An Outbreak Of Exploding Teeth

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These people would have never thought that their exploding teeth would end their agony if not fuel it.

Not very long ago, a dentist form Pennsylvania, WH Atkinson, documented an outbreak of exploding teeth in The Dental Cosmos (a top tier journal for American dentists). He came across three patients who showed such unusual tendencies.

The first of them was a DA from Springfield. His trial started with a sudden onset of pain in his right superior canine. The pain soon gathered intensity and pushed him into an extreme spell of torment. He would run around his house in hopes of finding a relief. Sometimes, he would even plunge his head into a stream to avoid pain, but no escape. It was a matter of time he began losing all hope.

Relief Comes In The Most Unexpected of Ways

On one morning at 9 am, he was walking in pain as usual. He heard and felt an explosion. The explosion came from within and broke his tooth into pieces. The next thing he could feel was, no pain. It was gone.

Pain Shows up Somewhere Different

Thirteen years later, a woman named Mrs. Letitia D who lived a few miles away, went through a similar sequence. She too developed toothache and an explosion brought her instant relief.

The third and the final case in this unusual triad of dentine disasters was reported by Ms. Anna. She said that her canine split after an explosion that brought her relief from an intense toothache.

Tooth Explosion, Putting Pieces Into The Puzzle

Although these events were unique and unusual, they were not the only cases documented on dentine explosion. A similar case was recorded in 1871, where a woman’s tooth exploded her deaf for several days.

Such cases spark a lot questions and many theories have been presented to provide an explanation. However, only Prof. Andrea Sella provides an answer that rightly explains the cause of such uncommon blasts.

“Because of the mixture of metals you have in the mouth, there might be spontaneous electrolysis. My favored explanation is that if a filling were badly done so that part of the cavity remained, that would mean the possibility of build-up of hydrogen within a tooth.”

Andrea Sella, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at University College London.

This build-up of hydrogen gas can easily cause explosion of weakened teeth. Guess we have an answer at last!

What’s so Unsettling Then?

Although Prof. Sella provides a reasonable insight into the matter, the only disturbing thing is that these three people never received any dental fillings. What was the cause of their explosion then? For now, it still remains a mystery.




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