An 18th century hand-illustrated page from an Ottoman Turk dental book showing a molar infected with toothworms. As early as Babylonian times and lasting well into the eighteenth century, it was thought that a toothache was caused by worms. (The theory was disproved by Jacob Christian Schaffer in 1757.) These worms were depicted in art as dwelling with the demons of Hell and feeding upon the sinners. In a cavity on one side of the bisected tooth, Lucifer watches as two worms devour and entrap their victims. In the other half of the tooth, demons lord over a collection of human skulls.
Not just the Ottoman Turks, a lot of societies back then believed in this toothworm theory. Probably maybe because the pulp kinda looks stringy like a worm when removed?
Philadelphia, Free Library of Philadelphia, Rare Book Department, Widener 004, detail of f. 195r. Book of Hours, use of Rennes. France, beginning of the 15th century.
St. Apollonia, patron saint of dentistry, undergoing martyrdom by forcible tooth extraction (and later beheading) while the chairside assistant looks on with indifference.
"chairside assistant looks on with indifference"
chairside assistant to assault… okay
omg look at the giant horse bite-block mouth-prop thing