lesions. Those who are not so trained are not qualified to diagnose this condition or confidently assure patients that they do not have a cavitation.
Prevention of Cavitations
There are new instruments, products and technological applications which may improve prevention and treatment procedures and enhance the bone regeneration process. Many questions are yet to be answered, and more research is needed to perfect the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cavitations, but our knowledge is increasing daily. Most importantly, many individuals are receiving relief from local and systemic symptoms, diseases and pain by the surgical treatment of cavitations.
This article, by Dr. Karen Shrimplin is gratefully reproduced with permission from Affinity Laboratory Technologies, founded in 1997 by Dr. Boyd Haley, Professor and Chair of Chemistry Department, University of Kentucky in Lexington. (Some background on Dr. Boyd at: http://www.novaccine.com/boyd_haley.asp).
Another brilliant and informative web site that explains this complex world of dentistry in simple words: http://www.hugnet.com.
For an update on the CAVITAT, an imaging device designed to detect the presence of jawbone cavitations using non-invasive and safe sonography, see www.cavitatmedtech.homestead.com.
(The before and after cavitations at the top of this article are that of the editor’s, Merrie Bakker. The cavitational scan was performed by Dr. Madeson Basie, in Vancouver, BC.)
More excellant information at this site: http://www.drshankland.com/page11402151.aspx
about CAVITATIONS and an UPDATE... the problem of hidden jaw bone infections - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/87
CAVITATIONS, Cavitational Osternecrosis and Alveolar Cavitational Osteopathy - http://www.thehealingjournal.com/node/619