This section is from the book "Dental Medicine. A Manual Of Dental Materia Medica And Therapeutics", by Ferdinand J. S. Gorgas. Also available from Amazon: Dental Medicine.
Camphor is a concentrated substance obtained from the camphor laurel, an evergreen tree of China, Japan and Formosa, by sublimation, the crude gum being purified by resublima-tion with quicklime. Refined camphor is in the form of large circular cakes, one or two inches thick, and has a strong, penetrating, fragrant odor, and a bitter, pungent taste, attended with a slight sense of coolness. It is white, pellucid, and somewhat unctuous to the touch.
Camphor is anodyne, stimulant, refrigerant, diuretic and diaphoretic. It increases the action of the heart and arteries, and renders the pulse softer and fuller; but such effects are very transitory, and are followed by depression. In large, but not over-doses, it allays pain and spasm, and induces sleep. In over-doses, it excites narcotic symptoms, with those of an irritant poison, and has proved fatal. It acts chiefly on the nervous system.
Camphor is administered in fevers of an asthenic type, acute inflammations, inflammation of the brain, delirium tremens, asthma, rheumatic and nervous headaches, diseases of the heart, hysteria, dysentery, diarrhoea, cholera, etc., etc. Externally as an anodyne in rheumatism, and as a discutient in chronic inflammatory affections; also, the powder as a snuff in coryza and influenza, and in the form of Camphor Liniment - Linimentum Camphorae - (camphor I part, olive oil 4 parts).
Aqua Camphora - (camphor gr. cxx, alcohol carbonate of magnesia distilled water Oij).
Soap Liniment - Linimentum Saponis - (camphor oil of rosemary alcohol Oij, water ) is an anodyne and gentle rubefacient for sprains, rheumatic and gouty pains.
Spirit of Camphor - Spiritus Camphora - (camphor alcohol Oij).
Of camphor in substance, gr. ij to gr. x, in form of an emulsion, made of sugar, gum arabic, myrrh and water. Of camphor water to ; of spirit of camphor, to
In dental practice, the spirit of camphor is locally employed to allay the pain arising from the near exposure of the pulps of teeth; also the pain of sensitive dentine, and that following the extraction of teeth affected with periodontitis; also to arrest the hemorrhage and allay the pain of wounded pulps of teeth. It forms an efficient anodyne when in the form of a strong solution of camphor in chloroform. Camphor has also been employed in the treatment of putrescent pulps of teeth.
Combined with creasote or carbolic acid, camphor is thought to have the power of modifying the escharotic action of these agents. For such a purpose, 20 grains of camphor are combined with 1 ounce of the creasote on carbolic acid.
Oleum Camphorae is preferred by some to answer such indications. Camphor also forms one of the ingredients of the celluloid base of artificial teeth, which is composed of pyroxylin 100 parts, camphor 40 parts, oxide of zinc 2 parts, and vermilion 0.6 part. With ether, camphor is also used as a local anaesthetic. A cataplasm of camphor, morphia and flaxseed, applied to the cheek, has been used for the relief of odontalgia.
Phenol-Camphor is made by mixing together 1 part of carbolic acid and 3 parts of camphor. After 24 hours this becomes a liquid, having a specific gravity of 990. It is used with oil as an antiseptic, and in the form of spray may be applied to the skin as a local anaesthetic. It is also employed to disinfect or sterilize surgical and dental instruments, and on wool and gauze for dressing wounds. It is soluble in ether, alcohol and oils, but insoluble in water or glycerin. Menthol, cocaine, salicylic acid, iodoform, chloral hydrate and mercuric chloride are soluble in phenol-camphor. (See Campho-Phenique.)
Camphoid is composed of camphor 20 parts, alcohol 20 parts, and pyroxylin 1 part.
Carbolated Camphor is composed of carbolic acid (crystal) 49 1/2 parts and gum camphor 50 1/2 parts.
Dr. A. W. McCandless recommends a gargle of camphor water. Should this fail, a four per cent. solution of cocaine painted over surface of the tongue and palate will produce the desired result except in very obstinate cases; or a lozenge composed of one-fourth grain of cocaine allowed to dissolve in the mouth and swallowed before taking the impression.
For a Local Anaesthetic. Pulv. camphorae . . . AEther sulph......
Applied to the gum over the tooth to be removed, until it turns white or becomes blanched.
For a Local Anaesthetic. Chloral,
Camphorse . . . Morphise sulph. . . Chloroformi....
Apply with a camel's-hair brush, allow to dry and re-apply as freely as is necessary to render part insensible to pain.
For a Stimulant and Anodyne Lotion.
Spiritus Rosmarini . .
Saponisalbse .... Signa. - To be applied as a lotion.
For a Local Anaesthetic.
AEther vel chloroformi .
Apply with a camel's-hair brush.
For Neuralgia. Camphorae,
Chlor. hydratis aa equal parts. M. Signa. - Apply as a lotion.
For Neuralgia and Exposed Pulps.
Chlor. hydratis ... 2 parts Cocaine hydrochlor. . 1 part. M.
Heat to boiling point of water, when it liquifies; use as a local application.
For Pain of Tooth Extraction.
Apply on cotton.
For Odontalgia. Camphorae,
Chloral hydrat...............aa gr. 75
Cocaine hydrochlorat............gr. xv. M.
Place a small quantity on cotton within the cavity.