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.
Another method is to take one drachm each of the bichloride and hydrochloric acid, and add enough of distilled water to make one ounce, which forms a permanent solution, strong enough, in the proportion of a teaspoonful to a pint of water, to make a sterilizing and disinfectant solution of 1 to 1000, for washing out pus sacs and pus pockets in alveolar abscess and alveolar pyorrhoea.
Referring to the bichloride of mercury, benzoic and salicylic acids and listerine, Dr. Miller says: Of these four, which are available for the prophylactic treatment of the oral cavity, particularly of the teeth, the bichloride is, without doubt, the most effective, because its action continues longer; and he further says: "Unfortunately the bichloride of mercury possesses one great disadvantage in its highly poisonous character. It seems, however, scarcely possible that any harm could result from its use in so dilute a form." (See Hydrargyri Chloridum Mite.)
Passing chlorine through an alcoholic solution of chloride of mercury will prevent the decomposition of the latter when exposed to light, or any change, by loss of chlorine, to mercurous chloride.
Corrosive sublimate is alterative in small doses, and in large quantities it is a powerful irritant poison, corroding the stomach and causing death in a very few hours. Its continued use has caused salivation, but it has a less tendency to produce such an effect than the other preparations of mercury. Internally it is employed in secondary syphilis, chronic diarrhoea and dysentery. Externally in diseases of the eye, diseases of the skin, ulcers, gonorrhoea and gleet, etc., etc. The external application to large surfaces is dangerous. Its use is contra-indicated in patients affected with pulmonary disease. Drs. Yates and Kings-ford report three cases of cancrum oris in children cured by wiping the affected parts with a solution of the bichloride of mercury (1 to 500), and afterwards dressing them with lint soaked in a similar solution (1 to 1000). Healthy granulations soon made their appearance, and the wound quickly contracted.
For cases of poisoning the antidotes are albumen, white of egg, wheat flour, milk, etc.
Of corrosive sublimate gr. 1/30 to gr. 1/10, in pill or solution.
In addition to what has already been stated in regard to the dental uses of bichloride of mercury, it is employed as a lotion, injection or gargle, in chronic diseases of the mucous membrane, ulcers, ulitis, etc. Dr. C. T. Stockwell reports a case of acute ulitis in which bichloride of mercury, in solution I - 1000, was used to bathe the parts, and the pockets about the teeth injected with it, the result being very satisfactory; and the same solution used as a sterilizing agent is considered to be very efficient. For sterilizing cavities and root-canals of the teeth it is a valuable and efficient antiseptic and germicide; also weak solutions are useful for treating abscess, ulcers. When used as a sterilizing agent, the rubber-dam should be adjusted previous to its application.
Dr. Chas. Mayr recommends the following to determine whether a solution of bichloride of mercury is still reliable or not: Saturate a nice grade of paper with a solution of a given amount of iodide of potassium in water; with the proper gauging of this solution, after it has dried on the paper, a drop of the solution of the bichloride (1 to 500) will produce a scarlet spot when dropped on the paper; a solution of 1 to 1000, a yellow spot; a more dilute solution, no spot at all. To obtain this result, a certain strength of the solution of iodide of potash guaged for the paper to be used is required. The solution of iodide of potash should be made slightly alkaline, which will prevent, to a great extent, the paper from turning blue. Diluting a solution of bichloride of mercury with lime water will remove the disagreeable taste.
For Chronic Alveolar Pyorrhoea.
Dr. A. W. Harlan.
Hydrarg. bichlor. . . . grs.ij Acidi tartarici .... grs.x Aquae destillatae . . .
Corrosive sublimate, I to
Acid, carbolic .... gr.xxx Zinci chlorid., Zinci carbolat. . . . Acid, boric .... Acid, salicylic . .
Acid, citric ....
Aquae . . . q. s. ad. 1,000.00. M.
Said to be powerful, yet not toxic to any dangerous extent, and to have a more potent effect on pyrogenic microbes than sublimate in solutions of 1 to 1000. If a weak solution is desired the sublimate and carbolic acid may be omitted.
Antiseptic and Stimulant Mouth Wash.
(For use especially in Alveolar Pyorrhoea.)
Dr. Chas. B. Atkinson. Hydrarg. bichlor. . . gr.ij Tinct. calendutae. . . . Aquae dest. q. s.; ad. .
To Disinfect Softened Dentine in Cavities.
Dr. A. W. Harlan.
Hydrarg. bichlor. . . gr.ij.
Hydrogen perox. . .
Acidi tartarici . . .
Aqueous solutions of Labarraque's solution, permanganate of potash or boro-glycerine, may also answer.
Prof. W. D. Miller, of Berlin, in a list of remedies with which he made careful experiments, places the relative powers of well-known agents in preventing the development of fungi as follows: