This section is from the book "Smith's Family Physician", by William Henry Smith. See also: Natural Physician's Healing Therapies: Proven Remedies that Medical Doctors Don't Know.
Toothache may be caused by decay of the tooth; by inflammation of the lining cavity; or by neuralgia.
If it has arisen from cold, the feet may be put in hot water, and afterwards wrapped up warm in flannel, and the patient may take a basin of hot gruel and ten grains of Dover's Powder at bedtime. This will most likely effect a cure. If not it cud be repeated. A few drops of the Colloid, on cotton, or if that is not obtainable, a little Tannic Acid, or a pill of Opium, may be put in the tooth, if there is a hole in it.
If it arises from Neuralgia, from the patient being exposed to changes of heat and cold, he may take ten grains of Bromide of Potash three times a day, and some tonic in addition, such as No. 14; or the Citrate of Iron and Quinine. About a quarter of a grain of Morphia, mixed with a little Tannic Acid, may be placed in the tooth, if there is a cavity in it; and the exciting causes must, as much as possible, be done away with.
If it is caused by inflammation of the gums, or the lining of the tooth, a purgative may be taken, and the gums may be scarified, or leeches may be applied to them or to the cheek. And fifteen grains of Hydrate of Chloral may be taken at bedtime.
If the pain is caused by decay, exposing the nervous tissue to the air; the tooth, if otherwise good, should be filled, the sensitive portion of the tooth being first deadened with Morphia and Tannic Acid. But, if there is no cavity, or the cavity is in a position that cannot be got at, and if all the measures recommended have been tried, and have failed, then there is but one resource,- the tooth must come out. But many teeth are extracted every year, that might have been saved.