Instruction sur les maladies des gencives et des dents (1782, 1st Ed. and 1793) Instruction on gingival and dental diseases.

Instruction sur les maladies des gencives et des dents


Antonio Carnelli

We know very little about Antonio Carnelli except that he practiced in Marseille and Aix-en-Provance and later settled in Vienna “on the Kohlmarkt opposite the Caffé de Milani in the house of Mr. Baron de Brandau, nr. 1216 u 3rd floor, 3rd staircase", as it appears in a later edition of this book.

This volume, a first edition, is primarily a promotion document for the author’s elixir, of his own invention. The 16-page document describes his balsamic, dessicant and anti-scurvy elixir and includes testimonials from other relevant practicing clinicians of the time.
Carnelli starts with a description of the function of dentition and the importance of preserving them. He states: “What's more beautiful than a well-trimmed and regularly trimmed mouth, where the whiteness of the teeth is relieved by the vermilion color of the gums! Does not this contrast of colors and regularity form an enchanting object? “
Next, Carnelli describes tooth pain, gum inflammation and caries progression. He elaborates on further complications that may arise if oral healthcare is neglected such as fistulas, pulp destruction and penetration of infection into the maxillary sinus. Next, Carnelli shifts the focus on his famous Elixir, as the solution.
This Elixir, as Carnelli claims, is different from all others on the market. Unlike the various preexisting oral health elixirs, his does not erode enamel upon usage, promises to alleviate various symptoms and diseases of the oral cavity. He instructs the potential user to gargle with it or even injecting it into areas of decay. He claims that his elixir cures and prevents oral diseases. In his closing page he lists current retailers that carry his product.

Based in part on research done by Fareed Tareen, class of 2022 as part of their assignment in Elective in History of Medicine and Dentistry, 2018-2019. Edited by Andrew I Spielman.

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