Spooky Pink Teeth

Marinero en tierraSince it is October and Halloween season, we thought we would give you a little something on scary side of dentistry.

Pink Teeth

Since 1829, a strange post-mortem phenomenon has been reported and not only is it weird, but it is for the most part, unexplained. In cases ranging from drowning to sudden and unnatural death, victims have been found with … pink teeth.

Now, while no positive cause has been isolated as an absolute, there are some contributing factors that have been discovered.

One, and this is the real common thread, is humidity. Most corpses discovered with this condition have been found in a tropical environment, moist and highly humid. It’s also mostly common in bodies found immersed in water, although it’s not necessarily true in all cases. The leading theory is that the diffusion in the blood in the pulp of dental tubules most likely causes the pink discoloration.

A Modern Mystery

One the really eerie accounts of this phenomenon come from a report of 52 bodies discovered in a single shipwreck that occurred March 13, 1997. In the middle of the Otranto Canal, near the Mediterranean Sea, the bodies were recovered after approximately 7 months of submersion.

Now, only 18 of those bodies were found with actual pink teeth, but the surprising thing is that the pink condition was found in both male and female bodies, aged in ranges of 13-60 years. So you can imagine how difficult it would be to determine any positive links to why some bodies had pink teeth and some did not.

Bear in mind that this discovery was made in modern times, but these cases have been reported on record since the early 1800’s. So imagine, if you will, sailors in the 1800’s with limited medical knowledge finding bodies in this condition and what they must have thought. Surely witchcraft or even the devil himself were considered likely culprits. Or perhaps they thought their voyage was cursed. Sailors in those times were highly superstitious, so it’s not hard to imagine the horror they must have felt discovering pink-toothed corpses.

Now, on a somewhat lighter note, a friendly reminder about Halloween. It is, after all, candy season. You and your children’s teeth face the onslaught of copious amounts of sweets and that can mean cavities. So be sure to start making appointments with Austin dentist Dr. Dan Matthews in the coming weeks after Halloween.

Dan Matthews DDS
Dan Matthews Dan Matthews DDS The Park at Eanes Creek,
4407 Bee Cave Road
Building 2, Suite 221
Austin, Texas, 78746
(512) 452-2273
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