Cribbins's Teeth

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Cribbins's Teeth

Postby kakaze » Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:40 am

I'm currently reading a library book titled What The Victorians Did For Us and I'm enjoying all the parallels with the Discworld, particularly the things that I'd thought that Terry had just made up.

One of these are Cribbin's Teeth. For those of you who don't recognise the name, Cribbins was Most Von Lipvig's old companion who shows up and tries to blackmail him in Making Money:

Making Money wrote: It was Cribbins! It could only be Cribbins!
Moist's memory sandbagged him, one bag after another. The teeth! Those damn false teeth! They were that man's pride and joy. He'd prised them out of the mouth of an old man he'd robbed, while the poor devil lay dying of fear! He'd joked that they had a mind of their own! And they spluttered and popped and slurped and fitted so badly that they once turned round in his mouth and bit him in the throat!
He used to take them out and talk to them! And, aargh, they were so old, and the stained teeth had been carved from walrus ivory and the spring was so strong that sometimes it'd force the top of his head back so that you could see right up his nose!!


According to What The Victorians Did For Us, beginning in the Victorian era diets became sweeter and tooth decay started becoming a major problem. At the same time ether allowed rotten teeth to beremoved without pain. This led to the invention of dentures.

The first dentures were known as "Waterloo Teeth". They were made of real human teeth (some of them from Waterloo victims, but most from robbed graves) which were set into ivory "gums" carved out of hippo jaws. Because they never fitted well, they were held in place by springs which pushed the upper and lower teeth apart and would, occationally, shoot the dentures out of the mouth!

Image

I wonder if this might have represented a secondary income for un-ethical priests in the catacombs...

Edit

Apparently wearing dentures were so stylish and modern that some people just had all their teeth pulled out to save and pain time later on. :shock:
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Postby Catch-up » Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:44 pm

:lol: Cribbins' teeth were some of the funniest parts of that book. And.. ewww! :shock:
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Postby Tonyblack » Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:20 pm

I read somewhere that until the invention of antibiotics, tooth decay and infections caused by it were around the fourth biggest killer in the world. :shock:
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Postby kakaze » Thu Oct 15, 2009 5:19 pm

Tonyblack wrote:I read somewhere that until the invention of antibiotics, tooth decay and infections caused by it were around the fourth biggest killer in the world. :shock:


Does that mean "oral infections"? or just infections in general?

If it's infections in general I'd agree. It was surprising to me to discover that aneshetics actually predate antiseptics, and both were long before antibiotics. Just think of all the bacterial diseases that we never consider anymore that used to be big killers (cholera, syphilis, anthrax, leprosy, bubonic plague...).

Quite a few patients died from post-op infections because the doctors washed their hands after surgery, not before, the knives were not sterilized and had wooden handles, and they didn't put anything on the wound to kill bacteria.
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Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:59 pm

Worse than that, the doctors would go straight from cadavers to childbirthing and/or from animal operations or manure to operate. :shock: Lister was one of the most laughed at doctors of his time. :roll:

Victorian doctors were very much like Ankh-Morpork's average doctor. I really like Dr. Lawn. He studied in Klatch and said that they preferred to have the patient survive.

I am still amazed every day that we have survived as a species. Of course we could just be a biological blink, eh Pooh? :P Actually, I hope we manage to come out of this "state" that we are in and progress at least a bit more. :lol:
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
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Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:07 am

OH and about syphillis, they had a picture of an old time syringe and the explanation that it was from a shipwreck found in the DeBeers area of Africa and that the cure for it was to inject a mess of Merury to cure that particular disease. It was in National Geographic this month.

Kewl shipwreck tho. They are finding all kinds of items from the area, it is waaaay inland and down about 100 feet from the surface in the sand in a place where diamonds lay on and in the ground.
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
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