Nearly anyone who has ever had a throbbing toothache would say they would have tried anything to alleviate the discomfort associated with the condition. That attitude was a necessity for Egyptians suffering from dental problems around 2600 BC. At that time live mice were used as to provide dental care
During that time period, mice were valued (Ancient inventions, Peter James, Nick Thorpe) as the Sun God protected them and because they also had lovely, little white teeth. It is for those reasons the critters were used to treat dental pain by letting them roam freely on the gums of a dental pain sufferer.
Those little fur-balls were not the only friends from the animal kingdom that were used to treat unexplained dental ailments. Documentation shows that in Roman times frogs would be tied to a jaw to strengthen teeth and ear drops made of olive oil and boiled earthworms would help reduce pain (Ancient inventions, Peter James, Nick Thorpe). None of these treatments were ever proven to work.
Medieval Patients Treated by Barbers not Dentists
Although scientists and philosophers such as Plato and Socrates often chatted about dentistry, the practice did not become a legitimate profession until the early 1800s. Prior to that launch odd medicinal practices were used and nearly anyone could attempt to cure dental woes. During the Middle Ages, barbers were charged with the task.
Individuals in need could stop at their local hairdresser and get a haircut, shave and tooth extractions. The position of barber-surgeon was called a chirurgeons, and eventually the local hair cutters of the time thought they also had the skills needed to practice dentistry and medicine including the ancient and barbaric practice of bloodletting. Their role in the dental health industry continued for centuries until patients complained that the barbers work was actually making them sick, not better. As a result an ordinance was passed in London circa 1416 forbidding the practice (http://www.barberpole.com/artof.htm).