Your history classes will teach you a lot about the battles other nations’ armies participated in and when they took place, and very little about the things that are often more intriguing to children, such as how people lived, the specific foods they ate, and the ways in which they dealt with the challenges of daily life.
What did all of these kings and queens do, for instance, when the pain in their teeth became unbearable? Thankfully, individuals are able to acquire this knowledge without the need for textbooks. At the very least with regard to the royal teeth.
There were already dentists in the pharaoh’s court
It is well knowledge that ancient Egypt had a population of individuals whose primary occupation was dealing with teeth, including royal dentists. It would seem that they were not priests but rather engineers in some strange twist of fate. For instance, one of the most well-known dentists during the king era was also an architect.
Ancient Egyptian dentists were only capable of performing basic procedures such as putting a seal, extracting teeth, and installing a postmortem prosthesis (so that the gods would not be embarrassed). By the way, the removal of one of her teeth was the cause of death for one of the most well-known rulers of the nation: Hatshepsut. The dentist injured her capsule with pus at the base of the root while pulling out a tooth, which ultimately led to the queen’s death due to blood poisoning.
Ancient Roman physician Aulus Cornelius Celsus, who lived considerably later than Hatshepsut, in the first century AD, discovered a technique of tooth extraction that was less invasive than the one that Hatshepsut had used. He began by saturating the painful region with lead, which terminated the nerve. After that, he made a small incision in the gum and worked carefully to dislodge the tooth. After that, he started pulling with the tongs. Although not everyone was able to fully take out the tooth before it, this information was essential since the fragments of the tooth that remained in the mouth and jaw may cause the same problem that Hatshepsut had.
The most well-known of the dentists who served the emperors personally in ancient Rome was Archigen. He is credited with being the first person in the annals of European history to drill into the cavity of a tooth in order to cure it. Because there was no drill, Archigen commissioned the blacksmith to create a cylinder called a trephine. This tool included a blade with a lower edge and a comfortable grip. The trephine required the user to spin it physically. The same method was utilized in other parts of the Stone Age, with the exception that the holes were made using a bow drill. This kind of drill is identical to the one that was used to make a necklace out of animal teeth.
The most putrid monarch in all of France
On the internet, there is a common practice of quoting the recollections of foreign embassies about the putrid odor emanating from King Louis XIV of France (the one called the “Sun King”). The first thing that comes to mind while reading about the odor that was coming from him is that he most likely did not practice proper hygiene. However, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the French historian Louis Bertrand noted that in the well-known image of Louis, there are no teeth visible. He was able to determine this by observing the peculiar creases on the cheeks of the subject fully.
Bertrand did some research in the archives and discovered that Antoine d’Aquin, the king’s personal physician, had convinced Louis to have all of his teeth extracted. Antoine d’Aquin convinced Louis that such health care would serve the prestige of the king by removing his teeth on the grounds that they spread infection throughout the body. Louis said that for the sake of his reputation, he would even be willing to sacrifice his life. After then, he was subjected to a horrific line of interrogation and torture.
It is apparent that D’Aquin was not aware of the procedure for removing teeth from Celsus. Furthermore, it is more difficult to take good teeth from their sockets than it is to remove diseased teeth. As a consequence of this, the doctor broke the king’s lower jaw while pulling out each tooth one by one. He also removed a piece of bone and some soft tissues from the king’s palate, which resulted in a large hole being created in the king’s mouth that extended from the oral cavity to the nasal cavity. The physician consoled the monarch by saying, “It’s alright, Your Majesty, the most important thing is to cauterize with a red-hot iron,” and then proceeded to do so.
On the other hand, food was now becoming lodged in the king’s sinuses, where it remained putrefying for many days. In addition to suffering from a severe loss of teeth, he also had issues with his stomach. Naturally, the meal that was presented to him was quite soft; but, when a person is chewing, they are also doing primary fermentation on the food by digesting it with their saliva. The only option left for the monarch was to just swallow, occasionally pausing to wipe the soup running out of his nose. The scent that emanated from him was very repulsive in general, but this was in no way due to his lack of hygiene.
By the way, about the oval shape of the face and the need to properly care for one’s teeth. At the court of the French monarch Louis XI, which was located centuries ago, the women adhered to the policy of only consuming liquid food. This was due to the belief that the act of chewing causes wrinkles in people. The state of the gums deteriorated, the teeth started to shift and fall out, and there was a lack of load on the gums, which prevented the gums from receiving the conditioned massage that comes with the action of the jaws. In general, by the time it was all said and done, the women had bonded with one another and had already transmitted to subsequent generations the idea that they should not restrict themselves to eating soups.
In his youth, the Russian Empress Catherine II came dangerously close to experiencing the same fate as Louis. Catherine had a horrible toothache due to the wind on one occasion as the whole court was going from St. Petersburg to Moscow. They were following Empress Elizabeth. Even before then, for a number of months, he sometimes tortured her with episodes of anguish, and when they were stopping in Tsarskoye Selo, she started pleading with the doctor to take him out of the picture. The physician at first and for a considerable amount of time objected, but in the end, he gave in.
They grasped Catherine so that she would not flinch when the forceps were applied, and the doctor proceeded to remove the tooth from Catherine’s mouth. Catherine was placed on the floor, which is how patients sat during surgeries in the eighteenth century. The procedure ended up being one that was drawn out and challenging. Finally, the tooth was out, and at that very time, the future Empress wept uncontrollably and spat blood out of her mouth since the extraction was so excruciatingly painful. When the doctor examined a woman’s teeth, he was concerned about the possibility of encountering complications like the one that he demonstrated to the patient by pulling out a piece of gum along with a tooth. To our great relief, Catherine’s palate generally remained unaffected and maintained its normal consistency.
Queen Elizabeth II, also known as Toothless
When she was younger, Elizabeth I of England, who ruled England, was known for her stunning beauty. She was stunning, but in addition to that, she had an unhealthy obsession with sweets. Especially for the queen, the cooks in the royal kitchen produced many different kinds of sugary treats using gelatin, sugar, and egg whites each day. These elements were enhanced with the addition of any acceptable nuts, fruits, and seeds. Elizabeth shoved them all day long into her mouth, and unlike her contemporaries, such as Ivan the Terrible, she did not like brushing her teeth. She constantly stuffed things into her mouth.
It is thought that she has always had sensitive thin enamel, which made the care treatments that she had to go through uncomfortable for her. At the age of thirty, literally, all of the queen’s teeth were seriously affected by caries. It is easy to guess that the bacteria that multiplied on the excess of sweets in her mouth very quickly destroyed the enamel even more. This is because it is easy to guess that the bacteria multiplied on the excess of sweets in her mouth.
For a period of time, in order to give the impression that she had a healthy smile, Queen Elizabeth would attend formal events while wearing a thin strip of white batiste in front of her teeth. However, not only did she lose her tooth enamel, but she also lost her teeth (not only because of the sweet but also because of the toxicity of white lead, which she loved so much).
Soon after, she started to use pads in her mouth in an attempt to avoid the appearance of aging on her face that was caused by the loss of her teeth. She started speaking less often and attempting to communicate in a manner that was as measured, succinct, and weighty as possible so that she would not squander her words and saturate her interlocutor with a stench from her lips. In addition to this, because she was missing teeth, her speech became incomprehensible as soon as she increased the speed of her delivery even slightly.
At the conclusion of the day, it was recommended to the queen that she apply protective rinses made with oak decoction as well as a protective coating of the teeth, most likely with a specific varnish. These preventative steps were well-known, but few people chose to do them since rinsing caused the teeth to become a strong brown, and the varnish was black. However, it was preferable to have purposely darkened teeth that were of an even tint rather than teeth that seemed to be dark, patchy, and diseased. After the queen’s example, practically all of the women started to darken the enamel on their teeth. It is true that blackening and rinsing did not benefit the queen; nonetheless, these processes needed to be performed at the beginning of the enamel difficulties. She eventually had issues in her mouth and throat, leading to her experiencing tremendous pain and ultimately leading to her death.
Regarding Ivan the Terrible, I should mention that the majority of his baby teeth were not replaced until a very advanced age. Nobody has any idea what may have caused these phenomena. However, it can be said without a doubt that he did not need the assistance of dentists. He had a severe fear of illnesses that may affect the oral cavity, therefore, he made sure to thoroughly rinse his mouth and clean his teeth after even the most basic of meals and excessive bouts of drinking.
When the teeth of other monarchs were being treated, there was always a special person there. This person’s responsibility was to ensure that the priest was not poisoned by anybody trying to take advantage of the fact that his mouth was defenselessly open.