Friday, July 30, 2010

Winston Churchill's Teeth

If you had an extra £15,200 ($23,675) lying around, then you could have been the proud new owner of the dentures worn by Winston Churchill.  The chompers were recently purchased in an auction by a private collector, who also owns the microphone Churchill used to announce the end of the war.  (Do you think he's going to hold the dentures in front of the microphone and use his hands to make the teeth move and re-enact that great moment?  Because I totally would if I owned both the microphone AND the dentures.)

The teeth were expected to go for a mere £5000.

Here is some more Winston Churchill dental trivia, courtesy of newscore and
  • Churchill claimed to have had terrible teeth and gums and needed complicated dentistry even in his childhood.
  • Churchill always carried a second set of dentures with him as a back-up (although there are no known instances of him ever needing the back-up set - unlike this free-spirited skydiver.) 
  • Churchill appreciated his dentist, Willfred Fish, so much that he nominated him for knighthood.
  • I will name my next pet fish Willfred.
  • Willfred Fish's lab technician was drafted to serve in WWII, but Churchill personally intervened stating that the lab tech would be more important to the war effort if he stayed in London to repair Churchill's dentures.
  • Most babies resemble Winston Churchill.  This doesn't have to do with his teeth, but it's worth mentioning.  Seriously, look at him, now look at a baby.  You see?  And just to be clear - I'm not saying he looks like a baby.  You don't look at him and think, "wow, he looks like a baby".  No no, it's the other way around - babies look like him.  

Friday, July 23, 2010

If I get Vampire Teeth, maybe then Edward will Notice me!

 We've been hearing over and over again how this is the worst recession since the 1930's - which very well may be true, but it doesn't really seem that bad when teenage girls are dropping $200 to get vampire teeth.

Here's the video from Houston's local Fox News:

In defense of the dentist, he isn't really doing anything different from other forms of "cosmetic" dentistry - he's just making her smile look worse, not better.  Than again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?  And when the beholder is a desperate teenage girl who dreams about Edward all day, beauty ends up looking like vampire fangs.  In a way, this is nothing short of anti-cosmetic dentistry.  

(Personally, I would have tried to talk her into letting me make much larger fangs, but instead of bonding them I would have secured them with temporary cement - that way she could attach and remove them as she pleases - kind of like the plastic ones I would play with as a kid.  You know, back when it was socially acceptable to play make believe.)

Here's the full story from

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tooth Loss, Cognitive Decline, and a Real-Life Example

Coincidentally, the following two stories made headlines in the same day:

First, researchers at Boston U's dental school have concluded a prospective study which showed that for each tooth lost, the ability to perform well on a cognitive test decreased 8-10%.  Scientists are hypothesizing that the decline could be related to the inflammation that accompanies tooth loss.  Other studies have shown elevated inflammation markers in people who have Alzheimer's disease. 

The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.  Story from

Need some proof?  Look no further than Highway 402 in Ontario, Canada; where a trucker was recently charged with careless driving for performing some good old fashioned do-it-yourself dentistry on the go.  (I guess this is actually a case of decreased cognitive ability during tooth loss, not after).  The plan was to tie one end of a string to the roof of the cab with the other end around his tooth and then to wait for "one good bump" to pull it out - which is exactly what happened.  The lone hiccup in his plan?  The fact that he was "traveling erratically" as reported by another driver.

Just in case you're wondering, dentistry on wheels looks something like this:

Rally Car Dentistry - Watch more Funny Videos

Full story from CBC news.

Apparently we need a few more truckstop dentists out there!  Seriously though people, driving under the influence of dentistry is a careless and selfish act that endangers everyone around you.  Just avoid the temptation altogether.  When you know you'll be driving, make sure you hire a designated dentist.  Or if you're going to be doing dentistry, find a designated driver.  Either way works.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hamstring issues? Let's remove those teeth.

If you follow Australian Rugby, then you don't need me to tell you that Rod Davies plays for the Queensland Reds in the Super 14 competition.  Nope, I just mentioned that for the benefit of the rest of us who don't watch quite as much Australian Rugby.

Lately Davies has been having his on-field struggles with hamstring injuries.  One of the solutions being considered is having his wisdom teeth taken out.  What's that you say?  For his hamstring injuries?  That's right.  Now, before you dismiss the dentist as a quack (as I almost did when I saw the headline), bear in mind that there is some sound logic at work here.  The explanation is thus:  if an individual has persistent pain in the mouth, this can cause them to hold their head at an unnatural position in an attempt to alleviate some of the pain. This places unnecessary strain on the spine, which in turn can contribute to pain in other areas. 

A personal anecdote also supports this theory.  The first tooth I ever extracted in my school's dental clinic was a maxillary canine.  It took a few minutes, but when the tooth came out, the patient began moving his head around in circles.  His face lit up as he looked at me and told me he hadn't had full range of motion in his neck for the past year, but now everything was fine!  Even though I had no explanation, he was incredibly appreciative of what I had done for him.

Hopefully this doesn't become a trend, however.  I'd sure hate to see a teenager come in to have all their teeth taken out for athletic reasons.  Although I guess it would help them jump a little higher.

Full story from fox news.