On Tooth Cavities

Lavagna, Francesco. Esperienze e Riflessioni sopra la Carie de' Denti Umani, coll'Aggiunta di un Nuovo Saggio su la Riproduzione dei Denti negli Animali Rosicanti.

Genoa, Giacinto Bonaudo, 1812.

8vo. XX pp, 199 pp. Contemporary gilt-tooled calf with vivid pink endpapers; spine sympathetically rebacked preserving original gilt-and-red title label. Signed by the author as a guarantee of authenticity on verso of title-page. An excellent copy, clean and fresh.


Rare sole edition of these early ‘Experiments and Reflections on the Caries of Human Teeth, with the Addition of a new Treatise on the Reproduction of Teeth in Rodents’. The chapters include arguments that wear from mastication alone does not cause caries; that acid alone does not cause them either; and various dismissals of other factors (temperature change, tartar, sweet substances, tobacco, etc.). Writing in the age before the discovery of bacteria, Lavagna has little to offer by way of positive suggestions for the origin of cavities, but remarks that they have become more frequent in recent times and attributes this to the widespread abuse of warm and cold beverages including coffee. He also offers several ‘cures’ and preventative measures, and even quotes from ethnographic reports by eg. Captain Cook on the sharpened incisors of the natives of Java.

The last 50 pp are devoted to the second section of the work, on the teeth of rodents. Here, drawing on his own experiments, Lavagna advances the theory - now confirmed - that the teeth of rodents continue to grow unless met with some opposition.

OCLC shows four copies in US institutions: Illinois, Harvard Medical, NLM, and U Penn.

Bound together with 3 other medical pamphlets:

DOUSSIN-DUBREUIL, Jacques-Louis. De la Nature et des Causes de la Gonorrhée Bénigne et des Fleurs-Blanches… Troisième Édition. Paris: chez l’Auteur… Fuchs… Moreau, 1804. (1) ff, x pp, 165 pp, (1).

All editions are rare (first, 1798). Of this edition OCLC shows just one US copy, at JHU.

PORTAL, Antoine. Considérations sur la Nature et le Traitement des Maladies de Famille et des Maladies Héréditaires, et sur les Moyens les mieux éprouvés de les prévenir… Troisième Édition, Augmentée de plusieurs Observations de l’Auteur… Paris: Crochard… Gabon… Beaupré, 1814. (1) ff, xii pp, 101 pp, (1).

On scrofula. Third, augmented edition - considerably enlarged from the first edition (1808) of only 50 pp. OCLC shows 5 US copies.

BOULLAY, Pierre-François-Guillaume & PLANCHE, Louis-Antoine. Examen Chimique des Deux Liqueurs Vendues par MM. Triayre et Jurine. Paris: Colas, 1809. 26 pp.

Extremely rare - OCLC records just one other copy, at the Bibliothèque interuniversitaire de Santé in Paris.

Crowley, Dental Bibliography, #1476.

Art.-Nr.: BN#53582 Schlagwort: