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.
Thymol, or thymic acid, is obtained from the herb thymus vulgaris, or common thyme, which is cultivated in this country for the same purpose as sage, lavender, etc. Thyme 36 yields a volatile oil, oleum thymi, from which thymol or thymic acid is obtained by treating the oil with an aqueous solution of potassa or soda, which separates it from a principle called thymene, with which it is mixed in the oil, and which is not affected by the alkalies. The thymate thus formed is decomposed by an acid, and the liberated thymol, or thymic acid, is purified by repeated washings, dessication and distillation. Thymol is in the form of aromatic white crystals, soluble in one thousand parts of hot water.
In a concentrated state, thymol has an acrid and caustic taste; but when very much diluted, the only taste experienced is that of thyme.
Thymol has acrid properties, and is similar in its action to carbolic acid. It imparts a sense of coolness to the mouth, like that of oil of peppermint, and when once melted it remains indefinitely in the liquid state.
While it is only slightly soluble in water, it is freely soluble in alcohol, and is dissolved by ether and the fixed oils. The alkalies unite with it to form soluble salts. Like creasote, it has the property of combining with animal tissues, and thus prevents putrefaction. While it has the important practical properties of carbolic acid, it is free from disagreeable odor, and it is claimed to be as efficient an antiseptic as that agent.
Thymol is almost exclusively employed as an external application, and is often substituted for the oil of origanum, which is obtained from the common marjoram. It is considered to be a valuable antiseptic and antifermentative agent.
Thymol, when combined with glycerine, in a form known as Glycerole of Thymol, is a valuable antiseptic in the treatment of suppurating pulps of teeth, as a dressing for ulcers of the mouth, wounds, etc.; also in the treatment of teeth after the devitalization of the pulp, chronic inflammation of the pulp, and alveolar abscess, as it arrests the putrefactive process; also in stomatitis and abrasion of mucous membrane. Hartmann recommends sprinkling crystallized thymol on an exposed (not bleeding pulp), to relieve the pain of pulpitis.
Glycerole of Thymol.
Thymoli (cryst.) . . gr.xx
Alcoholis . . . . aa
Aquae destillatae . . . Oj. M.
For Alveolar Abscess, Suppurating Pulps, etc.
Alvin. Thymoli (cryst.) . . ptm.j
Potassii iodidi .... ptm.j.
Apply as in use of carbolic acid.
Alvin. Thymoli (cryst.) . . ptm.j
To be used as a lotion and gargle.
For an Antiseptic in Suppurating
Pulps, Alveolar Abscess, etc.
Thymoli (cryst.) . . ptm.l
Glycerini......pts. ij to iv.
Applied in the same manner as carbolic acid.
Antiseptic and Germicide Mouth Wash.
W. D. Miller.
Acidi benzoici . . . grs.45
Olei gaultheriae . . . gtt.25. M.
An Antiseptic Gargle.
Thymoli.....3 1/2 grs.
Acidi benzoici . . 45 grs. Tinct. of eucalypti . 180 grs.
Aquae . . .....Oij. M.
After cleansing the teeth, use as a gargle for half a minute or a minute.
Thymoli .... 1 part
Alcoholis .... 10 parts
Glycerini . 20 parts
Aquae......100 parts. M.
Apply as a lotion.
Use as a tonic and antiseptic mouth wash, by placing a few drops in a wine glass of warm water.
For Fetid Breath from Deposits about Tonsils and Gums.
Sodii Boracis .... gr.xv
Use as a mouth wash.
Antiseptic Mouth Wash.
Dr. W. D. Miller.
Acidi benzoici . . . gr.xivj Hydrarg. bichlor. . . gr.ix Tinct. eucalypti . . . Olei peppermint . . gr.xj
Filter and add sufficient of the solution to a wine glass of water.
Rinse with this mixture twice sufficiently to sterilize mouth.
For a Nerve Paste.
Dr. S. H. McNaughton.
Acidum arseniosum . gr.iij. M.
If much pain follows the application
of the above, apply at once without washing out the cavity:
Camphorae .... gr.6o Acidi tannici .... gr.30 Alcoholis......
Thymacetin bears the same relation to thymol as phenacetine to phenol. It is a white, crystalline powder, slightly soluble in water. Excessive doses cause symptoms of intoxication. Jolly asserts that in certain forms of headache it proves equal to phenacetine. It induces sleep in cases of insomnia. The average dose is grs. viiss.