This is a very common disease among sailors, and those who have been a long time at sea, deprived of fresh provisions, particularly vegetables, and also among those, where the air is damp and impure, the food scanty, and the small amount of vegetables used, stale and unhealthy. There is evidently a great impoverishment of the blood and an absence of some of its most important constituents.
Notwithstanding we have introduced it in this place, it is not solely a disease of the mouth, but pervades the whole frame. It is characterized by great fetor of the breath, sponginess, turgidity, haemorrhage and ulceration of the gums and mouth; the gums recede, and the teeth become so loose as to fall out. There are livid subcutaneous spots and haemorrhages in different parts of the body, particularly at the roots of the hairs, and frequently contraction of the limbs. As the disease progresses, the limbs swell, and ulcers appear on various parts of the body.
Scorbutic ulcers differ materially from others. Instead of pus they excrete a thin, fetid, sanious fluid, mixed with blood; their edges are generally of a livid color, spongy and puffed up.
A change of diet is of vast importance, and with this alone a cure may generally be effected. Fruits, vegetables, lemon-juice and other acid drinks should be used. Potatoes are particularly beneficial as an article of diet, and where a person can be well supplied with them, of a good quality, there is generally but little fear of the scurvy.
Mercury is a highly useful remedy, if it has not been previously used to excess. It is particularly indicated where the gums are red, fungous, detached, ulcerated and readily bleeding, with burning pains at night; inflammation and ulceration of the tongue and mouth; fetid smell and discharge of offensive or sanguineous saliva; swelling of the tongue and loose scalding evacuations.
ac. - Particularly where much Mercury has been taken, and where there is bleeding, whiteness and swelling of the gums; salivation, looseness of the teeth, and and putrid odor in the mouth.
v. - Especially in lean persons, who lead a sedentary life, and are of a lively temperament, and where there are putrid and painful swelling of the gums, with burning and pulsative pains; fetid ulcers in the mouth, nocturnal salivation, bloody saliva, putrid smell of the mouth, discolored face, emaciation and constipation. Generally in alternation with Arsenic.
Swelling and bleeding of the gums, looseness of the teeth; ulceration on the margin of the tongue, apthae, with violent burning pains; great debility.
v.- - Especially where considerable Mercury has been taken, and where there are retraction, pain and ulceration of the gums, with profuse bleeding, looseness of the teeth, and fetid ulcers in the mouth.
Swelling and bleeding of the gums with pulsative pain; vesicles and apthae in the mouth and on the tongue; offensive and sour smell of the mouth.
Apthae in the mouth, swelling, ulceration, bleeding of the gums, and profuse salivation.
Two drops in a tumbler, a tablespoon-ful at a dose; or a powder, or six globules on the tongue. Give every four or six hours, increasing the intervals as the symptoms change for the better.