In the 17th century, toothache was believed to be caused by toothworms, which lived in the afflicted tooth. While remedies existed to treat the pain, if the tooth needed extracting a patient would need to see a barber surgeon.
For pain relief
"Take a crude Opium, an ounce; Saffron, half an ounce; Cloves and Cinnamon, each half a dram; Spanish white wine, ten ounces; draw a tincture, with moderate heat in Bain Marie and [filter] it. "from the Pharmacopeia Edinburgensis, Wellcome Collection.
Applying a plant under the chin
"Take a [pretty] quantitie of Staggwort (Ragweed), bruise the green therofwell in your hand and Lay a good quantitie of the same under your chin and Jaws and soften it well and change it in twelve or twentie four hours as you find occasion. " from the Women's Recipe Book.
Writing the pain away
Written charms to cure toothache were common in the Highlands. This charm was signed by a woman named Jessy McKenzie, who was the wife of a gamekeeper at Garve in Ross-shire. It was given to a domestic servant in Dingwall in 1869 (H.NO 19). The charm was probably folded up and worn by the sufferer at all times.