President Hoover went to the Walter Reed Military Hospital in Washington for dental treatment, and it was found necessary to extract three or four of his teeth. An orderly who was in attendance had the bright idea that there were people who would be willing to pay good money for a President’s teeth, so he gathered them up as soon as Mr. Hoover had left. He not only possessed himself of the Hoover teeth, he also collected all the teeth that had been extracted that day from the jaws of many sufferers by the hospital dentists. The exact number of his collection is not stated, but it was considerable and he had no difficulty in disposing of them all as genuine Hoover teeth at 50 cents. This price he found afterwards was absurdly low, for within a day or two he discovered that they were being sold in the city at several dollars each. Then somebody discovered that there were more teeth on offer than the Hoover household could have supplied, even if every member had visited the dentist and had every tooth extracted. Quotations in the Presidential old teeth market immediately dropped to zero.
Source: Kalgoorlie Miner, Tues 15 September, 1931
The Sultan of Turkey, it is said, once suffered much from toothache, and the dentist having inspected the royal patient’s teeth declared that one of them must be drawn. In order to give the Sultan nerve, a slave was brought to his apartment and had a tooth extracted. The slave, however, bore the operation so very badly that it had just the opposite effect to that which was intended, and the Sultan, thinking the remedy worse than the disease, declined to submit himself to the forceps. A little later on the faulty tooth again became troublesome, and again the Sultan sent for the dentist, who reiterated his former opinion that the offending tooth must come out. So a second slave was summoned and underwent torture. He yelled louder than the first and for a second time Abdul Hamid declined to be relieved through such an ordeal. The attacks of toothache continued to occur, yet when eight slaves had been operated upon, the Sultan had not gathered up sufficient courage.
Source: The Armidale Chronicle, 08 Dec 1897
America’s Skylab astronauts were trained in pulling teeth and stitching wounds to avoid the possibility of having their flights cut short by health problems.
The special training was aimed at setting space endurance records.
When Buffalo Bill was 50, his teeth were well aligned and without cavities, but worn almost down to the gum line. This, according to a professor of dentistry at the University of Otago (Dr Pickerill), was a great example of leading the life of a normal savage who ate primitive foods…
Source: Albany Advertiser, Saturday 3 July 1920
During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese were required by the authorities to register their fillings. Those with gold filled teeth could then be called upon to “contribute” them to the national fund for prosecution of the war in China.
Source: Barrier Miner, Thursday 23 March 1939
Mourning can be expressed in various ways.
For the grieving on the Sandwich Islands (today’s Hawaiian Islands), particularly when a Chief died, it was customary to knock out their front teeth…
In the West End Club of LONDON, a young Greek by the name of Savvas Papageorgiou, demonstrated his strength by bending an Iron bar three eighths of an inch thick, with his teeth…
Source: Townsville Daily Bulletin, Monday 13 July 1931
In his will, a dentist who died in rural England requested to be buried with his collection of extracted teeth. 30,000 teeth were placed in his coffin…
Source: The Queenslander, Saturday 27 October 1894