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Tooth-ache is alleviated by scarifying the gums with bones of the sea-dragon, or by rubbing the teeth once a year with the brains of a dog-fish1 boiled in oil, and kept for the purpose. It is a very good plan too, for the cure of tooth-ache, to lance the gums with the sting of the pastinaca2 in some cases. This sting, too, is pounded, and applied to the teeth with white hellebore, having the effect of extracting them without the slightest difficulty. Another of these remedies is, ashes of salted fish calcined in an earthen vessel, mixed with powdered marble. Stale cybium,3 rinsed in a new earthen vessel, and then pounded, is very useful for the cure of tooth-ache. Equally good, it is said, are the back-bones of all kinds of salt fish, pounded and applied in a liniment. A decoction is made of a single frog boiled in one hemina of vinegar, and the teeth are rinsed with it, the decoction being retained in the mouth. In cases where a repugnance existed to making use of this remedy, Sallustius Dionysius4 used to suspend frogs over boiling vinegar by the hind legs, so as to make them discharge their humours into the vinegar by the mouth, using considerable numbers of frogs for the purpose: to those, however, who had a stronger stomach, he prescribed the frogs themselves, eaten with their broth. It is generally thought, too, that this recipe applies more particularly to the double teeth, and that the vinegar prepared as above-mentioned, is remarkably useful for strengthening them when loose.

For this last purpose, some persons cut off the legs of two frogs, and then macerate the bodies in two heminæ of wine, recommending this preparation as a collutory for strengthening loose teeth. Others attach the frogs, whole, to the exterior of the jaws :5 and with some it is the practice to boil ten frogs, in three sextarii of vinegar, down to one-third, and to use the decoction as a strengthener of loose teeth. By certain authorities, too, it has been recommended to boil the hearts of six-and-thirty frogs beneath a copper vessel, in one sextarius of old oil, and then to inject the decoction into the ear on the same side of the jaw as the part affected: while others again have used, as an application for the teeth, a frog's liver, boiled, and beaten up with honey. All the preparations above described will be found still more efficacious if made from the seafrog6 In cases where the teeth are carious and emit an offensive smell, it is recommended to dry some whale's7 flesh in an oven for a night, and then to add an equal quantity of salt, and use the mixture as a dentifrice. "Enhydris"8 is the name given by the Greeks to a snake that lives in the water. With the four upper teeth of this reptile, it is the practice, for the cure of aching in the upper teeth, to lance the upper gums, and with the four lower teeth, for aching in the lower. Some persons, however, content themselves with using an eyetooth only. Ashes, too, of burnt crabs are used for this purpose; and the murex, reduced to ashes, makes an excellent dentifrice.

1 "Canicula." See B. ix. cc. 11, 70.

2 Or sting-ray.

3 Tunny cut in slices. See B. ix. c. 18.

4 See end of B. xxxi.

5 For the purpose, probably, of assuaging the pain of tooth-ache by their coolness.

6 See B. ix. cc. 40, 67.

7 " Cetum." See B. ix. cc. 40, 74.

8 Ajasson is of opinion that here and in c. 19 Pliny has mistaken the otter for a serpent, the mammiferæ only having eye or canine teeth. Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. i. c. i., calls the otter by the name of "Enhydris." See B. xxx. c. 8, where Pliny speaks of the "Enhydris" as a " male white serpent."

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