That whole death-by-teething thing got me curious, so I googled "die teething pain" and found a site with this excerpt:
"John Hunter and Joseph Hurlock both wrote works on teeth. In 1742, Hurlock wrote his treatise Upon Dentition. He was convinced that many more children died from teething than was generally believed. In his view, many of the deaths from convulsions were also a result of teething. Both Hunter and Hurlock tried to encourage the lancing of gums to prevent these deaths. Hunter 'would lance a baby's gums up to ten times'. Hurlock advocated gum lancing for every childhood disease or ailment, irrespective of whether the tooth was evident. There do not appear to be any records of problems caused by lancing. John Hunter's view was that lancing was never attended by dangerous consequences.
Marshall Hall, (1790-1857) a physician, stated that he 'would rather lance a child's gums 199 times unnecessarily than omit it once if necessary' and instructed his students to do it, before, during and after the teeth appeared, sometimes twice a day.
By 1839, 5016 deaths in England and Wales were attributed to teething. The English Registrar-General report on teething of 1842 discussed infant mortality: 4.8% of all infants who died in London under the age of 1, 7.3% of those between the ages of 1 and 3 and 12% of all deaths under four years were directly attributed to teething."
How weird. People had some crazy ideas back then!