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15 If at any time gangrene has attacked ulcers of the mouth, the first thing to consider is whether the general health is bad, and if so to obviate it; next the actual ulcers are to be treated. But if the[p. 265] disease is superficial, it is sufficient to use a powdered anthera to dust on the ulcer if moist; if the ulcer is rather dry, to smear it on mixed with a little honey: for somewhat deeper ulcerations, apply burnt papyrus two parts, and orpiment one part; if the mischief penetrates very deeply, burnt papyrus three parts, orpiment one part, or equal parts of rock salt and roasted iris, or copper ore, quick-lime and orpiment, likewise equal parts. But in order that neighbouring spots may not be injured, it is necessary to apply lint dipped in rose oil over these caustic medicaments. Some also put the roasted salt into 250 cc. of strong vinegar until it ceases to dissolve; then the vinegar is boiled to dryness, and the salt pounded up and dusted on. But whenever this medicament is applied, the mouth should be washed out both before and after, either with lentil gruel, or with a decoction of vetches or of olives or of vervains, to any one of which a little honey is added. Also vinegar of squills held sufficiently long in the mouth is beneficial for such ulceration, so too the salt after evaporation as described above dissolved again in vinegar. But whilst the affection continues to be severe it is necessary both to hold one or other of the remedies in the mouth for some time and to use them two or three times a day, If it is a child who is attacked, a probe wrapped round with wool is dipped in the medicament and held to the ulcer, lest by accident he should swallow the caustic. If it is the gums which are involved, and some teeth are loose, they should be extracted, for they greatly hinder treatment. If these medicaments do no good, the ulcers are to be cauterized. But this procedure is not necessary for any ulcer on[p. 267] the lips since excision is more convenient. Indeed such an ulcer, except by adopting surgical measures, whether cauterizing or excising, cannot be replenished with new flesh. But the bones of the bums, which are inert, continue bare after the cauterization; for no flesh grows up afterwards. A lentil dressing, however, is to be applied to the parts cauterized until it is rendered as healthy as possible.
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