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Posts Tagged ‘toothache’

Toothworms and Spider Juice?

In Dental Care, Dental Humor - Oxymoron? on March 29, 2011 at 4:30 AM

According to Loretta Frances Ichord in “Toothworms and Spider Juice: An Illustrated History of Dentistry,” people of ancient times considered the pain of a toothache was caused by a toothworm that had appeared spontaneously or bored its way into the tooth. If the pain was severe, it meant the toothworm was thrashing about. And if the aching stopped, it only meant the worm was resting.

Pre Middle Ages dentistry must have been something. Dental anxiety takes on a whole new meaning when we’re talking about the proper diagnosis and removal of toothworms. Can you imagine how many people avoided the dentist back then?

Thank goodness we now have proven scientific evidence allowing our dental professionals to not only identify and treat the signs of dental problems before they become symptoms of oral discord.

Now when we recline back in that cushy dental chaise lounge, complete with heat and massage, it’s almost like our dentist can see into the future. Advances with things like intraoral cameras, digital radiography, and CAD/CAM technology, now make toothworms a thing of the past!

Ok, maybe the whole toothworm scare dissipated after the 1700s or so…but here are some more old wives tales to discuss with your dentist the next time you want to do a little self-diagnosis followed by at-home treatment.

Bee: Honey, a product of bees, was used to coat an infected tooth in the Middle Ages. People smeared their aching teeth with honey and waited all night with tweezers in hand, ready to pluck out the toothworm.

Dental Folk Cures

Donkeys: In ancient Greece, donkey’s milk was used as a mouthwash to strengthen the gums and teeth.

Fingernails:  Trim you fingernails on Friday, and that pesky toothache will be gone for a week.

Frogs: Besides spitting in a frog’s mouth for toothache relief, these web-footed creatures were applied to a person’s cheek or to the head on the side of the ailing tooth.

Funerals:  Never eat anything when the funeral bell is tolling, or a toothache will follow.

Hard Boiled Eggs:  If you placed a hard-boiled egg anywhere in a teething baby’s room, they would have an easier time.

Onions: In the Middle Ages a slice of onion was applied to the ear on the side of the aching tooth.

Rabbits:  A backwoods legend described helping a teething child.  Grandpa would go out and shoot a rabbit.  He would bring it back, slice the head open, and rub the “brain juice” on the baby’s gums. 

Vanilla:  Poor pure vanilla extract from the bottle directly on the tooth.

Please feel free to share your dental tales or folk cures – just be sure to ask your dentist about any dental health issues rather than indulging in donkey’s milk or spitting at the frog you found in the backyard. 

Folk cures and dentistry old wives tales courtesy of:

Common Dental Emergencies During the Holiday Season

In Dental Care on December 14, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Here’s some dental emergency tips to take on the road with you this holiday season. We tend to overindulge a bit during this time of year, and sometimes our teeth suffer the consequences. If your cider was too hot, or if an errant snowball found your face, here’s some important info to keep in mind. It really could mean the difference between saving, or losing a tooth (or teeth). Here’s what the ADA recommends to quickly address a possible dental emergency:

Bitten Lip or Tongue

Clean the area gently with a cloth and apply cold compresses to reduce any swelling. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, go to a hospital emergency room immediately.

Broken Tooth

Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Use cold compresses on the area to keep any swelling down. Call your dentist immediately.

Cracked Tooth

Apply cold compresses to control swelling. Go to your dentist or a hospital emergency department immediately.

Knocked Out Tooth

Hold the tooth by the crown and rinse off the root of the tooth in water if it’s dirty. Do not scrub it or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If that isn’t possible, put the tooth in a cup of milk and get to the dentist as quickly as possible. Remember to take the tooth with you!

Objects Caught Between Teeth

Try to gently remove the object with dental floss; avoid cutting the gums. Never use a sharp instrument to remove any object that is stuck between your teeth. If you can’t dislodge the object using dental floss, contact your dentist.


Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss or an interdental cleaner to ensure that there is no food or other debris caught between the teeth. Never put aspirin or any other painkiller against the gums near the aching tooth because it may burn the gum tissue. If the pain persists, contact your dentist.

Symptoms of Root Canal Disease

In Dental Care on October 17, 2010 at 3:00 AM

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Endodontic Disease?

Endodontic disease affects the inside core of the tooth. Dentists use a variety of treatments to fix endodontic problems, including but not limited to root canal therapy.

Endodontic disease can manifest itself with a wide variety and combination of symptoms.

Common symptoms include:

– Lingering sensitivity to cold liquids

– Lingering sensitivity to hot liquids

– Sensitivity to sweets

– Pain to biting pressure

– Pain that is referred from a tooth to another area, such as the neck, temple, or the ear

– Spontaneous toothache, such as that experienced while reading a magazine, watching television, etc.

– Constant or intermittent pain

– Severe pain

– Throbbing pain

– Pain that may occur in response to atmospheric pressure changes, such as when flying or scuba diving

– Pain that may occur in response to postural changes, such as when going from a standing to a reclining position

– Swelling

If you have any of these symptoms, it would be wise to see your dentist. You could have root canal disease or another dental problem. Some of these symptoms can also be caused by decay, defective fillings, periodontal diseases, cracked teeth, or other tooth or bite-related problems. In a few cases, the symptoms may even be caused by disorders that are not related to the teeth.

Whatever the cause of your tooth pain, there’s no reason to endure it any longer – come in for an appointment and let us figure out what’s wrong. As always, if you have questions regarding root canals, please call our office or email us today.

Source – Internet Dental Alliance, Inc