Scurvy is indicated by a general spongy condition of the gums, and, in severe cases, intense fetor, ulceration and sloughing together with constitutional symptoms of an aggravated character. The premonitory symptoms in the mouth are, gums, paler than usual, with a slight tumid or everted line on free margins, and a slight tenderness on pressure; breath offensive, and a disagreeable taste; tongue flabby and larger, though clean and pale. Later, the gums become darkened in color, inflamed, swollen, spongy, bleed readily, and finally separate from the teeth. The gums of edentulous jaws do not present these symptoms. At length, the gums present great, fungous, lacerable excrescences, which are prone to suppurate and become a brown, fetid mass, with a very offensive odor. The salivary glands become enlarged and swollen; tongue indented by the teeth, which latter become coated with a salivary deposit, and finally drop out. Necrosis and extensive exfoliation of the bones of the jaw may occur. Some varieties of salivary calculus will produce similar local symptoms, especially when the general condition of the system is unfavorable.


Change of diet, substituting fresh meats, soups, nitrogenous food, and recent vegetable acids, lemon-juice, lime juice, citric, tartaric, and acetic, and these combined with potassium. Nitrate of potassium, either alone or mixed with vinegar, as an anti-scorbutic. Arsenic and iron are of service in most cases; also rest and quiet.