Explosive teeth

  The 19th-century American dentist WH Atkinson encountered a problem. He saw a story in a mainstream American dentist magazine. This story sounds a bit scary-people’s teeth exploded in their mouths! Atkinson is very strange, why do such strong teeth explode?
  Horror teeth explosion
  story describes the three patient’s teeth explosion scene. The first patient was an American pastor. He underwent an unpleasant toothache test in 1817: At the beginning, his upper right canine and molars were sore, and then it became more and more painful, and finally the pain became unbearable. But there was no painkiller at that time, so he could only run around, divert his attention, and get some breathing opportunities in the futile effort.
  When he couldn’t help it, sometimes he would hold his head and drill on the ground like an angry animal; sometimes he would pour cold water on his head to get temporary paralysis. But all to no avail. For a pastor, burrowing and pouring cold water are very indecent behaviors, so you can imagine how painful he is.
  At that time, toothache was almost a kind of “torture” with no cure (until 1862, cheap and slightly effective dentistry was available). It was rumored that someone could not bear to commit suicide after a toothache lasted for 5 months. However, this unfortunate pastor had a happy ending:
  one day after nine o’clock in the morning, the toothache started again, and the pastor walked around like a lunatic, walking around, feeling very irritable. Suddenly, his teeth made a sharp noise, like the sound of a pistol shooting, and then the teeth cracked and quickly burst into fragments. The pain seemed to disappear all at once, and the priest was relieved instantly. At this moment, he turned around and said to his wife: “My pain is gone.” Then, he went to bed. He finally got a good night’s sleep that day, and slept soundly most of the night afterwards, because The tooth no longer hurts.
  Teeth exploded causing concussion
  13 years after the priest’s tooth explosion, the same thing happened to a wife who lived only a few kilometers away from the priest’s house. She endured the toothache for a long time, and then, like the priest, the tooth exploded and the pain eased immediately. The last case of tooth explosion occurred in 1855. The patient was a healthy mother with 5 children. Her upper left canine tooth also exploded similarly.
  Although this story is unusual, these stories are not “unique”. A British dental journal also detailed many similar stories in history, and it also recorded another very outrageous thing encountered by the American dentist in 1871. This dentist was in charge of treating a young girl’s toothache. Suddenly the girl’s molars ended her life in an incredible way-the molars split and exploded, and there was a concussion with a loud and blasting sound that almost knocked the woman. She was dizzy, and the explosion was too loud, and she was “deaf” for several days.
  So, what caused these dramatic tooth explosions?
  Dentist explain
  to the American Dental WH · Atkinson proposed two alternative explanation. The first is a substance he called “free heat”, which accumulates in the teeth and puts tremendous pressure on the pulp. But now, this hypothesis can be directly ruled out, because it is based on an outdated scientific theory-for many years, people believed that “heat” is composed of a fluid called “calories” and they would repel each other. It is reasonable for repulsion to increase stress, but we now know that there is no fluid like “calories” in our body.
  Atkinson has another explanation. He proposed that the decay in the tooth may have caused the accumulation of gas, which is like a time bomb, which eventually caused the tooth to explode. At first glance, this idea seems relatively credible, but can this explain the mystery of tooth explosion? Some people doubt this: it is impossible because the structure of the teeth is very strong.
  Dentists in the 19th century did not know the real cause of tooth decay. They believed that tooth decay occurred from the inside out, mainly due to internal “deterioration.” It was not until the 20th century that people realized that tooth decay was caused by bacteria on the surface of the tooth, caused by diet.
  Neither of the above explanations make sense, so the answer may be hidden in the chemicals used to make early cavity fillings.
  The teeth of the explosion
  although there are multiple reports on the teeth explosion in the 19th century, but there is no record from 1920 after the. Before this, people often used a variety of metals to fill the cavity, including lead, tin, silver and various alloys. If two different metals are used to fill the same tooth cavity, then this is equivalent to creating a chemical battery—according to the knowledge of chemistry in middle school, two metals with different conductivity are used as the positive and negative electrodes of the electrode, and the oral cavity Water is an electrolyte solution, so the metal mixture in the teeth may spontaneously exchange electrons, and the entire mouth will become a low-voltage battery.
  If the tooth decay is repaired, the dentist does not do a good job, leaving some small holes unrepaired. This means that hydrogen generated by the electrolysis reaction may accumulate in the small tooth cavity, and the tooth decay may crack under the action of air pressure. If ignited, hydrogen will even explode, provided that the patient filled with the metal mixture smoked and sparks entered the teeth.
  However, sparks get into the teeth, which is a bit far-fetched. Moreover, there is no evidence that there were any fillings in the teeth of the previous patients whose teeth exploded. It now appears that the secret of explosive teeth is still unanswered.
  Although tooth explosions are rare, tooth fractures are quite common. In the 1960s, Antarctic explorers reported that their teeth would chip, which was thought to be caused by extreme cold conditions. But in fact, the real culprit is the diet of explorers-high-sugar foods cause tooth decay, and the severe cold environment will make the teeth break. As for tooth explosions, because this kind of phenomenon is so rare that scientists cannot study it in depth, so far the exact cause has not been found.