Ancient Dental Quakery


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In ancient times it was believed that dental pain was caused by tooth worms that burrowed into your teeth. This was believed until the end of the 17th century. So during the middle ages, people would smear their aching teeth with honey and sit up all night with a pair of tweezers hoping to catch the worm. One wonders just how many worms were caught.

Other dental folklore includes:

*In Ancient Greece donkey milk was used as a mouthwash. Hey, at least it had calcium.

*Trim your fingernails on Friday and the toothache will go away for a week. Bad news for all the nail biters.

* Spit in a frogs mouth then apply said frog to your aching jaw.

*Do not eat when a funeral bell tolls or you will get a toothache.

*Hide a hardboiled egg in baby’s room for teething pain. Alternatively, have grandpa shoot a rabbit and slice open the head, then rub the brain juice all over baby’s gums!

Many people did not have access to dental care so they would be forced to use their knives and dig the affected tooth out. So you may not like the dentist, but you should thank goodness that you have one! Or maybe try the brain juice, you decide!


Works Cited

Published by TheOddPast by Matthew A. Perry

Writer, teacher, broadcaster, and podcaster from West Virginia. I write about and discuss the wacky and weird side of history on my website and my podcast "The Odd Past Podcast" available everywhere

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