Gums, in anatomy, are hard fleshy subtances in both jaws, surrounding the teeth, and keeping them firm in their sockets.

Gums frequently become spongy, and separate from the teeth: this is often occasioned by a tartarous kind of crust, which is formed about them, and, on the separation of which, the gums return to their pristine state: to promote this favourable change, they should occa-sionally, though gently, be rubbed with a mixture, consisting of four parts of an infusion of roses, and one part of the tincture of myrrh.

Another disorder incident to human gums is the scurvy, which frequently breaks out on them, while it does not appear on any other part of the body. Indeed, when a scorbutic complaint attacks the whole system, the first symptom is a putrid state of the gums. In such case, a rigid diet, consisting chiefly of ripe fruit and mucilaginous vegetables, will be the best corrective. Externally, a fine powder, prepared of three parts of double-refined sugar, and one part of burnt alum, may be employed for rubbing them two or three times a day; because sugar is an excellent antiseptic, even as an article of diet: a whole ship's company has been cured of a formidable scurvy, by living from neces-sity, for some time, on no other aliment.